RANEE RAMASWAMY and APARNA RAMASWAMY are Artistic Directors, Choreographers, and Principal Dancers of Ragamala Dance, founded by Ranee in 1992. As dancemakers and performers, they explore the dynamic tension between the ancestral and the contemporary, making dance landscapes that dwell in oppositionâ€”secular and spiritual life, inner and outer worlds, human and natural concerns, rhythm and stillnessâ€”to find the transcendence that lies in between. As mother and daughter, each brings her generational experience to the workâ€”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. As protĂ©gĂ©s and senior disciples of legendary dancer and choreographer AlarmĂ©l Valli, known as one of Indiaâ€™s greatest living masters, Ranee and Aparnaâ€™s training in the South Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam is the bedrock of a creative aesthetic that prioritizes truthful emotion above all else.
Ranee and Aparnaâ€™s work is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, MAP Fund, The McKnight Foundation, New Music/USA, USArtists International and the Japan Foundation, and has been commissioned by the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Lincoln Center Out of Doors (New York), the Krannert Center (University of Illinois), the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (University of Maryland), and the American Composers Forum. Ranee and Aparna were jointly named â€ś2011 Artist of the Yearâ€ť by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Â Their upcoming work, Written in Water, has been selected for a development residency at the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC).Â
Ragamala Dance tours regularly with a company comprised of 4-6 dancers and 4-5 musicians, plus 1-3 staff and crew.