Meena Murugesan is an experimental choreographer, performer, video artist, and community arts educator. Meena often investigates the ways in which South Asian dance histories intersect with Eurocentric dance histories, and re-choreographs these post-colonial junctions through live performance, multi-media installations, and video art. Since 2014, Meena has been primarily working through Blackness and anti-Blackness in the South Asian diaspora. Born and raised in Montréal, Meena is currently based in Los Angeles where she just recently completed a Master’s in Fine Arts in choreography from the World Arts and Cultures/Dance department at UCLA (June 2014). Since being in LA, Meena has worked with choreographers taisha paggett, Shyamala Moorty, Sheetal Gandhi, Laurel Tendindo, Emily Beattie, Alison D'Amato, and Carol McDowell. Meena is the newest member of the transnational Post Natyam Collective, a web-based coalition of women artists who creatively and critically engage South Asian dance. Meena has twelve years of experience facilitating ethical filmmaking and/or movement processes with racialized youth, girls, and criminalized women as a collaborative act that unpacks stereotypes, stigma, and systems of oppressions. She has worked as a teaching artist in Montréal, Toronto, Los Angeles, Niamey, and Rio de Janeiro. Since 2002, Meena has been awarded funding for her film or dance work from agencies such as CHIME Choreographers in Mentorship Program, UCLA, SODEC (Société de développment des entreprises culturelles), CALQ (Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec), CAC (Canada Arts Council), MAI (Montréal, arts, interculturels).
Meena’s movement practice is deeply rooted in bharata natyam, somatic movement, improvisation, and house dance. Influential movement teachers include Vasantha Krishnan, Josefina Baez, Zab Maboungou, Marie-Claude Rodrigue, Michael Greyeyes, Dazl, and Rennie Harris. Her research interests include: the critical histories of bharata natyam, post-colonial subjectivities, Blackness and anti-Blackness in South Asian communities, subverting spectator-performer relationships, shifting the politics of representation of people of color, improvisational scores, collective creative processes, dance for social justice, and art-making as community-building.
Meena is currently presenting a performance piece, "we used to see this," an installation that re-choreographs bharata natyam's multiple presentation contexts, and audience-performer relationships including: the proscenium stage, the 19th century Indian king's salon, and diasporic temple exchanges. Meena is currently developing two new projects.