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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Q&A: Dancing on ‘Sacred Earth’

Provided

Provided

The Battalion Life & Arts reporter Cassidy Hudson spoke with Aparna Ramaswamy, member of the Ragamala Dance Company, which will be performing “Sacred Earth” at 7 p.m. Thursday in Rudder Theatre.
THE BATTALION: What can be expected from the performance?
RAMASWAMY: We will be performing “Sacred Earth,” which underscores the relationship between man and the environments that surround them. The works that our company does are based on an Indian classic dance form. We use that form as a language to create new works that explore themes that are relevant and universal to audiences and to all of us today.
THE BATTALION: Can you describe the style of dance?
RAMASWAMY: The dance form is rhythmically complex. We always interpret the music. There are intricate movements of the entire body. There are hand gestures and expressiveness where the dancer becomes an actor playing different characters on stage. It is at once dynamic, poetic, rhythmically complex and joyful. There is so much spontaneity that happens on the stage of live performances and so much freedom for the dancers to interact with the musicians.
THE BATTALION: Where do you draw your inspiration?
RAMASWAMY: I’ve dedicated my whole life to working in this dance form. My mother and I have a teacher in India who is world famous. We are totally inspired by her and our relationship with her, and the depth of the study. When you study a great art form — be it literature, music, dance — the wonderful thing to realize is we are all just a small part of that form. The form is bigger than us. The universe is much bigger than us. The fact that we have the privilege of being part of a tradition or a form with so much greatness and potential is very inspiring and very moving. There is so much more to learn and create. The joy that one feels internally, the joy of nice, the joy of relationships, the joy of surrender, all of those things can manifest in your art. On top of that, I work with my family.
THE BATTALION: What is it like working with your family?
RAMASWAMY: It works for us. It is very exciting because we have the same experiences that we can draw from in certain ways. But, we are our own people so we each bring who we are and our own experiences in the world to our creativity. You trust their feedback. You always have someone to bounce your ideas off of. It is very important in the world to have people who support you and can be honest with you. Of course you are going to argue and you’re going to fight, but it all comes from a really good place where you all know you are bonded together.

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