"Try to be creative, create your own market, your own network, your own product."

Walter Fischbacher is a renowned New York based pianist, composer and recording engineer. Already an accomplished performer and professor in Austria, he followed his dream and moved to New York in 1994, but he never lost his foothold in the European music scene, building his reputation as one of the most sought after pianists around. He now performs over 50 concert dates a year in Europe alone, with his celebrated trios “Phisbacher” and "Walter Fischbacher Trio”, and has been touring the globe with his own projects or as a sideman for the last decade. He is a successful recording artist and will be showcasing his latest project at the world renowned Jazz Conference Jazzahead in Bremen. Recently he performed along with  Beat Kaestli, an internationally acclaimed Jazz vocalist, songwriter, arranger and producer at the Swissotel Kolkata organized by the  Alliance Francaise du Bengale and The Embassy of Switzerland .

How did you know the piano was the instrument you wanted to play? 

My father played the piano as a hobby, so there was always a piano in the house. I started fooling around with the piano at age 4 or 5, so my parents figured I was talented and sent me to have private piano lessons with age 6. I never stopped since then.

What is your approach towards composing music? As an artist where do you draw your inspiration?

I am a very structured guy when it comes to writing music: I start out with narrowing down the following parameters:

  • Who am I writing for (p solo, trio, instrumental, vocal) should it be complicated to play (my trio) or easily (my students)
  • What mood: fast, slow, minor, major
  • Is it for an album: if yes, what is needed for the album? (Fast, slow, medium tempo, happy, sad etc.)
  • Which style should it be: swing, straight, jazz, fusion, pop etc.

Once I choose one or more of those parameters, then I wait and  see what comes to mind, it can be in any order:
Melody, harmonic structure, rhythmic patterns, etc. whatever comes first, I write it down, if it's a complicated rhythm, I might first program it on the computer, and write the rest to the track

Some people think of improvisation as an art rather than a science. Do you think it’s something that can be taught to everyone, or is it inherent in some musicians?

Don't quite know where the difference is between art and science in this case
Improvisation is definitely something that can be taught. Although I heard that some of the (Western) classical musicians have a hard time playing anything that is not written, I think it can be taught to everyone.

It's a balance act between practicing it in a structured way (scales, chords, chord progressions) and letting loose (not thinking about anything and just playing), and making sure one does not confuse those things. (Practicing improvising only by playing anything that comes to mind will not get you further, and neither will just recite during a concert whatever scales you just have practiced)

                                                                      - Walter Fischbacher Trio
What do you feel are the most important things for an aspiring jazz musician to spend their time practicing?

It is important to learn your basics while in school, later on you probably won't have time to do that;
So, practice your scales and patterns and chords, do your ear training, learn your repertoire.
Furthermore, be prepared for any gig you take on, show up on time and be nice. A bad reputation spreads fast and is hard to shake off.

Seeing that Jazz still lies in the niche bracket, is there a piece of advice you have for any kids thinking of pursuing it as a career in a country like India?

I am afraid jazz in a niche music all over the world, it will never be much more than 0.5% of the general audience that will listen to jazz. I assume this is true for India as well.
One of the things that stuck with me from my music business classes at the New School with Jimmy Owens was: Don't try to get the gig that the other 1000 musicians want. Try to be creative, create your own market, your own network, your own product.


“Butoh performers drop the human condition and cultural programming and work with the body and our feelings, cell memory”

Honza Svasek studied Butoh with famous Butoh masters: Itto Morita, Atsushi Takenouchi , Ken May, Yumiko Yoshioka, Yuko Ota, Imre Thormann, Iwana Masaki , Rhizome Lee, Yuk io Waguri and Natsu Nakajima. Recently he along with Izabela Wazsek, Jiyo (Subbody Butoh School) & Janardan Ghosh performed "Resonating" with Kali & The Sick Dancing Princess which was organized by The Alliance Francaise du Bengale, Subbody Butoh School, "Katha' Kali" & The Arshinagar Project. The jazz and sound was done by Andrew Kay, flute and voice art was by Pradip Chatterjee, live art by Viola, and chants by Vidyapati.

How would you explain Butoh to someone who is hearing it for the first time?

Butoh is a shamanic performance art form. It originated in Japan in the 60's as a rebellion against traditional Japanese theater/dance. It was developed by Hijikata and Ohno.

You are a Networking specialist. How did you get interested in Butoh? What was it that intrigued you?

In 2007 I found Butoh by accident. I was living in an artist community in Rotterdam and one of my colleagues asked me to participate in a Butoh piece. The shamanic aspect interested me and I decided to research the subject. In 2011 I spent six months at the Subbody Butoh School in Dharamsala. After that it became a lifestyle.

Is Butoh a special message that is enjoyed by only a few people?

