" For me, Art and Cinema must be creative, having experimentation and research "-Sandra Da Fonseca

Leyla Bouzid’s first feature film ‘As I Open my Eyes’ was screened at the Kolkata International Film Festival 2015. It is a musical film set in Tunisia before the Arab Spring. In the days leading up to Tunisia’s Arab Spring, 18-year-old fresh graduate Farah clashes with her mother Hayet over her budding independence. As Farah sings, becomes politically active and embraces her sexuality, Hayet advocates caution in a country whose dangers she knows all too well. Abhijit Ganguly speaks to Sandra Da Fonseca (Blue Monday Productions)  the producer of the film about her journey in the industry and the film.

Why did you take up this profession?

After studying philosophy and cinema at the university, I became assistant of producers, and then a producer myself. “As I open my eyes” selected in competition to the KIFF is my first feature film. With the directors, we work closely on every stage of the production of the films, for the development of the script to the exploitation in festivals and in cinemas. I am at the crossroad of artistic and financial issues of a movie, and that's what I like.

As I Open my Eyes - Movie Stills
Was there any inspiration behind taking up this job?

I don’t have any one person for inspiration. I just try to honour my parent’s story. They came from Portugal without nothing but they managed to send us at school, to get an education and to choose a job, and then practise it with passion and honesty.

Are there many female producers in France?

As I Open my Eyes - Movie Stills
Yes, there are. But all over the world, to try his luck has been always more difficult for women than for men. This is especially true in India, more than in France. But this is still not acquired even in Europe. When you are a woman who wishes to undertake, you must work harder, we have to prove more things, so be more motivated. It allows to feel his desire. When women are able to lead a project to completion, it is that they want to do really. I think deep down, a woman's life is more interesting than a life of man, more complex, richer, fuller, although more complicated.

As I Open my Eyes - Movie Stills
What are the challenges you face in your profession?

The challenge for me is to manage to find the money to give their voices to the talented directors that I have chosen to produce. Money usually goes to the commercial films. But we fight for art films. At this moment, I work with three directors who are in fact three female directors. 

What subjects interest you?

All the subjects could be interesting if the treatment is inventive. All the stories have already been written, more or less. After that, the question is about the new way of telling the same story. For me, Art and Cinema must be creative, having experimentation and research. 

What are your words of advice for aspiring female filmmakers?

You will and have to work more and harder than men. If you are sure you want to do movies, you have to fight strongly. But after the fight, you will be stronger than them, and I am sure that you are already more inspired than them. 

What do you want your audience to take away from the film As I open my eyes?

The film asks this question: how can one, in Tunisia, but that is the same everywhere in the World, break free from family, from society, from the system? We follow the trajectory of Farah, who wants to live life to the fullest, who is fully alive, and for that she is punished. But Farah shows us that live her life as a young woman, or just as a human being, is priceless, and that we must continue to fight for life and freedom. This resonates very strongly right now, even for Parisians people, after the recent events to which Paris was a victim.

Financial funding for projects such as yours can be hard to acquire. Have you faced major financial difficulties in any of your ventures?

To get the financing of a film, it is always quite a long and hard way. It was also the case for As I open my eyes, but the script was beautiful and inventive. A lot a financial partners have believed in it. Besides, A female director from Tunisia, speaking about a young Tunisian girl, is quite rare and was a quality for convincing the international partners. 


“Develop your self-confidence and be your own best friend” - Joannie Labelle

As a teenager, she used to go to a lot of concerts. She fell in love with percussion seeing a great African drumming performance. Immediately she felt this music was her world and felt she had to take part in it. She is Joannie Labelle. Joannie Labelle, known for her sensibility and her viral groove, can charm an audience as soon as her fingers strike the drums. She studied Latin percussion with teachers Normand Hervieux, Alain Labrosse, Luc Boivin, and Paul Picard. Two years ago, she started exploring Indian drumming (mridangam) with master Puvialagan Mayarajah. She is now active on the local and international scene, such as Montreal, Vancouver, Berlin, Germany, Bari, Italy, and even Doha, Qatar Did she face any challenges as a female in the world of percussion? Joannie says, “I am grateful to be evolving around people who are really respectful. I have to say I feel my challenges are maybe more personal than general. I always feel that I have to prove that I can play well, that I know what I am doing and what I want, and that I am not just getting the jobs because I look fine.” 

