This is the world premiere of Song of the Jasmine, an extraordinary collaboration between Twin Cities-based Ragamala Dance and acclaimed jazz alto saxophonist and innovative composer Rudresh Mahanthappa. Inspired by the South Indian heritage of Mahanthappa and Ragamala artistic directors Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy, Jasmine explores conflicting notions of identity, traditional and contemporary, spirituality and sensuality. Five Ragamala dancers will adapt the classical Indian dance form Bharatanatyam to Mahanthappa's hybrid of jazz and Carnatic music, including improvised passages by both musicians and dancers. Colorado-raised, New York-based Mahanthappa has fused bop and avant-garde jazz with everything from punk rock and drum'n'bass to the South India stuff, which (similar to his Kinsman project) will dominate here. The band will include longtime associate Rez Abbasi on guitar, Carnatic flautist Raman Kalyan, Rajna Swaminathan on mridangam and violinist Anjna Swaminathan.
May 15-18, 8 p.m., 2014