Meena Murugesan is an experimental choreographer, performer, video artist, and 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 working through issues of Blackness and anti-Blackness in the South Asian diaspora in a three-part series of choreographies. Born and raised in Montréal, Meena is currently based in Los Angeles where they 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 a current member of the transnational Post Natyam Collective, and taisha pagget's collective WXPT. Meena has fifteen years of experience facilitating ethical filmmaking and/or movement processes with racialized youth, and criminalized communities as a collaborative act that hopes to unpack stereotypes, stigma, and systems of oppressions. Meena has worked as a teaching artist in Montréal, Toronto, Los Angeles, Niamey, and Rio de Janeiro. Since 2002, Meena has been awarded funding for their 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. Their research interests include: the critical histories of bharata natyam, post-colonial subjectivities, settler-colonial histories, 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 co-choreaphing a new work entitled KARUPPU with d. Sabela grimes. Meena is also collaborating as a media designer for d. Sabela grimes, Marjani Forte-Saunders, Embodiment Project, and two new collaborations soon to be announced.