Anjal Chande is a choreographer, composer, writer, and performer who boldly innovates and introspects through multidisciplinary dance.
Described by The New York Times as a “gifted stylist” and by Time Out Chicago as “arrestingly poetic” and “breaking out of the box of ethnic dance,” Anjal is paving new pathways as a contemporary bharatanatyam artist. She is also an educator and founder of Soham Dance Space, a community-centered nonprofit nestled in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village, which she leads with an expansive vision of the possibilities for Indian dance.
Driven by an appreciation for self-reliance, Anjal takes a do-it-yourself approach to dancemaking. She writes her own contemplative prose and composes genre-evading music, combining these elements with her highly emotive, athletic dancing.
Anjal’s work invites audiences to experience the versatility of bharatanatyam dance and ignites imaginations with possibilities for its practice and development.
Anjal has performed at venues and festivals around the world, including CrossLines Culture Lab at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., West Wave Dance Festival in San Francisco, Drive East in New York City, the World Music Festival in Chicago, Dazzle Jazz Club in Denver, Nrtya Sura Bharati Festival at Chinmaya Vibhooti in Pune, National Centre for the Performing Arts and National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai, and Brahma Gana Sabha and German Hall in Chennai.
She is the recipient of awards from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and Illinois Arts Council. She has collaborated with numerous artists, including Gaurav Mazumdar, Karl Olson, Jesse Hunter, Aakash Mittal Quartet, David Ofori-Amoah, University of Illinois Chai-Town A Cappella Choir, Arjun Venkataswamy, Gaurav Venkateswar, and classical Carnatic orchestras.
Anjal grounds her commitment to innovation and artistic evolution in years of multi-disciplinary study with masterful teachers.
She is a disciple of bharatanatyam exponent Hema Rajagopalan, having trained and performed extensively with Natya Dance Theatre, Chicago. She also studied nattuvangam and abhinaya under renowned gurus of India: Seetaram Sarma of Kalakshetra, Indira Kadambi, Jayanthi Subramaniam, and Bragha Bessell. She is a proficient percussionist and tabla player and learned under Raju Deshmukh and Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri at the Ali Akbar College of Music.
Anjal is a lifelong student of Vedantic philosophy and the Sanskrit language through the teachings and inspiration of Swami Chinmayananda at Chinmaya Mission centers across the globe. She is a Yoga Alliance certified teacher, having completed Moksha Yoga Chicago’s teacher training program, and holds a degree in Food Politics and Sociology from New York University.
Across her passions and disciplines, Anjal holds an unwavering commitment to the sacredness of personal voice. She is sincerely devoted to creating work that upholds the integrity of her diverse knowledge while articulating her own bold convictions and inspiring others to do the same.