Monday, 30 June 2008

Teatro Dimitri Clown Workshops at Kattaikkuttu

Katja Groll, Stefania Mariani and Dominik Huber from Teatro Dimitri conducted workshops on clowning, acrobatics and mime for the students of Kattaikuttu. [dated June 2008]

Kattaikkuttu or Terukkuttu is a popular theatre of the northern parts of the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. A theatre of ritual and entertainment, Kattaikkuttu remains closely tied in with the social, economic, religious and communicative domains of contemporary village life.

The Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam was founded by the Kattaikkuttu Sangam to preserve and enhance the scope of the Kattaikkuttu theatre tradition and safeguard the artistic and economic position of its future exponents.

Workshops are organised at regular intervals in addition to those learned in the regular Kattaikkuttu Training. They offer the students the possibility to familiarize themselves with other art forms and to acquire skills that will enhance their artistic professionalism.

Katja Groll, Stefania Mariani and Dominik Huber from Teatro Dimitri conducted workshops on clowning, acrobatics and mime for the students of Kattaikuttu Gurukulam in Kanchipuram.

This unique exchange between the Teatro Dimitri performers and the students of Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam was supported by Pro Helvetia - The Swiss Arts Council
Rama and Sita – The Ramayana in Indian Painting

Museum Rietberg Zürich presents an exhibition of the works of Indian painters, inspired by the Ramayana’s narrative power. [ dated June 2008]

Venue: Museum Rietberg Zürich Date: 29 June to 28 September 2008

The Ramayana, one of India’s great epics, tells of the deeds of the divine crown prince Rama, exiled with his wife Sita in the wake of a palace intrigue. The heroic poem, written in 24,000 Sanskrit couplets, remains to this day South Asia’s most popular literary work.

The thoughtful design of the exhibition at Museum Rietberg Zürich invites viewers to enter the world of the Ramayana and visit the epic’s key sites. As if they were characters in the story, visitors follow the action through all seven books and experience for themselves how Rama’s beloved wife Sita is ravished by demons. Rama wins her back, with the help of the monkey Hanuman at the head of an army of woodland creatures, and returns to his birthplace, where he enjoys a long and just reign.

The Indian painters, inspired by the Ramayana’s narrative power and wealth of detail, created a comprehensive series of illustrations of all of the poem’s episodes. The small-format, exceptionally valuable pieces testify to a wide range of traditions and stylistic developments in Indian painting. Of note as well is the artists’ great familiarity with the epic, visible in their precise visualization of the text. Among the most splendid works on view at the exhibition are four folios belonging to a Persian translation of the Ramayana prepared during the reign of Akbar, Mogul emperor from 1556 to 1605. The work, created for the emperor’s mother by the most respected painters of the time, is an excellent example of the fusion of the Persian and Indian artistic traditions.

Curators: Jorrit Britschgi, Eberhard Fischer
Architect: Martin Sollberger

Parallel events A traditional shadow-puppet show from southern India will enliven the first week of “Rama and Sita”. Led by S. A. Krishnaiah and B. Veeranna, the puppeteers and musicians will enact an episode from the Ramayana twice daily.

From 16 to 19 September, Kapila Venu will perform classical Sanskrit theatre and dance in the Museum Rietberg. Accompanied by two percussionists, she will enact three episodes from the Ramayana.