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April 14, 2017

UMS in the Classroom: Ragamala Dance Company


Interested in using a UMS performance in your university classroom? For each performance on the season, we provide suggested curricular connections, links to contextual material online, citations for scholarly material, and prompts for classroom discussion. For additional resources and individualized curricular support, please contact Shannon Fitzsimons Moen, UMS Campus Engagement Specialist, at or (734) 764-3903.

UMS is also committed to making our performances an affordable part of the academic experience. Our Classroom Ticket Program provides $15 tickets to students and faculty for performances that are a course requirement. Please email to set up a group order.


This performance may connect meaningfully with courses in the following schools and disciplines:

  • Asian Languages and Cultures
  • Communication Studies
  • Comparative Literature
  • English Language and Literature
  • History
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Mathematics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • South Asian Studies
  • Women’s Studies
  • Composition
  • Musicology
  • Dance
  • Theatre & Drama
  • Education
  • Engineering


  • Watch behind-the-scenes rehearsal and development videos for Written in Water on Ragamala’s Vimeo page.
  • Learn about the history and continued relevance of the Indian classical dance forms underpinning Ragamala’s work in Leela Venkataraman’s book Indian Classical Dance: The Renaissance and Beyond (2015, Niyogi Books).


  • One of the major points of inspiration for Written in Water was the 2nd-century Indian game Paramapadam (upon which Chutes and Ladders is based). How do you see this inspiration play out in the movement, design, and thematic content of the performance?
  • The score for this performance is written and performed by Iraqi jazz trumpeter, singer and composer Amir ElSaffar, and it combines traditional Indian and Iraqi musical elements with contemporary influences. How do you hear these two musical traditions interact during the performance? What are their similarities and differences?