MeenMoves is a New York City/Jersey City area based dance-theatre company driven by differences of cultural and religious practice, nuances of body language, and the experiences of those who check “none-of-the-above.” Under the artistic direction of choreographer Sameena Mitta, MeenMoves’ dance films and stage works conceptually focus on the individuality, vulnerability, and strength of those whose stories are historically overlooked. Living outside the confines of any single discipline, MeenMoves productions continually ask: what are the limits of language, what limits expression, and what is authentic community?
Mitta has a diverse background with one Indian/Pakistani parent and one German parent, and is a Canadian immigrant to the US. In her experiences as an outsider, dance has been a natural and necessary form of communication. Her work is stylistically informed by Cecchetti ballet, Limón, and physical theatre, as well as by classical and contemporary composers and experimental filmmakers.
Since founding MeenMoves in 2008, Mitta has presented choreography in Canada, Japan, India, Kenya, Germany, and across NJ and NYC. MeenMoves has recently been invited to perform at STUFFED (Judson Memorial Church), NimbusPRESENTS: Offline+ at Bam Fisher and APAP 2020 & 2018 (Ailey Studios), NJPAC / Jersey New Moves Festival, and with the Choreographers’ Collective (LaGuardia Performing Arts Center). In 2017 MeenMoves presented the evening-length alternative f(A)cts with live scoring by Momenta Quartet and video by Alicja Hoppel to sold out houses at The Martha Graham Studio Theater.
Integrating original compositions, live music, film, and audience participation into her work, Mitta regularly collaborates with creatives from around the world. MeenMoves’ current projects include Fe with composer Stephanie Griffin (commissioned by NJPAC, premiering 2021), a ten-year dance film project based on the 1845 children’s book Struwwelpeter filmed site-specifically in Germany, and the audience-engagement driven W(h)ine Pairings set to Nico Muhly’s Confessions (premiering in 2021).
MeenMoves aims to reflect a diversity of worldviews on stage, offer audiences free or pay-what-you-can options, and present work in community-centered venues to welcome audiences who may not otherwise turn to or have access to dance. In process and product, MeenMoves aims to amplify the voices of underrepresented creatives of color, particularly those of Muslim women.
The company’s education/outreach project, MadHops, has received numerous funding grants and has had projects in Kenya, India, Japan, NY, and in its long-term hub in Toronto, Canada. MeenMoves focuses on individuality, vulnerability, and strength while making way for others to be heard.