An Inclusive Space – Anya’s Story

Anya started learning Bharatanatyam at the age of 6 in Singapore and did her arangetram (solo dance recital) at age 19, six years ago.

Now, at 26, she is a lawyer living in Melbourne. She’s a feminist, very political, and hosts the Tuesday Breakfast show on Radio 3CR, focusing on current affairs with an intersectional feminist lens.

And how did the conservative world of Indian Classical dance fit into all this?

“Coming back to Bharatanatyam, I felt like an outsider and that there was no space for people who don’t fit a certain mould.

I slowly started to hear about Govind and Raina, about their community and their performances – ‘Bent Bollywood’ in particular. Later I found out that they were both classically trained, plus very open about their identities. And then Studio J was recommended to me by some friends, who also have different identities.

I joined Govind’s Bharatanatyam class in 2018 and realized that I do still love dancing. And that Studio J is a very inclusive space where I can just be myself.”


Joshinder Chaggar
7 March 2019