Her most memorable project so far was to play for the European singer Lara Fabian. Joannie says, “I was sharing this experience with lovely people, playing beautiful music for a great artist. I have to mention that we travelled a lot and it was gratefully overwhelming.”

Recently she performed with the Mosaïque Ensemble from Canada, along with Surojit Chatterjee and O Bondhura in Kolkata.  Abhijit Ganguly spoke to her on the sidelines of the Concert. Her word of advice, “Develop your self-confidence and be your own best friend. Develop your skills and focus on what you love to play. And have fun!”


“I want the audience to think about human beings and discrimination against women or anyone”- SHIN Suwon

Director SHIN Suwon from Korea , graduated from Seoul National University and started her career as a teacher in middle school. During her teaching career she wrote and published two novels focused on teens’ lives. Finishing her 10 year career as a teacher, she entered the Korea National University of Arts(KNUA) and studied script writing. After graduating from KNUA she started her career as a filmmaker. Her feature debut was 2009’s indie drama Passerby #3, which was in no small part derived from her own experiences trying to break into the industry. In 2012, her short film The Circle Line was invited to the Cannes Film Festival, where it earned the Canal+ Prize after it screened in Critics’ Week. Later that year, she revealed her sophomore feature Pluto at the Busan International Film Festival. Noted for its strong sense of style, the high school-set revenge film earned a special mention at the Berlin international Film Festival before being invited to screen all around the world.  Recently, her movie Madonna was screened at the Kolkata International Film Festival 2015. It is about a VIP hospital nurse who is on a journey to find out the next of kin of the brain dead prostitute, and uncovers her sad life story.

Madonna - Korean Movie stills

You were a teacher. How did you develop an interest for film making?

Even though I liked teaching, I felt I needed to do something more. So, I started to write novels. Two novels got published. I wanted to make a script so I went to a Korean film school. I started to study script writing there. One day during the course I had a chance to make a short film. I realized that I was good in making it. When it was finished it was screened in dark room. I was very fascinated by the ambiance of the dark room and feedback from the audience. That’s how I go interested in film making.

Madonna - Korean movie stills
How is present scenario of female filmmakers in Korea?

Most of the filmmakers are male. But nowadays the numbers of female filmmakers are increasing.

How challenging is your profession?

It is male dominant profession.  As a female filmmaker most of the time I can’t convince them .  It is one of the hurdles for me to take decision.

What kind of subjects attracts you?

I am mostly interested in human beings.  I am also very much interested in social system.

What do you want your audience to take away from the film Madonna?

After screening I want the audience think about human being and discrimination of woman or anyone. Human life is most important than money or anything else. 

Director SHIN Suwon and Francis Lim,producer
 at the kolkata international film festival
Any memorable moments from the shooting of the film?

Haerim (Seo Young-hee)’s had a birth scene. Before sunset I must finish all shooting. But I have no time; it is very busy and hard. But I am happy Ms. Seo plays as well. When she gave a birth, I felt give a birth of film <Madonna> and that shooting day is final shooting day. After shooting, every staff and actress took the memorial picture.
Financial funding for projects such as yours can be hard to acquire. Have you faced major financial difficulties in any of your ventures?

This is low budget film than commercial; art film is hard to fund money. Although we fortunately got some money from <Sansoo Ventures (funding company) > and <Little Big Fictures (Korean middle distribute company) but budget is low, so shooting day is shortly.  

What are your future plans?

I have an interest about the forest. Now I rewrite screenplay and will shoot next summer.


