Walker Commission/World Premiere
Song of the Jasmine
Walker Art Center, McGuire Theater
May 15-18, 2014
In India, the jasmine flower traverses the world of man and the world of the gods. This inspired new work freely moves between past and present, composition and improvisation, music and dance, delving into the concept of longing through the lens of recollection, appeal, and total surrender. Guided by the rich poems of the Tamil Bhakti poet Andal, Song of the Jasmine embodies the spiritual and the sensual that are the lifeblood of the Indian psyche.
Ragamala‘s directors Aparna Ramaswamy and Ranee Ramaswamy collaborate with jazz saxophonist/composer Rudresh Mahanthappa for an exploration that conjures the past in order to experience the power of the present. Heralded for his “roving intellect and a bladelike articulation” (New York Times), Mahanthappa heads a new ensemble that features Rez Abbasi (guitar), V. K. Raman (South Indian flute), Rajna Swaminathan (mridangam), and Anjna Swaminathan (violin) for a live soundscape of jazz and Carnatic music.
We’re happy to share with you video footage of our rehearsals last month. If you’re not able to join us for the premiere, please keep checking this site for news of our 2014-2015 U.S. tour.
Song of the Jasmine has been commissioned by the Walker Art Center (Lead Commissioner and Development Partner); the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Lead Commissioner), through its Advancing the Incubation and Development of New Work in Dance Initiative funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland (Co-commissioner) ; and Lincoln Center for Lincoln Center Out of Doors (Co-commissioner)
Song of the Jasmine is made possible in part with funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts; the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; New Music/USA’s Commissioning Music/USA program, made possible with generous annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and endowment support from The Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, The Helen F. Whitaker Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trust; the RBC Foundation USA; and the generous support of Ragamala’s “Rasika Circle.” In honor of Dale Schatzlein (1948-2006) and his important work in dance and jazz in the Twin Cities, additional support is provided by Emily Maltz.