"You have to almost exhaust yourself sometimes to let yourself say what it is, or do what it is, in the most honest way."
Charles O. Anderson (b. 1971) approaches choreography as metaphor for kinetic storytelling or testimony. His work strives to illuminate the ability of African-informed movement to reconcile the physical with the spiritual. In 2001, he founded dance theatre X, where he marries traditional and contemporary Africanist dance styles (African, hip-hop, samba, etc.) with the spoken word, and the formal concerns of western dance (postmodern dance and ballet) in such a way as to give contemporary, but historically textured voice to marginalized Africanist perspectives (on the concert stage). Anderson often collaborates with other artists, including King Britt, a 2007 Pew Fellow.
Anderson earned a B.A. in Dance from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY and an M.F.A. with honors from Temple University in Philadelphia, were he was a Future Faculty Fellow. He has also received training and mentoring with Vincent Sekwati Koko Mantsoe of South Africa and training with Ronald K. Brown in New York. He has performed at the FringeArts Festival; The Wilma Theater; Improvised and Otherwise Dance Festival, New York; and International Festival of Modern Dance, Kaunas, Lithuania. Among his awards are grants from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the Puffin Foundation, and a Center for International Educational Exchange Fellowship to South Africa.