Dance Magazine 25 to Watch, 2010

Dance Magazine 25 to Watch in 2010: Aparna Ramaswamy
Linda Shapiro

At once iconic and explosive, Aparna Ramaswamy infuses the formal rigor of Bharatanatyam with fluid spontaneity and rock star allure. Her quicksilver dexterity allows her to alter states from ferocious to fragile, earthy to transcendent. One minute she’s an implacable deity, the next a besotted lover. Ramaswamy’s dancing scintillates with clarity, fire, and multifaceted mystery. Along with her performing, Ramaswamy’s vibrant choreography expands and illuminates this classical Indian art. ‘My work pushes the boundaries of Bharatanatyam and allows me to discover the creative flexibility of an ancient form,’ she says. As co-director of Ragamala Dance Company in Minneapolis, she creates dances that reconfigure the ancient Indian dance form by layering it with modern dance, American Sign Language, taiko drumming, and medieval poetry.  Recognized internationally for her artistry, Ramaswamy has received numerous awards and accolades. In 2010, she performs with Ragamala in Minnesota, Idaho, Oregon, Michigan, and Tennessee.