The company made its professional debut at Goodhart Theater, Bryn Mawr College in April 2000. This event was largely self-produced with minimal funding. The one-hour event was a great success, drawing a crowd of about four hundred people. Since then Courtyard Dancers works have been presented in prominent venues such as Philadelphia Museum of Art, PS 122 in New York, National Geographic Society in Washington D.C., Dance Place in Washington D.C., Painted Bride in Philadelphia, and others. We were a featured group in the first National Asian American Theater Festival (NAATF) held in New York City in 2007.
Our choreographies include themes on gender relation, desire, labor, ritual, emotion, and others. These works have been inspired by the dynamic interconnections between local and global processes that give India and the Indian diaspora their shape. The list includes pieces such as Silencing the Nautch (2000), Imagining Jamuna (2000), Threads (2002), Mahatma is Fasting (2002), Union/Dissolution (2005). The company’s most recent choreography Replaced Rituals (2007) successfully used South Asian traditional musical genres such as Qawaali and Baul to express the easy movement between Hinduism and Islam. It showed the complex formation of South Asian identities that goes beyond religious and political boundaries. We are currently working on a new piece titled Celluloid E-motions, which draws on the intersections between classical and popular dance forms from Bollywood.