A Colombian team brushes up Kolkata’s 80-year-old jazz links

Jazz in India was introduced by the British during the early 1930s. Between 1934-1945, Calcutta was the scene of a torrid jazz culture led by a loose fraternity of African- American musicians who left Chicago and New York for lucrative careers in the exotic ‘Orient’ and even settle there. They moved between Calcutta and Bombay, but also worked at the popular hill stations where the Indian and European Burra sahibs would ‘emigrate’ from the boiling planes during the summer.

Jazz's progress in India can be said to have taken place on three tiers - the music was born in the base (grassroots), went on to take an elitist character, and then began to democratize through an extraordinary marriage with local traditions.

Fast Forward 2013. Kolkata got a chance to listen to a Jazz quartet from Colombia-the Oscar Acevedo Quartet. They were here to participate in the Delhi International Jazz Festival- 2013.The genre is a fusion of local Colombian, Caribbean, Puerto Rican and Dominican music and classical jazz that thrives in the metro- hubs of the Latin nation. The quartet consists of Oscar on piano, Gina Savino on vocals, Raúl Platz on bass and Jose Camilo on drums. As Oscar elaborates, “We are a group of Colombians who love jazz and perform regularly in the Bogotá area. We are mostly interested in doing jazz versions of Colombian traditional songs.”

Pianist Oscar Acevedo of Bogota, Colombia, is a music columnist for Colombia’s El Tiempo newspaper. He also premiered a musical for children called Plonk, la Vida Suena. Talking about his musical journey, Oscar says, “My journey in music has been rather unusual because I started playing when I was 20 years old, going to study at Berklee College of Music. From 1984 to 2000, I did a lot of music for film and television along with the concerts and recordings with my band in Colombia. Amon those who influenced me, I may mention Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny. Difficulties are always on the way, but I try to overcome them as they come.”

Raul adds, “I have been playing jazz for more than 20 years. I began listening to classical music as well as Jazz, and then I started playing guitar, electric bass. Then I began studying double bass at the conservatory in Bogota. After I finished my degree I won a scholarship to study at the Conservatori del liceu in Barcelona (Spain). Then I returned to Colombia and I started my project with singer Gina Savino. Right now with her we are working on our second album to be released this year.”

In a town dominated by college football and rowdy bars, people are often surprised to learn that Colombia offers plenty of opportunities to listen to live Jazz. Several of these events happen on a weekly basis, with each event offering a different flavour of Jazz experience.

Talking about the Jazz scenario in Colombia, Oscar says, “Jazz in Colombia is growing steadily due to an upsurge of players in the scene, young coming from conservatories outside of Colombia. Starting about 15 years ago, cultural institutions have also programmed more Jazz concerts in major cities of Colombia. These two points are changing very fast the local Jazz scene.”

About their Indian experience, Raul says, “India is amazing! It is our first time, so we are very touched by the people, we have been treated so well, we really want to thank to the ICCR and the Indian authorities as well as to the Colombia embassy in India for this great opportunity to share our music with all of you, I really hope to return very soon with my project!”


Boosting creativity through technology

                                                                               Francesca Fini performing at the SRFTI , Kolkata
Francesca Fini is an Italian artist working with mixed media, video and per- formance art. Her live projects, always addressing social and political issues, are mixed with lo-fi technology, homemade interaction design devices, live audio and video. She speaks to Abhijit Ganguly on the sidelines of Ghosts of Shakespeare Festival, 2014, organized by the Arshinagar project.

Some would say that technology and music should be separate disciplines; that technology does not represent humans and instruments interacting. What can you say about this?

I believe that nothing is separable in the perspective of human endeavour. I think that everything that man has developed so far as a tool to progress culturally, socially and economically must be de-contextualized and re-used creatively in any field, especially in the arts. Art is a sight without prejudice that discovers seemingly “improper” and innovative uses of things.

