Conceived and choreographed by Co-Artistic Directors Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy, Written in Water is an exploration of the Indian board game Paramapadam –
an early version of ‘Snakes and Ladders’ – and the 12th-century Sufi poem The Conference of the Birds.
Both the board game and the text reflect an intricate allegory of the way in which a universal paradigm – that of the seeker on a journey to overcome human failings and find the ultimate truth – is experienced within these spiritual traditions.
Dancers activate the space by negotiating snakes and ladders to connect the human with the transcendent and reveal mysteries within the self.
Composer Amir ElSaffar leads a musical ensemble with a distinct alchemy of Iraqi, jazz, and Carnatic instruments. Large-scale projections of original paintings by Chennai-based visual artist Keshav and Minneapolis artist Nathan Christopher are woven throughout the choreography.
‘Written in Water’ unfolded like a dream — a feast for the eyes, ears and heart.”– Tallahassee Democrat
“In the piece, ancient Hindu and Persian traditions were woven into a fabric that illuminated their similarities and brought out the beauty of each, with music blending Indian and Iraqi sounds with hints of jazz. The way that the Ramaswamys were able to intertwine abstraction within the tight architecture of the Bharatanatyam form was truly magical.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune.