Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Event Slides Per Node 1415

Ragamala Dance Company
Song of the Jasmine
Ranee Ramaswamy, Aparna Ramaswamy,
and Rudresh Mahanthappa, creators

7:30 pm Tuesday, September 22, 2015

“You don’t generally go to a performance of Bharatanatyam, the classical South Indian dance style, expecting to want to get up and dance. The form inspires a more removed kind of reverence … ,” observes a New York Times reviewer. “But … Ragamala Dance, a Bharatanatyam company from Minneapolis, upended that expectation with the New York premiere of Song of the Jasmine, a soulful, imaginative, and rhythmically contagious collaboration with the superb jazz composer and alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa.” Born in 1992 from the creative vision of mother and daughter Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy—co-artistic directors, choreographers, and principal dancers—Ragamala investigates the ancient origins and contemporary possibilities of Indian classical dance. The Ramaswamys, both born in India, embrace the philosophy, spirituality, myth, and mysticism of their heritage to create not works but worlds—visceral, universal experiences that use Indian art forms to express their contemporary point of view. Song of the Jasmine, which features the Ramaswamys and three other dancers, takes its inspiration from “Sacred Sayings of the Goddess,” a poem by the female mystic Andal. While no words are spoken or sung during the evening-length performance, the poem’s notions of the sacred and the sensual are explored in dance set to music played onstage by Mahanthappa and four other musicians on guitar, Indian flute, percussion, and violin.

Adult $38
University Park Student $19
18 and Younger $28

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support provided by
Penn State International Dance Ensemble Endowment

Artist Websites: 

Secondary Events on Each Event

Indian Art & Culture Night

8:00 pm Friday, September 4, 2015

Findlay Commons Cultural Lounge


Hear. See. Move. Taste. University Park students are invited to immerse themselves in a free evening of arts and culture inspired by India.

Ragamala Participatory Community Dance Experience

6:30 pm Monday, September 21, 2015

Eisenhower Auditorium lobby

Free and open to the public

Members of Ragamala Dance Company demonstrate Bharatanatyam, the classical dance of southern India, at a one-hour engagement event that’s free and open to people of all ages. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn dance steps. Reservations are not required, but space is limited.

Artistic Viewpoints

6:30 pm Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Eisenhower Auditorium

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring Ragamala Dance Company co-artistic directors Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy and Song of the Jasmine composer and saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, is offered in Eisenhower Auditorium one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.

Audio Description

Audio Description logo

Audio description, which is especially helpful to patrons with sight loss, is available for this performance at no extra charge to ticket holders.