Director, Tribal Secrets, Modern Medicine Women, and Anandha Ray's Quimera Project
multiple award-winning choreographer
Contra Costa County Women's Hall of Fame,
American Dance Festival Award: Outstanding Achievement
U.S. Senate commendation
California Assembly commendation
Honorary KY Colonel
Diablo Magazine Visionary Awards 2001, 2006
Cultural Ambassador for the US Embassy 2002-4
Ray started her career with intensive studies from the
second generation of modern dancers:
several Graham company members
while Martha Graham was still living
who studied with Hanya Holm, Martha Graham,
Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman and Louis Horst
who danced with Jose Limon for 11 years
Dr. Emma Lou Thomas
who was trained by Mary Wigman
Additionally Ray danced with
Tandy Beal and Claudia Melrose,
both members of Alwin Nikolais company.
who was a member of Murray Louis' company
3 of Doris Humphrey's dances
2 dances by Jose Limon set by Risa Steinberg
2 dances by Cliff Keuter
and performed on a tour by Laura Dean
as well as myriads of wonderful choreographers including
Beth Lessard, Ann Ludwig, Tandy Beal,
Claudia Melrose, Joanna Mendle-Shaw,
Clarence Teeters, Michael Lowe, Viktor Kabaniaev
Ray has trained with masters in the dance world in intensive studies across the country, including American Dance Festival, Bill Evans Dance Company, Tandy Beal Dance Company, The Martha Graham studio and several NY, LA and SF based teachers and choreographers.
Professor, Colonel, Reverend Anandha Ray, MA, MA, DTR
-Her official title speaks to her vast array of experience.
Shamanic Fusion Dance:
An emerging Tribal/Modern/Dark Fusion choreographer, after retiring from a career in contemporary dance of over 30 years where as Artistic Director of Moving Arts Dance she toured extensively, received standing ovations in seven countries and throughout the U.S., she is entering the world of Shamanic Fusion Dane, a term she coined. Utilizing her experiences to create a radical departure from her previous career, Shamanic Fusion Dance encompasses a world in which dance serves the function of ritual, ceremony AND art; where artistic goals and expectations are completely different.
As research into ritual and ceremony, Ray has been ordained as a Priestess of Isis (thus the title: Reverend). As she leads ceremonies, performances, workshops and retreats of Shamanic Fusion Dance, she not only draws upon these experiences but on her training as a dance therapist working in the realm of subconscious belief systems and her international experiences in professional dance.
Currently she leads dancers on Shamanic Journeys in Mexico, in retreats in California, and she is training Priest/ess initiates in a one-year Priest/ess of Isis training to become legally ordained clergy and work through dance as a healing ritual/ceremony/performance art.
An innovative dance educator, she has created completely new ways to teach dance. Two in particular, Intuitive Technique and Waking Dreams. Intuitive Technique is a from of improvisational training that helps the mind and body to organize a natural understanding of correct dance technique. Additionally the form helps the dancer to embrace athletic and emotional risk with confidence and it unlocks the understanding of how dance communicates, and why. Waking Dreams, which combines theories of dance therapy and improvisation is a form of performance training that brings the performer a profound understanding of authentic emotional expression, and the confidence to use it.
Ray has over 40 years experience as a choreographer. Her choreography has been commissioned/performed by professional companies, universities and colleges. Seeking to expose the extraordinary within the ordinary, Ray’s work has long delved into the subculture of shadow and light, figuratively and literally. She believes that dance has the potential to change the world, giving pause to the viewer, evoking thoughts and inspiring questions. In its authentic form, dance speaks human truths and cannot lie. For Ray, the synthesis of disparate forms provides a fresh forum for exploration and understanding of the unmistakable beauty of darkness and the honesty of our humanness.
Honors and Awards
For her contributions in dance she has been inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame, received a citation from the US Senate and California Assembly, was made a member of the Kentucky Order of Honorary Colonels, and recognized as a Visionary for the San Francisco East Bay Area (both in Diablo Magazine’s 21 visionaries for the 21st Century, and 25 women visionaries in the arts). She received national awards for her choreography including the 2013 West Wave Choreographers Commission Award, The Las Vegas “Daffy Award” (Dance as an Art From), American Dance Festival award for "Outstanding Achievement", American College Dance Festival’s choreography awards (Eugene, Oregon and Santa Fe, New Mexico), the National College Dance Festival’s gala concert (Washington DC), the American Dance Festival’s choreographer’s award (Durham, North Carolina), she was one of 5 choreographers chosen for the one and only “Martha Graham Choreographers Showcase” and her choreography was selected as the “Producers Choice” as well as the “Audience Choice” awards at the “sjDANCEco Choreographers Project” on several occasions, once simultaneously.
She has choreographed over 100 major works, produced over 300 professional concerts and many more student concerts.
Ms. Ray danced principal roles on international tours with dance companies from ASU and UCLA, “A Ludwig Co” in AZ and “Clarence Teeters and Friends” in NY in choreography of Merce Cunningham, Laura Dean, Cliff Keuter, Jose’ Limon and Doris Humphrey among many others. In San Francisco she has danced with Claire Whistler’s “DanceArt Company” and Rhonda Martin’s “Oracle”.
Ray was a tenure-track professor and the Director of the Dance Program at the University of the Pacific and at Yavapai College, Directed Walnut Creek’s Civic Arts Dance Program, served on the faculty of Santa Monica College, has taught residencies and guest lectured for universities and festivals nationally and internationally as well as adjudicating for dance festivals and granting committees.
She founded and directed Moving Arts Dance (originally ARK III... Dance, which she served as Artistic Director for 3 decades, directing resident choreographers and a company of 12 professional dancers. The company received standing ovations on national and international tours and worked closely with the US Embassy.
She founded and directed the MAD studio/theater where she produced the 2-weekend MAD, BAD Performance Festival for eight years and directed 3 student companies (children, pre-professionals and adults) as well as bi-monthly performances of professionals and student companies.
In addition to her work with Quimera Tribe, she enjoyed working as Artistic Advisor and Guest Choreographer for “Labayen Dance SF” and currently presents international “Tribal Secrets Tours” to teach, perform and photograph dance.
With a love of dance education, Ray continues to teach and choreograph as a guest faculty/choreographer and sometimes dance photographer. She has enjoyed these tours to universities and dance companies throughout California and internationally including Mexico, Canada and Australia.
She has two Master of Arts degrees from UCLA (Dance Choreography with a second major in Kinesiology and Dance Movement Therapy) and her Bachelor of Arts in Dance Education from ASU.
She has been commissioned to travel internationally as a dance photographer and her photographs have been printed as magazine covers, CD covers, CD inserts, magazine articles and 2-page center spreads as well as many advertising campaigns. The Tribal Secrets Tarot Deck is a special project Ray has under way, photographing 78 Tribal Fusion dancers for the upcoming book and deck, in which each card depicts a leader in the community of Tribal Fusion Bellydance (including Temple Tribal Fusion and Dark Tribal Fusion). When the deck is completed Ray will continue the Archanic Caravan Performances in each community where dancers appear in the deck. Originating on a Tribal Secrets Tarot Tour in Vancouver British Columbia (June 2013), Archanic Caravan is a performance inspired by cards of the Tarot deck, each dancer performing the card for which they have been cast!