A lot of modern and contemporary art is based on this principle, Duchamp onwards. In any case the relationship between technology and art is as old as man, it is an indisputable fact. We can provocatively say that art is a formula, and that this formula is Technology plus Magic, so it is no surprise to me that some of the greatest artists were also scientists and innovators, like Leonardo Da Vinci. There has always been a relationship of mutual exchange between these two fields of human endeavour, and often was the technology itself to draw inspiration from art, films, literature, visual arts, especially during the last century. The relationship between music and technology is even stronger. All the musical instruments that man has used over time to provide a certain level of technology, and the care and study that men have devoted to the invention of musical instruments and to the development of music as the first form of entertainment is comparable only to that which they poured in medicine, chemistry, engineering and - sadly - war. So I think the problem of the relationship between technology and music is a false problem. I understand that it may seem a very cold process to "filter" music through something aseptic like a computer, but in reality the computer is just another tool, and as such should be understood and used. If your project is authentic it has a value and a reason to exist, whether it’s music processed through the computer, an impromptu performance with non-traditional instruments, a song passed down by oral tradition in an old village, or a symphony written on a pentagram.

Francesca Fini performing at the SRFTI , Kolkata
It seems technology and music as interlinked fields are growing?

Yes, music and technology are in a very deep relationship now, as always. From the point of view of commercial music it is clear that the computer has replaced a whole series of complicated equipment and has made the work in recording studio much easier and faster. From the experimental point of view - which is the field that interests me - technology is practically essential, particularly that branch of technology related to interaction design culture and devices (sensors, computer vision, motion tracking). In the performance I recently did in Kolkata for Ghosts of Shakespeare Festival, the most common tools at the base of interaction design and conceptual art issues are incorporated into a live show that gives them absolutely new and unifying meaning. Technically, the performance has been designed to use a webcam connected to real-time software that tracks my movements on stage. My movements are tracked by the webcam, the coordinates of position and velocity are sent to the computer where all these data trigger and modulate a palette of live sounds. So I basically make music through the movement of my body; my whole being is turned into some sort of music synthesizer, in a mix of organic and inorganic, corporeal and technological.

At the same time my image, recorder by the webcam and projected live on a screen behind me, is interactively deconstructed and mixed with 2D and 3D graphics in order to obtain a kind of augmented reality. The concept behind the performance is the desire to melt together two very distant languages: Shakespeare and a video game. “To be, or not to be”: the eternal question is made by remixing the words of Sir Laurence Olivier in his Hamlet. The question is always the same, but in my performance gains a new meaning. Being or not being here means to decide to exist in the real world or in the virtual one. So that the oneness of playstation, Facebook, social networks and smartphone culture becomes a public show, while the aesthetics of ritual theatre decomposes in the psychedelia of a video game.

What do younger musicians need to know about technology?

More and more often I hear people misusing the concept of the “gap” between analog and digital. Today seems to have become fashionable to call yourself “analog” or “digital”. Who defines himself as “analog”, generally in a snobbish manner, sees himself as a soldier in a crusade of concreteness and humanism against the coldness of technology. He prefers the “holistic”, almost spiritual continuity of analog culture against the discontinuity of the communication in digital culture. The “digital” person instead feels he is the advocate of a frontier border that is no longer a frontier. In reality, there is no trivial dichotomy between these two concepts and there is much more holistic and integration of the tools that we use every day than in our vision and understanding of the world we live in. Because our whole life revolves around some indispensable tools for our socialization, communication, creative expression and basic survival that is perfect combinations of analog and digital. So I feel like telling the young musicians, who surely will sooner or later be placed in front of this choice of the world and the culture that surrounds them, that there is no great cultural crossroads on the horizon, there are only beaten tracks or rough paths, and you should always choose the latter.


