Ragamala Dance Company, Akram Khan to perform at Harris Theater, Chicago

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CHICAGO – It has almost been 15 years since Harris Theater for Music and Dance opened up in downtown Chicago and the nonprofit has a string of international performances lined up for its 2018-19 season including an Indian American one, according to the Chicago Tribune. The season opens Nov. 8 with the Miami City Ballet.

The Ragamala Dance Company, directed by Indian American mother-daughter duo Aparna and Ranee Ramaswamy, will be performing at Harris Theater on Jan. 11, next year.

The dance troupe will mark its 25th season this year and will mark it by performing “Written in Water,” an original piece that mixes traditional South Indian dance with 12th century Sufi texts and Hindu mythology looking into a person’s struggle between good and evil, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Akram Khan, a Bangladeshi-British dancer, will also be performing at Harris Theater from Feb. 28 to March 2, 2019.

Khan, known for his graceful storytelling through contemporary dance and kathak, will be performing to a reworked version of a classical ballet called “Giselle,” the Tribune reported. The romantic love story that premiered way back in 1841 at the Paris Opera Ballet, will be recast by Khan – presenting the nobles and peasants as powerful landlords and migrant factory workers. It will feature Vincenzo Lamagna’s contemporary music composition. The sets and costumes will be designed by Tim Yip, the news report said.

“Akram Khan has a very specific aesthetic, and I think he has this ability to make something that’s both gut-wrenching and beautiful on the stage,” Patricia Barretto, the president and chief executive of the theatre, told the Chicago Tribune, adding that the “Giselle” performance at Hariss Theatre will use taped music, since the cost of bringing a full orchestra to Chicago from England seemed impossible.

Other upcoming international performances that the Chicago Tribune listed as part of the 2018-19 season, include the Teatro Regio Torino opera company from Italy, who will present concert performance of Verdi’s “I Vespri Siciliani” under music director Gianandrea Noseda and Opera Atelier from Canada who will present a double bill of French baroque operas; Charpentier’s “Acteon” and Rameau’s “Pygmalion.”

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