What do Bharatanatyam, a rigorously formal South Indian dance form, and jazz have in common? Leave it to our own internationally acclaimed Ragamala Dance Company to show us the way. Their new work, "Song of Jasmine," in collaboration with jazz saxophonist composer Rudresh Mahanthappa, pulsates between composition and improvisation, past and present, music and dance. Who could ask for anything more? Well, perhaps a work that fluidly navigates the concept of longing through recollection, appeal, and total surrender. In India, the jasmine flower traverses the world of man and the world of the gods. Under the direction of Aparna and Ranee Ramaswamy, the spiritual and sensual attributes of Bharatanatyam mingle in ways that evoke the past while reinventing the substance of what an ancient art form can tell us about ourselves and our world. Fittingly, this and future performances at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival are dedicated to the late Dale Schatzlein, whose superb taste in both dance and jazz enlivened Northrop Auditorium's programming for so many years.
May 15-17, 8 p.m., 2014