Ranee Ramaswamy, nominee for Member, National Council on the Arts
Photo: Grant Halverson

August 30, 2012

Last month, President Barack Obama announced his plans to nominate Ragamala's Artistic Director, Ranee Ramaswamy, to the National Council on the Arts. President Obama said, "These dedicated and accomplished individuals will be valued additions to my administration as we tackle the important challenges facing America. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead."

Ranee will be an important new voice within the Council, drawing upon over 30 years of experience as an artist of East Indian origins working within the American contemporary dance landscape.

Ranee Ramaswamy is Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the Ragamala Dance Company.  She has been a choreographer, performer and teacher of Bharatanatyam since 1978.  Her work has been commissioned by the Walker Art Center, American Composers Forum, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and has been supported by the National Dance Project and the Joyce Foundation.  Ramaswamy's tours have been highlighted by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the American Dance Festival, and the National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai. Among her numerous grants and awards are 14 McKnight Fellowships, a Bush Foundation Choreography Fellowship, and an Artist Exploration Fund grant from Arts International.  She is the recipient of the 2011 McKnight Distinguished Artist Award and was named ‘2011 Artist of the Year’ (with co-director Aparna Ramaswamy) by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  Ranee Ramaswamy earned a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Madras.