Ragamala Dance: Sacred Earth

For the past month, Ragamala Dance has been engaging audiences in a series of events—studio visits, open rehearsals, drumming workshops—leading up to the world premiere of "Sacred Earth." The new evening-length piece (Ragamala is the first company to perform in the Cowles Center's inaugural season) integrates the powerful poetic grace of the dance form Bharatanatyam, with music performed by a South Indian orchestra, against a backdrop of paintings by Warli folk artist Anil Chaitya Vangad. On the stage will be mandala-like rice powder images, called kolams, which are drawn in Indian villages every morning as a reminder of impermanence. In other words, Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy and their company of generous, luminous dancers have created a whole world of landscape, spirit, and art. And we're invited. On the Cowles' new stage, the artists will interpret the linked interior and exterior world of the indigenous Warli people of western India, where respect for the landscape is integrally connected with the health of the human spirit. Namaste. (Photo by Ed Bock)
Sept. 23-24, 8 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 25, 2 p.m., 2011

 
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