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Student Matinee: Ragamala Dance Company

Friday, April 30, 2021, 10:30 AM

Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy’s Fires of Varanasi
Co-artistic directors Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy’s work embodies the artistic and spiritual traditions of India while creating a dialogue about the contemporary human experience. Fires of Varanasi, the culmination of an academic-year long partnership with Northrop, is a ritual for the stage where time is suspended and humans merge with the divine. Ragamala’s exquisite Bharatanatyam choreography, layered with an original score and an immersive set design, expands upon the birth-death-rebirth continuum in Hindu thought to illuminate immigrant experiences of life and death in the diaspora.
“Ragamala shows how Indian forms can be some of the most transcendent experiences that dance has to offer. This is an excellent company… Aparna Ramaswamy is an enchantingly beautiful dancer.” (The New York Times)
This event will be captioned, with other accessibility services available upon request.
Notes from the Director of Programming
One of the commissions we are offering this 2020-21 Northrop Season--and the first one you’ll be able to see at Northrop,--is a new creation by Ragamala Dance Company artistic directors Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy titled Fires of Varanasi. Ragamala is a Twin Cities-based company that practices the Indian Classical Dance form of Bharatanatyam, and they are one of the companies I programmed for my last season in Wilmington, NC before starting this job at Northrop a year ago. Northrop is hosting a technical residency for the company this fall, which means the artists will work on our stage and with our technical staff to finish the work and prepare it for its performance life. One of the wonderful things about working with a Twin Cities company is that we are able to host a Ragamala Rooted residency with campus and community engagement activities every month during the upcoming school year. Those activities will be online in the fall, and we’ll host in-person activities in the spring. The culminating performance of Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy’s Fires of Varanasi in May will be a glorious finale for the Northrop Presents season.
We will close the 2020-21 Northrop Season with the culmination of the Ragamala residency. The company will perform a student matinee of Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy’s Fires of Varanasi for students on Apr 30, followed by a matinee and evening performance on May 1. Unlike Twin Cities audiences who have known this company forever, I just learned about their work a few years ago. The artists of Ragamala are known nationally and internationally as a company that uses modern stagecraft to enhance the ancient storytelling art form of Bharatanatyam. Fires of Varanasi is large in scale and touches personal and societal themes of pilgrimage, migration, life, and death. We’ll be exploring these themes in more depth with our monthly residency activities on campus and in the community. And following the performance, we’ll be hosting a special event called ENCORE, with remarks from the artists, drinks, and dessert on the Northrop Plaza. We invite you to join us and hope this event, and the whole season, will feel welcoming for all of our communities. Join us, and be moved.Learn more about the Northrop Youth Program

Cost: Grades 5-12 Class Field Trip

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84 Church St. S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455

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