“We can be united in our love for music, peace, and understanding.” - Aaron Miller

                                                                                                   Pic courtesy - Difference United
Difference United, a Nashville, USA based Pop-Rock Band, known for message based lyrics and foot stomping music beats, performed Free live concerts from 9th to 15th November in various parts of Kolkata. The objectives of the concerts were: To spread the message of brotherhood, peace and hope amongst the youths of today through soulful & peppy music. To promote bonhomie amongst the audience through the performing art of music. To entertain public with concert of international level involving internationally acclaimed band with state of the art production quality.  Recently Rebecca Wade, lead singer, Aaron Miller, composer, keyboards, background vocalist and Amber Starks were present at the Kolkata Press Club. Abhijit Ganguly speaks to Aaron about the band.

Why the name Difference United?

The name Difference United stemmed out of a desire to combine multiple music styles into one unique sound. Our music is a combination of European Pop and American Rock. The name was also a concept in the sense that we wanted to encourage unity and understanding among different people groups, religions, and beliefs. Although we are all different individually, we can be united in our love for music, peace, and understanding.

How is the songwriting process for you?

It seems as an artist there are moments of struggle where you may have a musical hook but are missing the lyrics or the other way around. So half the battle is finding the right fit for lyrical ideas and the music. Typically I compose the musical hook first which is followed shortly after by the lyrics. Many times I am sitting at my grand piano in my home when ideas come or I could be driving around town. After I have an idea I typically record a rough draft, continue to refine it over days or weeks, and then enter the studio with a good idea of the exact sound I am looking for. For every song that is recorded there are dozens that are not for various reasons, but the process is always going on, almost every day.

                  Pic courtesy - Difference United
Tell us about your latest radio single - 'The Writing on the Wall’?

This was a very personal song for me. I had a family member who was going through a difficult time in their relationship. I tried to imagine what it was like. The raw emotions, the hurt, etc. I think many of us have been through tough times in our personal relationships. This song is about those times. But it is also about the future and is meant as an encouragement. The song has seen a good deal of radio success since its release two months or so ago and we have been humbled by the response.

Having performed across the world, how different is to perform in India?

 Each place we perform is special, but we get extremely excited when we have the opportunity to travel to India. There is a joy and love for life in the people at the shows that is so fresh. As an entertainer you feed off the energy of the crowd and there are few places in the world that compare to India in terms of that energy. So far our time in Kolkata has been wonderful. It is a beautiful, vibrant city. This is our first time performing in “The City of Joy” so we are excited to bring our music here for the first time live.

Any memory that's still afresh in your mind?

Our last tour in India we had the opportunity to perform in several cities, one of which was in the northeast, in a city named Shillong. We were humbled by the turnout, response, and the energy of the crowd. Some of the best nights of my personal music career. I know we are going to repeat that here in Kolkata!

Your words of advice for aspiring musicians?

Don’t give up on your dreams. Create even when there is no one but you to listen. Music is individual to each of us and should not be put in a box. Have the courage to create and share that unique side of yourself. It is a little scary to go against the trend or to be different, but it is who you are, individually, that matters. The world needs to hear what you have inside!


“I learned a lot from them in Jana Sanskriti”- Alvim Cossa

Jana Sanskriti was started as an experiment about 30 years ago by a group of dedicated people who saw it as an effective means of social change. Later, they came into contact with Augusto Boal of Brazil, the father of Theatre of the Oppressed, and Jana Sanskriti - Centre for Theatre of the Oppressed in Kolkata – was born. Today Jana Sanskriti has more than 30 teams in West Bengal alone most of whom are agricultural labourers. Their plays range from domestic violence to political violence, reconstruction of public institutions of resistance against aggressive forms of development. Recently, artistes from 15 countries covering almost all the continents came to Kolkata to participate in the Muktadhara VI theatre festival, organized by Jana Sanskriti. “This time 24 artistes from 15 countries are participating in this Festival, which would be on till December 19, 2014. We have unsung theatre lovers from different corners of the world to the doyens like Brian Brophy, who heads the arts and theatre wing of the California Institute of Technology,” said Dr Sanjoy Ganguly, Director & Founder member, Jana Sanskriti. Alvim Cossa, Hermelinda Simela and Fred Goenha from Mozambique were present. Abhijit Ganguly speaks to Alvim Cossa.

