Ashwini Ramaswamy’s “Let the Crows Come” at The Broad Stage

Evoking mythography and ancestry, Ashwini Ramaswamy’s Let the Crows Come uses the metaphor of crows as messengers for the living and guides for the departed. The Indian dance form Bharatanatyam is deconstructed and recontextualized In a series of solos/trios, with collaborators Alanna Morris and Berit Ahlgren, who infuse the work with their own traditions of Modern and African Diasporic dance and the Gaga movement from Israel. They are joined on stage by four live musicians.

Ashwini Ramaswamy was born into a family of artists who are
culture bearers of the ancient South Indian dance tradition,
Bharatanatyam. Her mother, Ranee Ramaswamy, and sister
Aparna Ramaswamy, Co-Direct Ragamala Dance Company in
Minneapolis, MN. Although her work clearly acknowledges
her roots in the ancient Bharatanatyam dance form, her
experience as first generation born in the United States
manifests itself both culturally and artistically. Ashwini’s
bicultural experience informs her creative process and
by choosing to explore and work with Modern and African
Diasporic dance styles and the Gaga technique originated in
Israel, Ashwini intentionally provokes a reworking of
Bharatanatyam while maintaining its core essence.
Let the Crows Come evolved influenced by the way a DJ
remixes a song, maintaining its essence while changing its
trajectory. Ashwini involves dance, music, texts, and ritual
in the development of her work. The original recorded score
brings together music by three composers that is played
by a hybrid musical ensemble. Texts from poets of South
India, including the Ramayana, the Brihatsamhita, and the
Kakajarita, which is an ancient Sanskrit text, are heard
throughout. Ashwini incorporates elements of Pitru Paksha
(fortnight of the ancestors), an ancient Hindu cultural practice
that involves crows as messengers between the living and the
spirits of the ancestors. Let the Crows Come emerges in the
present, moving elements from the past with it into the future.

From The Broad Stage Learning Guide.

Ashwini Ramaswamy’s Let the Crows Come

April 7 & 8, 2023 — Main Stage

7.30pm start time.

The Broad Stage – Main Stage

1310 11th St. Santa Monica CA 90401.

Parking is free.

Purchase tickets here.

Please go here for information about vaccination requirements and other safety protocols.

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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