About me/Über mich

photo: Anjali Bhargava

Sandra Chatterjee’s (PhD, UCLA) choreographic and scholarly work is situated at the intersection of theory and practice deals with performance, dance, and the body with a focus on gender, postcolonial and migration studies. She studied Dance and ““Culture and Performance”” in Honolulu and Los Angeles (1998 Bachelor of Arts in Dance (ethnology emphasis), University of Hawai’’i at Manoa (UHM); 2001 Master of Arts in Dance, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); 2005 PhD in Culture and Performance, UCLA: dissertation: Undomesticated Bodies: South Asian Women Perform the Impossible). 2009 post-graduate programme in “„Kultur und Organisation”,“ University of Vienna and Institut für Kulturkonzepte.

Sandra was initially trained in the classical Indian dance form Kuchipudi and completed her Rangapravesam (debut) under the guidance of Ranga Vivekanandan-Barth and in 1991. As a dancer, therefore, she considers Kuchipudi as a dance language as her first language. The paradox of dancing Kuchipudi but not being or speaking Telugu (the language of Andhra Pradesh) is integral to her identity as a dancer led Sandra towards creating contemporary choreography, which has evolved into her main artistic focus. In addition to Kuchipudi (with Ranga Vivekanandan-Barth, Jaya Rama and Vanashree Rao, and Sumathy Kaushal), Bharatanatyam (with Padmini Chari, Arup Ghosh and Malathi Iyengar) and most recently Odissi, (with Sharon Lowen) as well as Polynesian, modern/postmodern/contemporary European dance techniques, and yoga. Her choreographic work has been presented in dance and academic venues such as Tanzkongress 2016 (Hannover); Tanzhaus NRW (Düsseldorf); National Gallery of Modern Art (New Delhi); Chandra-Mandapa: Spaces (Chennai); The Park’s New Festival (Chennai); The Other Festival (Chennai); Highways Performance Space (Los Angeles); University of Toronto; Nehru Centre (London).

In her current research, recent publications, talks, and lecture performances she has been critically interrogating the aesthetic category of the “contemporary” in the context of concert dance in central and northern continental Europe and analyzes selected choreographic articulations between European and Indian dance (2012- 2016 as postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Art, Music and Dance studies, University of Salzburg). Additional (research) interests include (artistic) collaboration, and the possible intersection of artistic practice, civil engagement and claiming cultural and artistic citizenship. In collaboration with Siglinde Lang she is currently co-organizing the Festival 7hoch2 in Salzburg, which is a festival at the intersection of civil engagement and art.

Sandra has been teaching a wide range of interdisciplinary classes ranging from dance studies, dance practice, gender studies to participatory art, comparative cultural studies and discourse analysis at universities including UCLA (Department of World Arts and Cultures); University of Salzburg; Kunstuniversität Linz; and University Mozarteum.

Sandra is a co-founder of the Post Natyam Collective, an internet-based network of choreographers/scholars, working in live performance, video, and scholarship. She was also a co-initiator and co-organizer of ArtSensation (2006) and Integrier-Bar, Munich (2011-2013) and is currently co-organizing 7hoch2// Festival für zivile Auftragskunst with Siglinde Lang and Josef Kirchner in Salzburg (April 2017).

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Sandra Chatterjee ist  Choreographin und Wissenschaftlerin im Bereich Culture und Performance, und Tanzwissenschaft.

In ihrer wissenschaftlichen Arbeit mit den Forschungsschwerpunkten Performance-und Kultur- und Tanzwissenschaften, Genderstudien, Migration und Postcolonial Studies erkundet sie stets die Überschneidungspunkte zwischen Theorie und künstlerischer Praxis (seit 1991 Tätigkeit als Tänzerin, klassischer indischer Tanz; seit 1998 Tätigkeit als Choreographin, zeitgenössischer Tanz). Sie ist ausserdem Gründungsmitglied der Post Natyam Collective, einer multi-nationalen, internet-basierten Gruppe von Choreographinnen und Wissenschafterinnen, die sich durch interdisziplinäre Arbeit in Tanz, Performance und Video, kritisch mit südasiatischer Ästhetik auseinandersetzen.

Studium Tanz und “Culture and Performance” in Honolulu und Los Angeles (1998 Bachelor of Arts in Dance (ethnology emphasis), University of Hawai’i at Manoa (UHM); 2001 Master of Arts in Dance, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); 2005 Promotion in Culture and Performance, UCLA: Promotionsprojekt: Undomesticated Bodies: South Asian Women Perform the Impossible). 2009 post-graduate Lehrgang in „Kultur und Organisation,“ Universität Wien und Institut für Kulturkonzepte.