Ragamala Dance, 'Written in Water' Bruce Palmer


Ragamala Dance Company: Written In Water

Feb. 15
7:30 p.m.

One of the most consistently impressive attributes of a Ragamala Dance Company performance is the group’s ability to infuse a traditional style with their own sense of creativity. The mesmerizing multimedia piece Written in Water is a perfect example. Figuratively reimagining the ancient Indian board game Paramapadam (colloquially known in the West as Snakes and Ladders), Written in Water depicts our passing lifetimes as a series of ever shifting moments, represented by the dancers’ deft navigation of the delicate steps between sorrow and jubilation. As conceptualized by co-artistic directors, the mother-daughter team of Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy, Written in Water represents an exploration of transitory existence that is deeply informed by Indian culture, yet still accessible to general audiences. Contributing to this singular vision are synchronized light projections that serve to evocatively highlight the Ragamala dancers against an evolving backdrop of paintings from acclaimed visual artist V. Keshav. The piece also utilizes a five-person musical ensemble performing a score co-commissioned from carnatic composer Prema Ramamurthy and Iraqi-American composer Amir ElSaffar.