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The Cowles Center for Dance’s Fall Forward Festival presents A Solo by Aparna Ramaswamy, Co-Artistic Director, Ragamala Dance Company in a shared evening with HIJACK

November 19, 2022 - November 20, 2022

Ragamala Dance Company’s 30th season continues with a Solo by Aparna Ramaswamy as part of The Cowles Center’s inaugural Fall Forward Festival, a series of shared evenings highlighting the vibrancy of the Twin Cities dance scene. Performances are November 19 at 7:30pm & November 20 at 2:00pm. Tickets are $30. Tickets are available at https://ci.ovationtix.com/35304/production/1121621?performanceId=11069200.

In her newest solo, acclaimed Bharatanatyam performer Aparna Ramaswamy further explores her unique layered aesthetic that brings together lineage, rigor, cultural wisdom, and imagination. Renowned for combining physicality and poetic expression, Aparna’s art intertwines humanity and mythology to reach a divine meridian.

“[Aparna Ramaswamy] preserves ancient dance forms with stunning virtuosity and expressivity to create a living tradition that is resonant for modern times.”
– The Boston Globe

Described as “thrillingly three-dimensional… rapturous and profound” (The New York Times) and the first classical Indian performer selected as one of Dance Magazine’s ’25 to Watch,’ APARNA RAMASWAMY is Co-Artistic Director, Choreographer, and Principal Dancer of Ragamala Dance Company with her choreographic partner (and mother) Ranee Ramaswamy. As dancemakers and performers, their creative vision merges the rich traditions and deep philosophical roots of their Indian heritage with their hybridic perspective as first-generation Indian Americans.

Born in India and raised both in India and the United States, Aparna studies and performs in Chennai as senior disciple and protégé of legendary dancer/choreographer Alarmél Valli while continually building upon her own body of work as a dancemaker and performer in the U.S. This cultural hybridity has given her the perspective to approach Bharatanatyam as a living, breathing language through which to create works that speak to the contemporary experience. Aparna is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship (Italy), Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Research Fellowship (Italy), Joyce Award, and Bush Fellowship for Choreography, among others.

“every gesture radiates joy or generosity or a sense of striving toward some higher form of being.”
– The New York Times

Ragamala Dance Company is the vision of award-winning mother/daughter artists Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy. Over the last four decades, Ranee and Aparna’s practice in the South Indian dance form of Bharatanatyam has created a unique trajectory for culturally rooted performing arts in the United States to create an exemplary company within the American dance landscape. Through both intimate solos and large-scale theatrical works for the stage, Ranee and Aparna empower the South Asian American experience. By engaging the dynamic tension between ancestral wisdom and creative freedom, they reveal the kindred relationship between ancient and contemporary that is urgently needed in today’s world.

The word ‘Ragamala’ directly translates to ‘garland of melodies.’ Every day in India, people string together garlands of flowers as offerings to the gods, hoping the deities will vanquish the darkness and fill their life with radiance and meaning. Our work weaves together artistic and cultural practices from past generations to find new values within our current circumstances. The garland represents a collaborative ethos that unveils the synergies between people from every walk of life, finding and forming a language that speaks across time and cultural difference to probe the universal aspects of humanity. Ragamala at 30 continues to seek radiance and meaning by connecting the ancient and current ways in which we as human beings engage the world around us.

The Cowles Center is a dance and performing arts hub that promotes movement and growth for artists through supportive programs and spaces; engages audiences through dynamic performances; and educates learners of all ages through robust and inclusive education initiatives. This month-long festival of shared evening performances celebrates the incredibly talented and robust Minnesota dance community. New dance audiences will experience a sampler of genres in one sitting, while avid dance goers will see their favorite artists alongside equally stellar new-to-them artists. Each weekend features a new roster and a variety of experiences from new work commissions and Cowles stage debuts to community favorites and Cowles Center veterans. ragamaladance.org


November 19, 2022
November 20, 2022


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