The 30th annual Page Series at Saint Mary’s University concludes with a three-day residency by Ragamala Dance Company, culminating in a 7:30 p.m. performance on Saturday, April 8, at the Page Theatre.
Now in its 23rd season, Ragamala has been hailed by The New York Times as “soulful, imaginative and rhythmically contagious ... [Ragamala] showed how Indian forms can provide some of the most transcendent experiences that dance has to offer.” Under the direction of Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy, Ragamala Dance Company’s work explores the dynamic tension between the ancestral and the personal. As choreographers and performers, Ranee and Aparna create dance landscapes that dwell in opposition — secular and spiritual life, inner and outer worlds, human and natural concerns, rhythm and stillness — to find the transcendence that lies in between. As mother and daughter, each brings her generational experience to the work — the rich traditions, deep philosophical roots, and ancestral wisdom of India meeting and merging with their hybridic perspective as Indian-American artists.
For their Page Series performance, Ragamala will perform their signature work, Sacred Earth. Sacred Earth explores the interconnectedness between human emotions and the environment that shapes them. Performed with live music, the dancers create a sacred space to honor the divinity in the natural world and the sustenance we derive from it. Inspired by the philosophies behind the ephemeral arts of kolam and Warli painting and the Tamil Sangam literature of India, Sacred Earth is the company’s singular vision of the beautiful, fragile relationship between nature and man.
The Page Series will offer several free events on April 6 and 7, which will give community members the opportunity to learn more about Ragamala Dance Company and their work. Events include:
• Introduction to Bharatanatyam, Thursday, April 6, at 12:15 p.m., Page Theatre. This event will offer an introduction to the South Indian dance form that inspires Ragamala’s work.
• A Page in History, Friday, April 7, at 12:05 p.m., Winona County History Center. This event will give attendees insight into company members and how they develop their work, including a demonstration.
• Indian Dance Master Class, Friday, April 7, at 4 p.m., Vaéncia Arts Center. This class is recommended for those ages 7 and older. No experience is necessary, but community members wishing to participate are asked to register in advance at pagetheatre.org.
• Discussion of Sustainability in Life and Art, Friday, April 7, at 7 p.m., Figliulo Recital Hall. This discussion provides an introduction to the folk art forms featured prominently in Sacred Earth.
Tickets to the April 8 performance are $24 for adults and $21 for students and senior citizens. For additional information or to order tickets, visit pagetheatre.org or call 507-457-1715 from noon to 6 p.m. on weekdays.