Q&A with Aparna Ramaswamy

Q: How did you start dancing?
A: For the last three decades, I have worked in a collaborative partnership with my mother, Ranee Ramaswamy. Our partnership began in 1984, when our guru—the legendary Bharatanatyam dancer/choreographer Smt. Alarmél Valli—came to Minneapolis to teach a workshop and present a performance. From then on, we went to India for four months a year to study, dancing day in and day out, living and breathing this timeless, poetic art form.
Q: What’s your favorite memory of The Cowles Center?
A: Ragamala was the first company engagement to be presented by the Cowles in September of 2011. Thanks to the National Dance Project, we were in the theater for a two-week production residency to create Sacred Earth, which was our largest-scale production at the time; during this time we had an inside look into the final stages of the theater being built. Since the world premiere at the Cowles, Sacred Earth has been performed hundreds of times around the world.
Q: What show are you excited to see at The Cowles Center this season?
A: I’m always excited to see what Zorongo Flamenco is doing – I have known Susana di Palma for almost my entire life and she is such an inspiring artist. I’m also very interested to see Sally Rousse’s performance as artist-in-residence this year; Sally is a very intriguing artist and a commanding performer.