MIDDLEBURY – Hailed by The New York Times as “providing some of the most transcendent experiences that dance has to offer,” Ragamala Dance Company brings the “Sacred Earth” to the Mahaney Arts Center’s Dance Theatre at Middlebury College at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Feb. 28 and March 1.
Inspired by the philosophies behind the ephemeral arts of Kolam and Warli painting and the Tamil Sangam literature of India, “Sacred Earth” is artistic directors Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy’s singular vision of the beautiful, fragile relationship between nature and man. Ragamala’s dancers perform with live music to create a sacred space honoring the divinity in the natural world and the sustenance we derive from it.
“Ragamala Dance Company is the nation’s leading Bharatanatyam dance ensemble, and is exceptional in every way,” says Performing Arts Series Director Allison Coyne Carroll. “At this time when our community is stressed and sometimes divided, we offer this centering and transformative performance — one that reflects on connection rather than division, and contemplative beauty rather than discordant narrative.”
Founded in 1992 and acclaimed as one of the Indian Diaspora’s leading dance ensembles, Ragamala Dance Company seamlessly carries the South Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam into the 21st century. Informed by the echoing past and the fleeting present, Ragamala’s evocative choreography defies chronology.
Tickets are $22, $10 for youth; call 802-443-MIDD (6433), or go online to www.middlebury.edu/arts/tickets. The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road, just off Route 30 South/S. Main Street.
Two at Brandon Music
BRANDON – Travel the world by experiencing two rare musical opportunities — Piandia, March 2; and Step in Trio, March 3 — at Brandon Music.
The experience starts with a rare opportunity to experience traditional classical Indian music in the intimate setting of Brandon Music by two highly acclaimed musicians performing together as Piandia at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 2. Boston based Berklee College professors and old friends John Funkhouser on piano and Jerry Leake on tabla come together to perform ragas from North India.
The weekend continues with a 3 p.m. special Sunday afternoon jazz performance by Step in Trio, March 3, featuring New York City bassist Joe Fonda, Italian pianist Carlo Morena and the Chilean Felix LeCaros on drums. Conceived in the 1990s, Step in Trio has changed membership but retained founding member Joe Fonda as the creative constant.
Tickets are $20 for each concert (pre-concert dinner is available for $25 for March 2; brunch is available March 3; reservations are required); call 802-247-4295, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road.
DORSET – The Dorset Players will present A. R. Gurney’s “Sylvia.” Performances are at the Dorset Playhouse, 104 Cheney Road: at 7:30 p.m. March 1, 2, 8, 9; and at 2 p.m. March 3 and 10.
The original production was a Drama Desk nominee for best play when it opened in New York in 1995. The play is a comedy and tells the story of an empty nester couple, Greg and Kate, who have recently moved from the suburbs to New York City. Kate is passionately reinventing herself as a teacher of Shakespeare while Greg, on the other hand, has become disillusioned with the corporate world and wants out. During a day spent in Central Park he meets Sylvia, a stray dog, and brings her home. As Greg becomes increasingly attached to Sylvia, Kate’s dislike of the dog intensifies, and an unusual love triangle emerges.
For tickets or information, call 802-867-5777, or go online to www.dorsetplayers.org.
The Everly Brothers?
PUTNEY – Next Stage Arts Project presents “The Everly Set: Sean Altman & Jack Skuller Celebrate The Everly Brothers,” at Next Stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 1.
In 1957, teens Phil and Don Everly supercharged the vocal sound of rock ’n’ roll with “Bye Bye Love” and “Wake Up Little Susie.” Now, six decades later, two acclaimed NYC singer-songwriters with a three-decade age difference combine millennial innocence with baby-boomer pluck to present “The Everly Set,” featuring “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” “Cathy’s Clown,” “All I Have To Do Is Dream” and more.
Tickets are $25, $22 in advance; go online to https://nextstagearts.org. Next Stage is located at 15 Kimball Hill.
Artists Guild’s 20th
BRANDON – The Brandon Artists Guild (The BAG) is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a series of themed exhibits honoring our planet. The series will run from March through October, with each show lasting two months. The first exhibit, “Art of the Earth,” opens March 1 and runs through April 30. The public is invited to the opening reception, 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 1.
The exhibit series represents a departure for the 20-year-old Artists Guild. “Rather than having our traditional single-artist exhibits, we decided to invite all our exhibiting members to contribute to four group shows based on a single theme,” says artist Judith Reilly, “and what better subject than the Earth, where we draw our inspiration from?”
In addition to “Art of the Earth,” the remaining exhibits are: “Art of Wood,” May 3- June 25; “Art of Water,” June 28-Aug. 27; and “Art of Fire,” Aug. 30-Oct. 29. The Brandon Artists Guild is an artist-run gallery with approximately 40 exhibiting artists and additional supporting members.
The BAG, at 7 Center St., is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday; call 802 247-4956.
Ali Ryerson-Joe Carter Duo
BELLOWS FALLS – Two musicians — Ali Ryerson, flute, and Joe Carter, guitar — have joined forces to perform Brazilian Jazz and other jazz forms at festivals and concerts around the country and globally. And at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 2, you can experience their music live in the chapel at Immanuel Episcopal Church, the stone church on the hill, 20 Church St.
With a career spanning nearly five decades, jazz flutist Ryerson has consistently ranked among the top flutists in the Downbeat Jazz Poll for well over a decade. Carter started guitar studies at an early age, eventually focusing on jazz. After several performance and teaching trips to Brazil,his current specialty is Brazilian Jazz, combining straight ahead and bebop styles of jazz with samba, bossa nova and northeast styles of Brazilian music.
For tickets or information, call 802-460-0110, or go online to www.stonechurcharts.org.
Doug Anderson teaches
MIDDLEBURY – The Broadway musical is America’s greatest contribution to the arts. It’s a glorious, jazzy, star-studded and surprisingly turbulent history, one that remains largely unknown even to people who love musicals.
Town Hall Theater’s artistic director Doug Anderson will trace this glorious history in a four-session course beginning at the theater Monday, March 4. Anderson teaches some of the course at the piano, with guest performers singing key songs from important musicals. Each session will last approximately 90 minutes. A bar and refreshments will be available.
The cost is $25 per session, and a four-session pass is $85; call 802-382-9222, or go online to www.townhalltheater.org.