Joyce Foundation Awardee

Aparna Ramaswamy and Kyle Abraham

Ragamala Dance Company

Aparna Ramaswamy and Kyle Abraham received a Joyce Award, with the Minneapolis-based, Ragamala Dance Company, to create a new work to be presented at the Walker Art Center, with live music from Colin Jacobsen. Drawing from the artists' own experience of cultural hybridity, the new work will be informed by concepts of identity and place. The process will incorporate various community discussions and workshops, and will premiere in the fall of 2017.

Aparna Ramaswamy’s choreography and performance have been described as “rapturous and profound” (The New York Times). Her work explores the dynamic tension between the ancestral and the contemporary—the rich traditions, deep philosophical roots, and ancestral wisdom of India meeting and merging with the curiosity, openness, and creative freedom fostered in the United States. Aparna is Co-Artistic Director of Ragamala Dance Company with her choreographic partner (and mother) Ranee Ramaswamy. Aparna’s choreographic work is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, MAP Fund, and USArtists International; commissioned by the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Lincoln Center (New York), and the Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi; and presented by the Joyce Theater (New York) NY, Kennedy Center (D.C.), and American Dance Festival, and National Centre for Performing Arts (Mumbai, India), among many others. 


Kyle Abraham has been described as the “best and brightest creative talent to emerge in NYC in the age of Obama”(OUT Magazine). With diverse training in music, visual art and dance, his highly physical vocabulary reflects the youthful energy of the hip-hop and urban dance of his adolescence and a strong grounding in modern dance technique. Kyle is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, a 2012 USA Artist Ford Fellow, and a Creative Capital Fellow. His choreographic works have been performed by both his company, Kyle Abraham/ (founded in 2006), and others at such venues as Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Joyce Theatre, Harlem Stage, REDCAT (Los Angeles), among many others. 

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