Since how long have you been associated with the theater? How were you initiated to it? What is the most memorable and challenging incident of your career?

I've been working in the theater since 1993, when together with my friends from childhood created the "Colectivo Gota de Lume" that same year participated in the Amateur Theatre Festival of Maputo and were in 2nd place. It was a good start and never stopped. In 2001, I met the Theatre of the Oppressed and had the opportunity to learn directly from Augusto Boal, returned to Maputo, created GTO-Maputo (Oppressed Theatre Group) that since 2013 went to CTO-Maputo (Center of Theatre of the Oppressed). We are working with120 theater groups throughout Mozambique, bringing Community reflections on health (HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, cholera, leprosy) among others, but also our plays and performances bring, Governance, Corruption, Quality of services provided by the state to citizens, water, sanitation, among many.

How was your experience at the Jana Sanskriti?

I learned a lot from them in Jana Sanskriti. The way they associate the pure Indian culture in their presentations, the way they work in the spectator's psychology, allowing them to step on stage, consciously and fight to change the reality of the play that is both the his reality as a person.

How do you see the future of theatre in the age of the internet?

Nothing will replace the theatre, yes, it is a growing challenge, because we have to grow in our dramatic buildings, bring more joy even addressing pain and sorrow, we have to be more creative in the aesthetics of each presentation and create conditions for human contact is intensive in each show, we have to come to life in a visible and discernible for our different public!


"I think music is critical in these times. Not just music for entertainment, but music to help us become more introspective" - Aditya Prakash

                                                                                                    Pic courtesy :Soumya Bhattacharjee
Recently, The Park Hotels presented its ninth edition of The Park’s New Festival, Curated by Prakriti Foundation, this contemporary festival brings together a melting pot of talent for an unforgettable cultural medley. One of the major attractions of this festival was ‘THE COLLIDING WORLDS PROJECT’. It was a 90-minute musical journey which engaged the viewer in an exciting musical dialogue between Indian classical and folk, jazz and hip-hop by Aditya Prakash Ensemble, a Los Angeles based music group made up of some of the most exciting and dynamic jazz and Indian classical musicians-Aditya Prakash on vocals, Julian Le on Piano, Praveen Kumar on Percussion, Jonah Levine on Trombone and Keybass, Mahesh Swamy on Bansuri and Percussion and Jake Jamieson on Drums. Abhijit Ganguly spoke to Aditya Prakash before his performance at THE Park, Kolkata.

You studied Ethnomusicology at UCLA, which is a frontier place for creative arts, music, etc., so, was this a conscious effort for you to find and blend with the roots two different traditions namely Carnatic music and Jazz?

Yes, UCLA was the amazing environment which fostered creativity and open-mindedness. I was introduced to many different styles of music, not just jazz. I did not make a conscious decision to blend those two styles, I just happened to make friends with some amazing musicians and we began making music together and whatever came out of it was a product of a natural curiosity to know more about each other’s music.

You have tried to delve into the 'bhava' invoking the dynamic spiritual energy through your songs and how does that connect with the subtle improvisations of jazz? Are we into a new conscious ambiance through this music?

Well, the spiritual energy is boundless, it is not only related to Indian and classical, it is universal and can be invoked through any medium. We use many influences, it’s not just jazz or Carnatic. Even a beautiful melody played by a street performer is enough to spark inspiration to create a song. Improvisation is in different forms, in the most obvious form- which you hear when we are doing interplay and taking solos. Then, within the composition itself, we have room to improvise. I can sing a line slightly differently, or the piano player can deviate from the chord progression, or the drummer can add his own touch to the rhythm. Improvisation only can enhance the spiritual energy, because improvisation comes from the creative spiritual place within us.

