Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy, co-artistic directors
How does dance connect global communities? Ragamala Dance uses the philosophy and myth of the classical Indian dance form Bharatanatyam to explore the interconnectedness between humans and the landscapes that shape them.
School day youth performances are one-hour daytime performances for K-12 students in public, independent, and home schools. Tickets to these performances are requested by educators.
Ragamala Dance’s Artistic Directors Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy bring their culture’s unique sensibility of mysticism, myth and sanctity to the contemporary stage. The mother-daughter duo was named the 2011 “Artist of the Year” by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Ranee Ramaswamy has been a master teacher and performer of Bharatanatyam since 1978. Since 1984, she has been a disciple of Alarmél Valli, one of India’s greatest living masters. Ranee has worked with celebrated artists such as poet Robert Bly, jazz musician Howard Levy, legendary composer/ violinist Dr. L. Subramaniam, the Çudamani ensemble (Bali, Indonesia), and Wadaiko Ensemble Tokara (Nagano, Japan). Among her many grants and fellowships are 13 McKnight Artist Fellowships, a Bush Fellowship, and an Artist Exploration Fund grant from Arts International.
Born in India and raised in the U.S., Aparna Ramaswamy is a protégé of legendary Bharatanatyam artist Alarmél Valli, one of India’s greatest living masters. Described as “a marvel of buoyant agility and sculptural clarity” (Dance Magazine), “thrillingly three-dimensional,” and “an enchantingly beautiful dancer,” (The New York Times), Aparna and has been featured at prestigious venues throughout the United States and abroad, both as a soloist and as principal dancer with Ragamala. She has been awarded several honors, including two McKnight Artist Fellowships, a Bush Fellowship, an Arts and Religion grant funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, two Jerome Foundation Travel Study Grants, an Artist Exploration Fund grant from Arts International, the Lakshmi Vishwanathan Endowment Prize from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha (Chennai, India), and the Sage Award for Best Dancer (Minneapolis).
This performance marks the UMS debut of Ragamala Dance.