The Kennedy Center

Tehreema Mitha



Biography

Artistic Director Tehreema Mitha, originally from Pakistan, has been choreographing and performing professionally for over 22 years. She brings a repertoire of more than sixty dances to Tehreema Mitha Dance Company, a pioneering South Asian American dance company known for its signature presentations and unique style. The company's programs include dances from the classical repertoire, moving fluidly into the classical/contemporary, and onto contemporary dances. Mitha believes that seeing all three styles on the stage in the same evening shows the progression of a generation in sync with the world of today yet unwilling to leave its roots behind--forging ahead without losing its identity. Tehreema Mitha Dance Company's dancing is athletic, intricate, and dramatic--at times intensely emotional, at other times humorous, and accompanying music is especially composed and produced for each piece, as are the costumes. Thereema Mitha's work covers a variety of topics, touching on literature, science, philosophy; daily life; and the joys and complications, confusion and despair of modern times.  Her dances feel personal even when discussing global or social issues.

            Thereema Mitha's commissioned piece Blue Jeans focuses on immigrants and immigration. The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, and American culture has imbibed much from the colorful cultures of various immigrant populations. As new people arrive, everyone--the recently immigrated and those more established in America--experiences a period of adjustment. Blue jeans are a symbol of freedom, as well as an equalizing factor amongst classes. Some immigrants view jeans as a uniform for leisure time, as well as a means of acceptance, a way to blend in with the masses. The music for the piece includes Neil Diamond's "Forever in Blue Jeans," combined with North Indian classical music and jazz.
Tehreema Mitha