Let the Crows Come (New York Premiere)
Minneapolis-based choreographer and dancer Ashwini Ramaswamy’s Let the Crows Come was developed during a 2018 BAC residency and originally scheduled to be performed at BAC in spring 2020. Let the Crows Come evokes mythography and ancestry, using the metaphor of crows as messengers for the living and guides for the departed—and in the process explores how memory and homeland channel guidance and dislocation. In a series of three dance solos from Ramaswamy (Bharatanatyam), Alanna Morris-Van Tassel (Contemporary/Afro-Caribbean), and Berit Ahlgren (Gaga), Bharatanatyam is deconstructed and recontextualized to recall a memory that has a shared origin but is remembered differently from person to person. The work features live music by composers Jace Clayton (DJ/ rupture) and Brent Arnold, who extrapolate from Prema Ramamurthy’s classical Carnatic (South Indian) score, utilizing centuries-old compositional structures as the point of departure for their sonic explorations.
Ashwini Ramaswamy has studied Bharatanatyam with Ragamala Dance Company’s artistic directors Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy—her mother and sister—since the age of five. Celebrated for her ability to “[weave] together, both fearfully and joyfully, the human and the divine” (The New York Times), Ramaswamy now has the honor of studying under Bharatanatyam legend Alarmél Valli (Chennai, India), one of the greatest living masters of the form.
She has toured extensively with Ragamala, performing throughout the US and in Russia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, the UK, and India. Ramaswamy is a 2013 McKnight Artist Fellow for Dance, a 2019 McKnight Artist Fellow for Choreography, a 2019 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, as well as the recipient of three Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grants. Her work is supported by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s USArtists International program, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, and the MAP Fund. Her choreographic work has been presented by Augsburg College, the Ritz Theater, the Red Eye Theater, and the Cowles Center (Minneapolis), The O’Shaughnessy (St. Paul, MN), Triskelion Arts and The Joyce Theater (New York), The Just Festival (Edinburgh), and The Yard (Martha’s Vineyard). Her project Let the Crows Come was commissioned by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music Series and was created in part through residencies at the Baryshnikov Arts Center and UNC Chapel Hill, and a fall 2019 Production Residency at the National Center for Choreography at the University of Akron.