In the last talk in the 2017 Lassalle Dance Series at the Woods Hole Public Library the world-renowned dance company Ragamala will trek over from their residency at The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard to tell people on the mainland about their work. Now in its 25th 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.”
Under the direction of Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy, Ragamala Dance Company’s work explores the dynamic tension between the ancestral and the personal. 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 their hybridic perspective as Indian-American artists. Together they have created their own specific sub-genre that combines a contemporary Western aesthetic with an Indian ethos.
The company has been recognized with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Japan Foundation/New York, Minnesota State Arts Board, USArtists International, New Music/USA, MAP Fund, American Composers Forum, and 2008 and 2016 Joyce Awards from the Joyce Foundation.
The company has toured extensively, both in this country and abroad. Ranee is a 2014 recipient of the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. Among her many honors are 14 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Choreography and Interdisciplinary Art, a Bush Fellowship for Choreography, a 2011 McKnight Distinguished Artist Award, and a 2012 United States Artists Fellowship. Ranee currently serves on the National Council on the Arts, appointed by President Obama.
Aparna’s choreography and performance have been described as “thrillingly three-dimensional” and “rapturous and profound” (The New York Times) and she was selected as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” for 2010. Her awards include a 2016 Joyce Award from the Joyce Foundation, a 2016 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award,three McKnight Artist Fellowships for Dance and Choreography, a Bush Fellowship for Choreography, an Arts and Religion grant funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, choreographic and travel support from the Jerome Foundation and Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Lakshmi Vishwanathan Endowment Prize from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha (Chennai, India).
Apana’s solo work, presented with live music, has toured the U.S. and India with support from the National Dance Project and USArtists International, most recently at Narada Gana Sabha in Chennai and the National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai. She is an empaneled artist with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (of the Government of India). She serves on the Board of Trustees of Dance/USA.
Ragamala Dance Company creates work that conveys a sense of reverence, of unfolding mystery and universal celebration. To hear more about these artists and their work, come to the Woods Hole Public Library for this free lecture.