In your first album The Hidden you have brought out the spiritual essence of Meerabai,Saint Jnyaneshwar through the composition of music and songs putting, that in a new social context at a time in the world where we are splitting apart by climate change, economic and political crisis. How do you see the role played by the listeners of your music?

I think music is critical in these times. Not just music for entertainment, but music to help us become more introspective. If my music can transport people away from the worries and struggles that the world throws, at least for a short time, then I am grateful. If music can help people silence their mind from racing thoughts, then that is amazing. If my music can spark the interest in the poetry of these great Spiritual Mystics, then that is the greatest achievement for me!

You have been inspired by Dave Brubeck's music, tell us how you shifted to listening and liking jazz and what were the initial effects it had on your mind?

The Dave Brubecks song “Take Five” was one of the first songs I heard in jazz. It created such a whirlwind of emotions and excitement when I first heard it. Beautiful melodies, with intricate rhythm. It inspired me to write the Hidden, the title track from our album. Just one melodic idea from his song sparked off my creativity. Jazz music is still very difficult for me to grasp my head around, but I think it challenges me to think and understand the complicated progression and the nature of improvisation.

Is your creative compositions in blending two traditions a spontaneous process or you conceived this intellectually and then put that into a rigorous discipline to create the structures of this new music?

It is not just blending 2 traditions, it is blending any musical sound or inspiration that has been a part of my life (whether it be a melody from an African song or from a pop song or from a Japanese Koto piece). And the process is very spontaneous. I cannot think of how it happens. Compositional ideas come to me when I least expect, sometimes on the airplane, sometimes right before falling asleep. Sometimes I intellectually think about composing and ideas will come, but most of the time they don’t. It usually is a very spontaneous process.

If there is one place where you will feel inspired to perform, what will be that place?

Any place that has a quiet and introspective ambience. I love performing in churches or cathedrals. The acoustics are beautiful! My goal is to be inspired even in the busy streets, even if there is chaos outside, internally I would always like to be inspired and in that creative mood! That is my goal and I practice it through music.


"Beyond words...dancing as story telling" - Dr. Selçuk Goldere

Dr. Selçuk Goldere, Head of Dance Department, Hacettepe University, Turkey. He graduated as an actor from Theatre Department-Acting Main Division of Ankara University. He has worked as a dancer and choreographer in between the years 2000 and 2009 in Ankara State Opera and Ballet-Modern Dance Department/MDT. He has taught some of the main theatre and dance courses like dramatic and epic acting, stage, physical acting skills, dance techniques and choreography for contemporary dance at The Çanakkale OnsekizMart University in Çanakkale, Anadolu University in Eskişehir, Hacettepe University, Ankara state Conservatory in Ankara, State Folk Dance Ensemble in Ankara and Ankara University State Conservatory and Theatre Department in Ankara. He is still working over new projects and also teaching modern/contemporary dance techniques, solo dance, choreography-dance composition skills in Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatory as an ‘associate prof of Dr. He is still working as an artistic partner of the Goethe Institute in Ankara and he is also working new dance projects in a small company which is called 7 Plus. Recently, Quarter II of Sapphire Quarterly, Arts Series, Edition XXII, gave the City of Joy a peek into the world of contemporary dance, held at Max Mueller Bhawan, the evening saw the dancers of Sapphire Creations Dance Troupe in collaboration with Selcuk Goldere from Turkey present Lupto: The Last Ride. Abhijit Ganguly spoke to Selçuk Goldere

How did your tryst with dance happen?

When I was a small boy I had a dream dancing on the stage. And then I started folk dancing. When I was at the University (chemistry engineer). I had a contemporary dance classes. And classical ballet classes.

When I finished university I wanted to be a dancer and choreographer!

How has dance changed over the last 20 years? Dance is your career. Is it a career you would encourage others to follow? Why/why not?

