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Watch the magic of movement, visual artistry and music

03/26/2012

Ragamala Warli. Ed Bock photographer
Artistic directors Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy, named 2011 Artists of the Year by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, bring Ragamala Dance: "Sacred Earth" to Miami at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 1, in Hall Auditorium, part of Miami's Performing Arts Series.

Ragamala Dance performs the ancient Indian temple art form, Bharatanatyam, against a vivid backdrop of projections of indigenous Warli images on a stage covered with ephemeral Kolam rice flour drawings.

"While Sacred Earth showcases [Ragamala’s] total commitment to the Indian dance form Bharatanatyam, it’s also a fine example of what magic can happen when movement, visual artistry and music exist in close harmony with one another on stage.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Born and raised in south India, Ragamala Dance’s artistic directors Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy bring that culture’s unique sensibility of mysticism, myth and sanctity to the contemporary stage. “Sacred Earth” unifies Bharatanatyam with the ephemeral arts, classical music, and Tamil Sangam literature of India.

“Sacred Earth’s” choreography includes two ephemeral visual traditions—kolam floor designs and Warli wall paintings. Kolams are rice flour designs made each morning by women in southern India as conscious offerings to Mother Earth. The Warli people of western India revere the land; using their everyday lives as inspiration, their dynamic wall paintings use art to find the spiritual in the everyday.

Ragamala Dance will be on campus and in the Oxford community for several days, giving lectures and demonstrations of the art form and culture.

Ragamala Dance is presented by the Miami University Performing Arts Series and sponsored by the Center for American and World Cultures, the Ford Family Initiative on Spiritual Meaning and Purpose, and The Knolls of Oxford.

Tickets, $18 for adults, $17 for senior citizens and $6 for students and youth, are available at the box office in Shriver Center or go to PerformingArtsSeries.

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