Korzo Zaal

Event in the past.

India Dance Festival: Fires of Varanasi: Dance of the Eternal Pilgrim

Maker Aparna and Ranee Ramaswamy’s Ragamala Dance Company
Duration 85 min
Part of India Dance Festival

An eternal pilgrimage 

Ragamala Dance Company has been creating a buzz in the United States for some time. After much praise from audiences and press, the group will travel to The Hague this spring to present Fires of Varanasi: Dance of the Eternal Pilgrim at India Dance Festival. 

For many Westerners death sounds like an end point, but within the Hindu community, it is actually a starting point. In the holy city of Varanasi, everything comes together: here, life and death are one integrated whole, cremation pyres burn day and night, and bodies fall apart, to live on in an eternal afterlife. 

Fires of Varanasi: Dance of the Eternal Pilgrim opens at dusk with a ritual on the banks of the Ganges River, its sacred waters offering a purification for the living and salvation for the dead. Through the work, eleven dancers undertake a sacred pilgrimage through shifting landscapes as they seek a mystical connection between the divine and the human. The dancers are engrossed in an ecstatic and communal prayer, the soloists become the ‘Eternal Pilgrim’ seeking a solitary and internalized ritual of sacred contemplation. Ultimately the physical journey transforms into a psychic one. 

Now in its 30th season and under the leadership of Artistic Directors Aparna Ramaswamy and Ranee Ramaswamy and Choreographic Associate Ashwini Ramaswamy (mother and daughters), Ragamala Dance Company has been hailed by The New York Times as ‘soulful, imaginative, and rhythmically contagious.’ 

Over the last four decades, Ranee and Aparna’s practice in the South Indian dance form of Bharatanatyam has shifted the trajectory of culturally rooted performing arts in the United States to create an exemplary company within the American dance landscape. 

Ragamala Dance Company is a pioneering, intergenerational, family-run organization committed to the idea that while history is time bound, the stories we share are timeless. Ragamala’s work in the performing arts field is expansive. We set our gaze far beyond the stage to realize the kindred relationship between ancient and contemporary that is urgently needed in today’s world. Ragamala engages in a collaborative practice with myriad artists and aesthetics and is rooted in the idea of Bharatanatyam as a dynamic living tradition. Ranee and Aparna’s training under legendary artist Alarmél Valli is the bedrock of a creative ethos that springs from beauty, truth, and spirit. 

Friday 24 May | Strī & Fires of Varanasi

Visit two performances on one evening during India Dance Festival!
With this combi ticket, you recieve a €12 discount when you attend the performances below:

Strī - Poernima Gobardhan | Fri May 24 - 19:00
Fires of Varanasi: Dance of the Eternal Pilgrim | Fri May 24 - 20:30

Order here

Korzo Zaal

Event in the past.

India Dance Festival: Fires of Varanasi: Dance of the Eternal Pilgrim


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