March 27, 2007

Ragamala Music and Dance Theater performs at the Rose Lehrman Arts Center located on the Harrisburg Campus of HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College on Thursday, April 12 at 7:30 pm. Sponsoring the performance is Brenner Family Dealerships with support from Asian Indian Americans of Central Pennsylvania.

Ragamala Music and Dance Theater's work provides a bridge between cultures both ancient and modern, exploring a unique style of living poetry for the stage. Rooted in Bharatanatyam: BHAva (expression) + RAga (music) + TAla (rhythm) + NATYAM (dance), a classical dance form from southern India, Ragamala blends dance, music, and poetry. Old forms are used in new ways to retain the past, enhance the present, and inspire the future.

In India, dance has been used both as a vehicle of worship and as an expression of profound emotions, a human being's most subtle states of mind. The Indian dance system is the oldest and most comprehensive in the world. Born in the Hindu temples of Tamil Nadu, South India, more than 2,000 years ago, Bharatanatyam is devotional in spirit yet possesses a highly stylized and sophisticated technique. It is a blend of two distinct components: classical steps and complex rhythmic patterns that express various themes from Hindu mythology.

Founded in 1992 by Artistic Director/Choreographer Ranee Ramaswamy, Ragamala Music and Dance Theater is dedicated to preserving the South Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam while using it as a springboard for innovative choreography. Ragamala's vibrant classical work and pioneering cross-cultural collaborations demonstrate to diverse audiences the versatility, depth, and contemporary vitality of Bharatanatyam. Artistic Directors Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy's choreography draws from the exquisite Pandanallur style of Bharatanatyam. Their work emphasizes the importance of preserving the classical form while bringing it into conversation with contemporary themes and diverse influences from around the world.

Pre-show events include a FREE "Taste of India" at 6pm featuring Indian appetizers and snacks provided by Passage to India (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania). The Asian Indian Americans of Central PA offer an Indian dance demonstration at 6:30 pm. Tickets for the performance are $25 adult, $15 senior citizen/student. RLAC Box Office phone is 717-231-ROSE (7673). TIX sales online at the Website below.

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