Pace Presents Stages NY Premiere of SANNIDHI (SACRED SPACE) Tonight
Pace Presents is proud to announce the New York premiere of acclaimed Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer Aparna Ramaswamy's Sannidhi (Sacred Space) tonight, October 5 at 7:30pm at the Michael SchimMel Center for the Arts at Pace University.
Aparna Ramaswamy's choreography and performance have been described as "a marvel of buoyant agility and sculptural clarity" (Dance Magazine), "thrillingly three-dimensional," and "enchantingly beautiful," (The New York Times). Sannidhi (Sacred Space), brings together Indian-American artists of the next generation who retain roots in their collective history while bringing their own voices to the Contemporary Stage. In Sannidhi, the stage becomes the sacred ground upon which to celebrate the guru, the divine, the natural world and the richness of human relationships. The spiritual and the secular merge into one, forming the continuous pulse of our universe.
Sannidhi features four Carnatic musicians: Ranee Ramaswamy (nattuvangam), Roopa Mahadevan (vocals), P.K. Swaminathan (mridangam, the two headed south Indian drum), and Anjna Swaminathan (violin).
Highly stylized with sophisticated technique, Bharatanatyam blends two distinct components: nritta, or rhythmic dance, comprised of various complex body movements and rhythmic compositions, andnritya, or narrative dance, which utilizes the language of gesture and facial expression.
Although Bharatanatyam has a structured vocabulary, this vocabulary does not restrict, but instead offers the use of a multifaceted language from which the dancer can draw and expand. In this incredibly intricate percussive form, the choreographer not only creates the movement but also the rhythmic structures. This coupled with the beauty, vitality, and stunning physicality of the style, makes Bharatanatyam the perfect canvas on which to create timeless compositions.
Sannidhi (Sacred Space) is made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Aparna Ramaswamy is co-artistic director, choreographer, and principal dancer of Ragamala Dance, acclaimed as one of the Indian Diaspora's leading dance ensembles. She is the protégé of legendary Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer Alarmél Valli, known as one of India's greatest living masters. Together with Co-Artistic Director Ranee Ramaswamy, she sees the classical dance form of Bharatanatyam as a dynamic, living tradition with vast potential to spark a global conversation.
Among her many honors are three McKnight Fellowships in Dance and Choreography, a Bush Fellowship for Choreography, an Arts and Religion grant funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, two Jerome Foundation Travel Study Grants, an Artist Exploration Fund grant from Arts International, and two US Artists International grants from the MidAtlantic Arts Foundation.
In 2010, Ramaswamy was the first Bharatanatyam dancer/choreographer to be named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch," and she and Ranee were jointly named "2011 Artist of the Year" by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Aparna 's work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, MAP Fund, Japan Foundation, US Artists International, and a Joyce Award; commissioned by the Walker Art Center and American Composers Forum; and toured extensively, highlighted by the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC; Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; Music Center in Los Angeles; CA, Krannert Center in Urbana, IL; Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland; Bali Arts Festival in Indonesia; Music Academy in Chennai, India; and National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai, India.
For more information on Ragamala Dance and Aparna Ramaswamy, visit: www.ragamaladance.org and www.aparnaramaswamy.net.