Dance coming from our cultures, but some school says that you have to learn my culture not your culture… but especially European and American schools of dance opened their doors to Eastern cultures…..Because they have theories of dance, but not original material except for their individuals… but some of my cultural background makes my being living and original… Times for going back to the cultures back again after 70's… but 80's and 90's are really affected by technology and individuals also follows it. After 2000… contemporary dance is the number one in the total art fields for me…. Because you don’t need any literal stories or native languages if you communicate with your audience with your bodies and with your beings.

How does a live dance performance communicate a story better than TV, movies or a book?

Live performance organized a time and space like what it is… no makeup, no copy-paste… that is why  you can follow every second in real time and in real space…..Creates his own form and structure with audience together….

What are your thoughts on Indian classical dance?

I love Indian classical dance… it is a big culture… I learn so much when I just look at it. Singing and dancing creates an aura which cannot be found in west theatre tradition. It is not only dance, but it is a kind of life form-you can learn also without talking and explaining it!!!

In your opinion should dance be taught in schools (why or why not?)

No… not in schools but in centers like ….by some dance gurus!... otherwise people will forget how to dance and what dance means in the future…


"Criticism, positive or negative, must always be seen as a gift" - Corinna Coroneo

Actress, dancer, and author, Corinna Coroneo was born in Galatina in Salento, Italy. She studied classical and modern dance for fifteen years. In 2003, she graduated from DAMS in Bologna with a thesis on the film “Querelle”, an adaptation of the famous novel by J.Genet. Since 2004, she has been working in independent films, taking part in feature films and several short films, including “The Poet” by Mauro John Capece of 2012 in which she played the female lead. She has won various awards for her film “The Sculpture” at The Indie Fest, The International Euro Film Festival, The World Film Awards, Jakarta, and The Nez International Film Festival. In an exclusive chat with Abhijit Ganguly, she speaks about her journey in the film industry on the sidelines of The  NEZ INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, an initiative by Dr. Sudeep Ranjan Sarkar, founder of NEZ Foundation.

Are there more female writers, producers, and sound engineers in the film industry today?

The presence of women in the audiovisual sector has increased compared to the past, but I think that there isn’t a complete equality of the sexes today, especially in the areas of cinema that are more technical. I also believe that the male roles are always predominant. Stories are written that continue to focus on men. But this reality has never been a problem for me. I am a woman who loves women, the different facets of the soul of women. And if I had the opportunity to produce I would do with great courage and love. I am a writer who loves to write stories about women and an actress who likes to explore. The most important thing for me is to make films, as a producer, as a writer and as an actress. I think it is more important to do what you love rather than sit there and focus on the various issues and on who has more power. I believe that the greatest power that each of us can have is to find our own ways to do what we love, go our own way, and be happy about what we do. Life is full of problems, but we have to try beauty and love everywhere.

Have you experienced gender discrimination or sexual harassment?

No, never fortunately. Discrimination for me touches other aspects, for example, the closed mind of the producer that continues to focus on simple and stupid movies, comedies, spanning the average people rather than focusing on culture and art. This is the true horror. And there is no sex difference here.

All performers at one point or another face negative criticism for their performance, and are unraveled by it because they feel they have done a great job and given it their best. How do you deal with criticism?

An actor knows how to perform an act of magic, travel and above all, know that his work will be submitted to the judgment of the viewer. An actor must never stop, must always explore and be curious. And criticism, positive or negative, must always be seen as a gift. We have to understand that we must grasp in what way criticisms can develop us. We need to bend criticisms to our service. Only in this way an actor can dig deep into the mind of the beholders and offer them even greater magic.

What has been your most challenging role and why was it been so?

Each role for me is difficult and complicated because I like to get to the bottom of the character. There aren't difficult roles for an actor- this is the essence of life, it is its oxygen. The difficulty is only in the search for that which belongs to the character and not the actor. But that's the fun part: exploring what is unknown to us daily.

What would be your dream role?

My dream role is to play a man, exploring the body and the mind of a man being a woman!

If you were to give once piece of advice to younger women you meet, what would it be?

The only thing I could say to anyone is to remain true to themselves and their integrity.


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