Ragamala creates visceral, universal experiences that use Indian art forms to express the contemporary vision of Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy.
What our critics have to say…
“(Ragamala) shows how Indian forms can provide some of the most transcendent experiences that dance has to offer.” - The New York Times
“The performers are masters of their art. This may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Catch them while you can.” The Fringe Review, Edinburgh, Scotland
“I just saw something beautiful…(Sacred Earth is) a lovely, hypnotic celebration of the interconnectedness and oneness of all living things.” The Independent Weekly, North Carolina
What our audience members have to say…
“Wonderful, enthralling, dazzling, richly detailed and sophisticated.”
“It reached the bottom of my soul and top of my heart and covered my whole spirit.”
“Precise, spiritual, timeless, contemporary.”
“Awesome, awesome, awesome.”
* Artist of the Year for 2011 by the Star Tribune awarded to Artistic Directors Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy
* Distinguished Artist for 2011 by the McKnight Foundation awarded to Artistic Director Ranee Ramaswamy
* Best Dance Company of 2012 by City Pages awarded to Ragamala Dance
* National Council on the Arts nomination by President Barack Obama for Ranee Ramaswamy
* Indian Council for Cultural Relations selection of Ragamala as an empaneled artist
* Choreography Fellowship for 2012 by the McKnight Foundation for Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy
* Dancer Fellowship for 2012 by the McKnight Foundaiton for Ashwini Ramaswamy
Acclaimed as one of the Indian Diaspora’s leading dance ensembles, Ragamala Dance seamlessly carries Bharatanatyam into the 21st century. Traversing the scope of human experience, from the intimate to the infinite, Artistic Directors Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy’s evocative choreography defies chronology. They embrace the philosophy, spirituality, mysticism and myth f their heritage to create not works but worlds—visceral, universal experiences that use Indian art forms to express their contemporary point of view.
Ragamala’s work encompasses…
1) Large scale productions premiered in Minnesota – Most recently the company premiered Sacred Earth at the Cowles Center for Dance. Inspired by the ephemeral traditions of rice flour kolams and Warli paintings, Sacred Earth is the company’s singular statement on the beautiful, fragile relationship between nature and man. (Excerpted in video above).
Our next production, 1,001 Buddhas: the bards, the gods, the guardians, will premiere at the Cowles Center on March 22 – 24, 2013. This work explores the thousand-year journey of art, mythology, iconography, and ritual along the Silk Route, from the Hindu temples of India to the Buddhist temples of Japan. Dance, music, and ceremony will converge to embody this epic migration that continues to influence the modern world.
2) Extensive school and community outreach programs – Every year, Ragamala shares the rich arts and culture of India with over 10,000 students and adults through our customized programs for K-12 schools, universities, libraries, community centers, museums, senior citizens’ homes, places of worship, and corporate workplaces.
3) Regional, national and international touring – Last season we completed an unprecedented 24-city national tour of Sacred Earth, traveling from Vermont and Pennsylvania, to Illinois and Wisconsin, to Colorado and California, all culminating at the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC. Performances in Minnesota took us to Duluth and Fergus Falls. And on the international front we were excited to be invited back to India to perform at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Mumbai. In all, we reached over 11,658 audience members.
4) The Ragamala School offers students from age 7 to adult rigorous training in Bharatanatyam, providing them the opportunity to experience the joy of movement and to immerse themselves in Indian culture through a high quality arts experience.