WASHINGTON: An exponent of Bharatanatayam, Ranee Ramaswamy was confirmed on October 17, as a member of the prestigious National Council on the Arts. Ranee founded the Ragamala Music and Dance Theatre in 1992 at Minneapolis, Minnesota and started popularizing this classical Indian dance form in the US. The National Council on the Arts advises the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, who also chairs the Council, on agency policies and programs. It reviews and makes recommendations to the Chairman on applications for grants, funding guidelines, and leadership initiatives. Renee has been confirmed for a term expiring September 3, 2018. According to her bio posted on her website she has been a disciple of Alarmel Valli, one of India’s greatest living masters since 1984. Ranee has worked with celebrated artists such as poet Robert Bly, jazz musician Howard Levy and legendary composer L Subramaniam, the Cudamani ensemble of Indonesia and Wadaiko Ensemble Tokara of Japan. Among her many grants and fellowships are 13 McKnight Artist Fellowships, a Bush Fellowship, and an Artist Exploration Fund grant from Arts International. Her work is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Dance Project, and the Japan Foundation. In 2011 she was chosen as the McKnight Foundation Distinguished Artist. Ranee and co-Artistic Director Aparna Ramaswamy were named the 2011 “Artist of the Year” by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.