When: Fri., Nov. 11, 7 p.m., Sat., Nov. 12, 7 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 13, 3 p.m. 2016
In the ancient world, cities often grew up near rivers, for the obvious benefit of having clean water nearby. In India, the nature of this relationship between people and water is sacred — all rivers are associated with goddesses. Among these is Saraswati, who is revered as the goddess of intelligence, creativity and wisdom. Called the mother of eloquent speech and melodious music, she's believed to be present at every confluence. It is the civilizing, poetic spirit of Saraswati that flows through Dances of India's 39th annual performance, The Music of Water — Tales of Adventure, Love and Magic Along India's Sacred Rivers. The group will present stories from the epic Mahabharata and other favorites from Hindu myth, as well as both a classical dance from south India and a piece that fuses contemporary style with a classic dance from northern India. The Music of Water is performed at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (November 11 to 13) at the Skip Viragh Center for the Arts (425 South Lindbergh Boulevard; www.dancesofinidastlouis.org). As a special treat, Saint Louis Ballet will dance George Balanchine's Serenade at Friday's show. Tickets are $15 to $20.