Saturday, 31 May 2008

Prayers and poems... by Rekha Tandon

Rekha Tandon, a classical Odissi dancer performed a dance inspired by the rituals of Indian temple dancers at Villa Straeuli, Winterthur. [dated May 2008]

In commemoration of the 60 Years Jubilee celebration of the Indo - Swiss Friendship Treaty, artist-in-residence Rekha Tandon performed at Villa Straeuli on May 17, at 2030 hrs at the 'TanzOrtamGleis'. An Odissi dancer, choreographer and scholar, Dr Tandon's mission is to conserve, present and embody tradition, with a contemporary aesthetic. Her innovative productions are created from research of the classical, folk and tribal performing arts.

Venue: TanzOrtamGleis, Untere Vogelsangstrasse 2, 8400 Winterthur Partner Organisation: Villa Straeuli at Winterthur

Audience Feedback:

Franz Probst, President Swiss-Indian Chamber of Commerce; Senior Partner Probst Attorneys-at-law Rekha Tandon successfully merges traditional Odissi dance with new elements. The dance performance was outstanding and gave valuable insight into Odissi dancing. Combined with the visual projections, the evening offered a wonderful opportunity to get acquainted with the efforts of Rekha to expand the possibilities and the reach of traditional Indian dancing.

Ana Tajouiti, president ‘tanzinwinterthur’
With extraordinary precision and an impressing stage presence, Rekha Tandon showed at the TanzOrtamGleis impressions of her dance works. She was able to mix in a very sensible way, elements of the western culture by video sequences, music and text with Indian dance art. Rekha was able to impress the audience by her courageous effort to bridge the gap between the two diverse cultures.

Evelyn Klöti, Dance Critic
Seeing Rekha Tandon dancing and hearing her speaking about her art (and her work) is of equal value. She has to tell a lot. Whether in a graceful movement of the hands, a glance, a stamp, a word - it is direct and precise. The evening "meet the artist" in Winterthur was a very inspiring meeting with classical Indian dance and mythology and with a great dancer and researcher.

Christian Huggenberg, Journalist
Rekha is an extraordinary dance performer. Never before have I seen such a performance on stage. She is a performer full of rhythm and power, elegance and spiritual wisdom. Her dance art expresses the spirit of Indian culture and history in a unique and wonderful new way.

Media coverage in Switzerland

Article by Evelyn Kloti (PDF) 16 May 2008 in Der Landbote, a Swiss Daily

Event Listing (PDF) 16 May 2008 in Der Landbote, a Swiss Daily
My Big Fat Zurich Residency

Jeet Thayil, an Indian performance poet, writer and musician, writes about his residency and experiences in Zurich. [ dated May 2008]

May 2008
I arrived on the 26th of March to a snowstorm. It was hard to believe it would soon be spring. In fact, in the space of a month or so, it was summer. As a former resident of New York and New Delhi, I treat extreme weather as a fact of life. I felt pretty much at home.

On March 31, I met with Pro Helvetia and Edward Rushton, the composer. By then, Edward and I had decided on the story for our chamber opera, a retelling of the Ramayana from the point of view of Sita. I finished the first scene in two weeks and gave it to Edward, who started working on the music. We’ll go back and forth, making it a genuine collaboration.

I’ve also been working on the novel I’ve been shaping for the past four years. I wrote a hundred pages in Zurich and will soon have a first draft done. And the city? I like it that you can’t get lost here, walk far enough and you’ll come to a familiar square or street. I am moved that there is a law against renting basements because the Swiss have decided that a space without air and light is not fit for human habitation; and that a certain percentage of all public projects must go to art. I like it that there are drinking fountains everywhere and the water is safe. I like it that people ask me for directions and though I have little or no Swiss-German, I’m usually able to oblige.

I feel pretty much at home.

Jeet Thayil

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Emerging Trends in Landscape Architecture

Swiss Landscape Architects, Prof Günther Vogt, Andy Schönhoizer and Olivier Lasserre to participate in a conference in Chandigarh. [dated November 2008]

Saakaar Foundation Chandigarh has invited Swiss Landscape Architects, Prof Günther Vogt, Andy Schönhoizer and Olivier Lasserre to participate in an international conference on 'Emerging Trends in Landscape Architecture'.

Date: Sunday 9 November 2008 Venue: Government Museum and Art Gallery Time: 10:00 am to 2:30 pm

Mr Salman Khurshid, Former Minister of State for External Affairs and senior Congress leader has consented to be the chief guest.

Presentations by Swiss architects:
'European Landscape Architecture' - by Prof Günther Vogt
'Urban Transformation Processes' - by Andy Schönhoizer
'Landscape Structure as Pattern for the Project' - by Olivier Lasserre

This conference is being organised by Saakar Foundation in partnership with Pro Helvetia - Swiss Arts Council, UNESCO, Chandigarh Tourism, Archi Design Perspective and Foundation for Architectural & Environmental Awareness.