About the NEA

Ranee Ramaswamy

Minneapolis, MN

Ranee Ramaswamy founded Ragamala Dance in 1993, and currently serves as Co-Artistic Director with her daughter, Aparna Ramaswamy. A master teacher, performer, and choreographer of the South Indian classical form of Bharatanatyam, she has tirelessly worked for the last three decades to find a place for Bharatanatyam in the landscape of American dance. Since her first cross-cultural collaboration with poet Robert Bly, Ms. Ramaswamy’s work has merged the classical language of Bharatanatyam with a contemporary Western aesthetic to create timeless pieces that freely move between the past and the present. Her many awards and honors are 14 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Choreography and Interdisciplinary Art, a 2011 McKnight Distinguished Artist Award, a US Artist Fellowship (2012), and multiple MAP (Multi-Arts Production Fund) Fund and New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) National Dance Project grants. Her company has performed in national and international venues such as the Kennedy Center, New Victory Theater, American Dance Festival, and the National Center for Performing Arts Mumbai, India, to name a few, and has received commissions from the Walker Arts Center, Lincoln Center, and elsewhere. Ms. Ramaswamy was named 2014 Doris Duke Fellow for choreography.