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Ragamala Dance Company Comes to Wilmington

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The story of Bharatanatyam dance is ancient and tumultuous. Like so many tales of mystical art forms, it is a story of birth, death, and renaissance.


Bharatanatyam dance was born in the sacred spaces of Hindu temples, where solo female dancers in collaboration with musicians and a guiding guru, would use dance to express their spirituality. The name itself is mysterious; it reads like a word that many of us are ill-equipped to pronounce or to fully understand in all its depth and nuance. When broken down into its components, Bharata is a word that encompasses emotion, feeling, and melody, while Natyam translates as dance. Though the exact birth place and time period is unclear, this traditional Indian practice wove its way in and out of culture and spirituality, until it collided with Western influence. Under the weight of colonialism, Bharatanatyam dance was extinguished. It was misunderstood and ridiculed, but from the embers it rose once again.

On September 19th  at 7:30, Kenan Auditorium will welcome Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy’s Ragamala Dance Company as they perform Sacred Earth, a production that explores the relationship between mankind and the natural world. This concept becomes increasingly relevant as we are met with more frequent challenges in our relationships to nature. As residents of Wilmington, we were only just reminded of the raw power that can potentially bring chaos to our own shores. While Wilmington was largely spared by Hurricane Dorian, The Bahamas now face the kind of vast devastation that profoundly wounds a community. 


It is an important time in history to allow ourselves to be reminded that every relationship requires interaction. Kenan Auditorium invites the community to engage in the ongoing conversation about the roles we play as we interact with our planet. Tickets are available for purchase online or by calling the UNCW ticket office in Kenan Auditorium at (910) 962-3500.

Guided by the ancient and resilient roots of Ragamala Dance company, we are honored to have the opportunity to explore these pervasive topics through dance.    

-Cara Marsicano