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Meany Center for the Performing Arts to Present Ragamala Dance Company's FIRES OF VARANASI

The production will run February 9-11, 2023.

Meany Center for the Performing Arts to Present Ragamala Dance Company's FIRES OF VARANASI

Ragamala Dance Company's 30th season will continue with Fires of Varanasi, by Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy, Artistic Directors presented February 9-11, 2023 at 8pm at the Meany Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Washington, 4040 George Washington Lane, Northeast Seattle, WA. Tickets start at $48 and are available at meanycenter.org/tickets/2023-02/production/ragamala-dance-company.

Rooted in the expansive South Indian dance form of Bharatanatyam, Ragamala Dance Company manifests a kindred relationship between the ancient and the contemporary. In this evening-length performance, eleven dancers conjure a realm where time is suspended and humans merge with the divine. Award-winning creators Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy imagine a metaphorical crossing place that enters into a ritualistic world of immortality, evoking the birth-death-rebirth continuum in Hindu thought to honor immigrant experiences of life and death in the diaspora. Fires of Varanasi evokes the spiritually electric city, described by mother and daughter in conversation with essayist Pico Iyer as a metaphor for the interconnectedness of life and death. The work features an original, recorded score and the lighting designs of French scenic and lighting designer Willy Cessa.

Fires of Varanasi: Dance of the Eternal Pilgrim was commissioned by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; co-commissioned by the Harris Theater for Music and Dance; co-commissioned by and developed in part at the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College and The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, Cal State Northridge and Northrop, University of Minnesota; with additional commissioning support from Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center at Auburn University; Meany Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Washington; American Dance Festival; and The Joyce Theater Foundation's Stephen and Cathy Weinroth Fund for New Work.

The Meany Center for the Performing Arts Dance Series is generously underwritten by Delaney and Justin Dechant and Ira and Courtney Gerlich in honor of Katharyn Alvord Gerlich.


About Ragamala Dance Company

Ragamala Dance Company is the vision of award-winning mother/daughter artists Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy. Over the last four decades, Ranee and Aparna's practice in the South Indian dance form of Bharatanatyam has shifted the trajectory of culturally rooted performing arts in the United States to create an exemplary company within the American dance landscape. Through both intimate solos and large-scale theatrical works for the stage, Ranee and Aparna empower the South Asian American experience. By engaging the dynamic tension between ancestral wisdom and creative freedom, they reveal the kindred relationship between ancient and contemporary that is urgently needed in today's world. Featuring Aparna Ramaswamy as Principal Dancer, Ragamala has been commissioned and presented extensively throughout the U.S., India, and abroad, highlighted by the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), Joyce Theater (New York), Lincoln Center (New York), Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival (MA), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), American Dance Festival (Durham, NC), The Soraya (Southern California), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, International Festival of Arts & Ideas (New Haven, CT), Cal Performances (Berkeley), Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Just Festival (Edinburgh, U.K.), Bali Arts Festival (Indonesia), Sri Krishna Gana Sabha (Chennai, India), and National Centre for Performing Arts (Mumbai, India), among others. ragamaladance.org


Ragamala at 30

The word 'Ragamala' directly translates to 'garland of melodies.' Every day in India, people string together garlands of flowers as offerings to the gods, hoping the deities will vanquish the darkness and fill their life with radiance and meaning. Our work weaves together artistic and cultural practices from past generations to find new values within our current circumstances. The garland represents a collaborative ethos that unveils the synergies between people from every walk of life, finding and forming a language that speaks across time and cultural difference to probe the universal aspects of humanity. Ragamala at 30 continues to seek radiance and meaning by connecting the ancient and current ways in which we as human beings engage the world around us.

About Meany Center for the Performing Arts

Meany Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Washington fosters innovative performances that advance public engagement, cultural exchange, creative research and learning through the arts. Meany Center provides opportunities for diverse artists, community, students and faculty to connect in the discovery and exploration of the boundless power of the arts to create positive change in the world.



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