For immediate release: November 11, 15
Contact: Ashwini Ramaswamy
Phone: (718) 483-4102
"Rapturous and profound," says The New York Times about Aparna Ramaswamy, co-Director and soloist of the acclaimed Ragamala Dance Company. After a world premiere at The Joyce Theater in New York, Aparna brings her newest work, They Rose at Dawn, to Minneapolis for one weekend only. In They Rose at Dawn, women are carriers of ritual and culture, and arbiters of humanity’s relationship to the divine. Navigating inner and outer worlds, women are the primordial source of all creation; the compassionate mother; the lover, exuberant and erotic; the embodiment of power and strength. A stellar Carnatic musical ensemble accompanies Aparna as she explores the spontaneous interplay between music and movement and the dynamic contours created by the artists onstage.
ABOUT APARNA RAMASWAMY:
Described as “thrillingly three-dimensional" (The New York Times) and selected as one of Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch for 2010, Aparna Ramaswamy has from a young age worked in a creative partnership with her mother, Ranee Ramaswamy, with whom she is Co-Artistic Director, Choreographer, and Principal Dancer of Ragamala Dance Company.
Born in India and raised both in India and the United States, Aparna spent four months every year studying and performing in Chennai as senior disciple/protégé of legendary dancer and choreographer Alarmél Valli while building her own body of work as a dancemaker and performer in the United States. This cultural hybridity has given her the perspective to approach her idiom—the South Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam—as a living, breathing language through which to create works that speak to the contemporary experience.
Aparna’s work is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, MAP Fund, New Music/USA, and USArtists International, and commissioned by the Walker Art Center, Lincoln Center, the Krannert Center, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, the Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi, and Opening Nights Performing Arts at FSU. She has developed work in residence at the Magee Allesee National Center for Choreography and during an NPN residency at The Yard, and has toured extensively, both as a soloist and with Ragamala, highlighted by the Kennedy Center, American Dance Festival, Lincoln Center, Music Academy (Chennai, India), Soorya Festival (Kerala, India), and National Centre for Performing Arts (Mumbai, India).
ABOUT RAGAMALA DANCE COMPANY
Under the direction of Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy, Ragamala’s work explores the dynamic tension between the ancestral and the contemporary. As choreographers and performers, Ranee and Aparna create dance landscapes that dwell in opposition—secular and spiritual life, inner and outer worlds, human and natural concerns, rhythm and stillness—to find the transcendence that lies in between. As mother and daughter, each brings her generational experience to the work—the rich traditions, deep philosophical roots, and ancestral wisdom of India meeting and merging with the curiosity, openness, and creative freedom fostered in the United States.
Now in its 23rd season, Ragamala has been hailed by The New York Times as, "soulful, imaginative and rhythmically contagious," “[Ragamala] showed how Indian forms can provide some of the most transcendent experiences that dance has to offer.” The company has been featured at the American Dance Festival (North Carolina), Lincoln Center (New York), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), Music Center of Los Angeles (California), Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art (Illinois), International Festival of Arts & Ideas (Connecticut), University Musical Society (Michigan), Just Festival (Edinburgh, United Kingdom), Bali Arts Festival (Indonesia), Sri Krishna Gana Sabha (Chennai, India), and National Centre for Performing Arts (Mumbai, India).
THEY ROSE AT DAWN IN THE PRESS
"the eye often goes straight to Ms. Ramaswamy's impeccable technique and incandescent beauty. Through her dancing, the music's textures come into view"
-- Siobhan Burke, The New York Times (full review)
"Aparna Ramaswamy is a vision of sculptural lucidity whose dancing brings a full-bodied awareness to complex rhythms and shifts of dynamics."
-- Gia Kourlas, The New York Times (full preview)
"Aparna Ramaswamy graced the stage with vibrancy, energy, and light...she introduced audiences to [Bharatanatyam] in a most spectacular way."
-- BroadwayWorld.com (full review)
"Ramaswamy appears to be inexhaustible, an elegant blaze of energy, capable of throwing her focus with equal intensity to the magnetic poles"
-- EyeOnDance.org (full review)
They Rose at Dawn was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support comes from The McKnight Foundation; the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; Target; the General Mills Foundation; the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund; Ragamala’s Board of Directors Institutional Growth Fund; the generous support of Ragamala’s “Rasika Circle,” including Caroline Amplatz Giving, The Goodale Family Foundation, the Dale Schatzlein and Emily Maltz Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation, Ranee Ramaswamy and David McKay, Wallace and Margaret McKay, and Anonymous.