Aparna Ramaswamy, co-director of Ragamala Dance Theater, infuses the 2,000-year-old classical Indian dance form of Bharatanatyam with contemporary vigor and rock-star allure. "The ravishing Ms. Ramaswamy ... exuded a brisk, eager energy in her hour-long program," states a recent New York Times review of her solo concert, "Sannidhi (Sacred Space)," which comes to the Cowles Center this weekend. The stage becomes the sacred ground where the divine, the natural world, and the richness of human relationships mingle. Ramaswamy is not just a very good dancer; she is a great one. Her sensual interplay of rhythmic precision, sculptural form, and spontaneity reads like working in sonnet form while speaking in tongues. Ramaswamy's ability to shift registers from abstract rhythmic dance to narrative forms that tell tales out of Hindu mythology is extraordinary. She can change from a strong, implacable god to a playful, sensual lover in a beat. And speaking of beats, Ramaswamy will perform alongside four musicians, including her mother and founder of Ragamala, Ranee Ramaswamy.
Sat., Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m., 2013