In India, the jasmine flower traverses the world of man & the world of the gods. Song of the Jasmine freely moves between past & present, composition & improvisation, music & dance, delving into the concept of longing through the lens of recollection, appeal, & total surrender.
Ragamala Dance Company’s directors Aparna & Ranee Ramaswamy collaborate with jazz saxophonist/composer Rudresh Mahanthappa on an exploration that conjures the past in order to experience the power of the present. Mahanthappa heads a bold new ensemble that features guitar, S. Indian flute, mridangam, and violin for a live soundscape of jazz & Carnatic music.
// From the Artists //
In Song of the Jasmine we are guided by the writings of the 8th century Tamil mystic poet Andal, who erases any dichotomy between the sacred and the personal as she expresses deep longing, anguish, ecstasy, and the desire to merge the soul with the Supreme Consciousness. Her poetry inspires a dynamic world of contemporary interpretive possibility.
Our commitment to entwining our Indian and American artistic genres speaks to the cultural fluidity in our hybrid existence and frees us to approach the poetic, visual and aural elements of the work as a sort of prism—different upon each viewing.
Song of the Jasmine’s choreography and score were constructed simultaneously in a constant artistic dialogue that spanned more than a year.
—Aparna Ramaswamy, Ranee Ramaswamy, Rudresh Mahanthappa