Aparna Ramaswamy, artistic director and principal dancer of the world-renowned Ragamala Dance Company, will present a solo performance of her new piece, Sannidhi (Sacred Space), on Friday, Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Weitz Center for Creativity Theater. This event is free and open to the public.
Performed with live music, Sannidhi highlights Indian-American artists of the next generation who retain roots in their collective history while bringing their own voices to the contemporary stage. Sannidhi (Sacred Space) illuminates the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine, whose timeless duality forms the continuous pulse of our universe. In five sections, this work weaves together music and movement, rhythm and lyric, spirit and emotion, creating an invisible link between dancer, musicians and audience.
Aparna Ramaswamy (Ragamala Dance Company artistic director/choreographer/principal dancer) was born in India and raised in the United States. She is also a member of the Carleton College Class of 1997. Described as “a marvel of buoyant agility and sculptural clarity” (Dance Magazine), she has been awarded multiple honors, including fellowships from the McKnight, Bush, Rockefeller and Jerome Foundations; the National Endowment for the Arts; the National Dance Project; the Japan Foundation; and the Minnesota State Arts Board. Most recently she became the first Bharatanatyam artist to be named one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine.
Founded in 1992 and based in Minneapolis, the Ragamala Dance Company seamlessly carries the south Indian dance form of Bharatanatyam into the 21st century. While deeply rooted in this classical tradition, Ragamala’s artistic directors Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy integrate innovative ideas and collaborations into their choreography to convey that Bharatanatyam is contemporary and distinctly current. Ragamala’s original approach and dynamic artistry have inspired numerous collaborative partnerships around the globe. Dance Magazine calls Ragamala “both iconic and explosive…infusing the formal rigor of Bharatanatyam with fluid spontaneity and rock star allure” and The New York Times declares, “This is an excellent company.”
Ragamala’s visionary work has brought the company to many prestigious venues around the world, including the Miao-Li International Mask Festival (Miao-Li, Taiwan), the Open Look Contemporary Dance Festival (St. Petersburg, Russia), the Bali Arts Festival (Bali, Indonesia), the Nagoya Kita Bunka Shogekijyo (Ida City, Japan), the Festival of Spirituality and Peace (Edinburgh, Scotland), the New Victory Theater (New York), the Soorya Festival (Kerala, India), and the Maximum India Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
For more information about The Ragamala Dance Company, visit their website at www.ragamala.net. For more information about Ramaswamy’s performance of Sannidhi, including disability accommodations, contact Steve Richardson, director of the arts, at (507) 222-4389. The Weitz Center for Creativity is located at Third and College Streets in Northfield.