Butoh performers drop the human condition and cultural programming and work with the body and our feelings, cell memory. We try to dance the whole of existence, so we research and contact our dark side (the shadow, the darkness of the body). Also, I guess this is not for everybody. Quite some of the current Butoh teachers dropped this darkness and teach ‘White Butoh’, ‘The Butoh of Life, etc.

What kind of training does one have to undergo to absorb the essence of this form?

A workshop can give some basics and plant some seeds, but to become a professional Butoh performer needs time. There are however very few places where you can study and practice for a longer period, one of them being in Dharamsala.

 What is a frequently misunderstood facet of Butoh?

The most difficult part of the practice is to get and stay in a state of alternate consciousness, so the spirit can take over and dance the body. Dropping the ego and daily mind is necessary, but it takes a lot of practice and time before you are really there.

 How was your experience here in Kolkata?

Kolkata was for me one of the most pleasant cities in India. Somehow the people are quite open, happy and free compared to Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune.


"For me music is a space of freedom"

Ghostape is an enigmatic and inspiring experimental electronic artist from Switzerland, who uses recorded sounds to create vivid soundscapes merging into abstract pop & electronic artifacts.Recently, he performed at the Experimenter Kolkata.

How did you get into making music, and at what age did you become interested in electronic music specifically?

I got interested in electronic music when I was about 18-20 years old. I discovered it on the radio and some friends gave me cassettes or CD. It was cool to hear all these new sounds.

What types of instruments / gear / software do you use? Has it changed over time, and if so, why? 

My first instrument was a cassette recorder. When I was a kid, i recorded a lot of stuff (voice, weird sounds, end of songs) to the radio and I mixed them together.later on I bought a MiniDisc recorder and a four track recorder. 
And in recent years, I mainly use a sampler, Roland Sp-404, a microphone and 1 or 2 keyboards.

Please explain your creative process. What do you attempt to transmit with your music?

 For me music  is a space of freedom. I am always looking for new sounds to record, and sounds to cut and mix. Chance and improvisation are also very important. For me it is important to express and feel the moment. I would make alive the sounds like  humans or animals.

A number of electronic musicians you have at least one foot in the art world. How do you see the relationship between your music and sound-related art installations? 

I don't know... Art, food, love, travel, dating, music… For me it's all part of life.  I don't differentiate between electronic music and the world of art.

All this is just the same world. A few years ago I made some collaborations for art installations. It was interesting, but I especially love playing live and tinkering in my home studio.

What is on the horizon next for your musical endeavors?

Play more, making new collaborations (especially for dance pieces), published my new EP, learn new instruments, continue to travel, and share my sound.


“Butoh is revolution, guiding beyond concept and ego. Butoh is the expansion or depth behind everyday life”

Sati is a facilitator of Resonant Subbody Butoh. A student of Rhizome Lee, she has worked collaborating with Ten Pen Chii (Germany with Yumiko Yoshioka), 14th Bak tun (Canada with Gessuri Gaitan). Recently, The Alliance Francaise du Bengale, Subbody Butoh School, "Katha' Kali"& The Arshinagar Project organized "Resonating" with Kali & The Sick Dancing Princess - a performance by a group of contemporary Butoh artists from Subbody Butoh School & Janardan Ghosh.

 What attracted you to delve deep into Butoh?

Just life had guided me. I was looking for a chance to dance in different way, not contemporary. But I didn't know about Butoh before. I was traveling in India, stayed quite long at Dharamshala. Just before leaving the city, I went to a Butoh festival organized by Subbody Butoh foundation; where I belong to now. I joined half-day workshop and immediately fell in love with this mysterious dance form. Actually it has no form, but also infinite form. Also at the beginning I felt a deep connection with H.H Dalai Lama's teaching which was about life connection from past to present life, in my understanding. It is still difficult to get his teaching with my actual life. Anyway, I was always curious about the invisible life connection with strangers who I never met before, but somehow made me feel in deep connection beyond nationality, sexuality and any form of existence.  With Butoh exploring I got some clues. It's RESONANCE and TRANSFORMATION from being to being. I dance the life resonance and transformation beyond human concept, idea and thoughts. So we enter into a different realm from daily thinking mode to subconscious mode with different awareness, we call this awareness, ‘transparent eyes’. It is not easy to explain all this through language, but there is something invisible, which makes me alive and connected to a hidden, abandoned self, or being from modern society. It is also connected to my background, which is familiar with sprit or shamanism in Korea and Japan. India also has this spiritual beauty. I have felt deeply while in India that our Butoh tour was resonating with the local culture, artists, and stories.

What attracted me into Butoh? Just I fell in love with it without knowing any reasons. Feeling it connected me to other or past lives. Embracing all my hidden shadows, which are not really dark or bad, just forgotten by modern society. I see a different balance in between darkness and brightness. There is no wrong or right, no good or bad and no beauty or ugliness. It is just very organic and alive resonance, life to life.

It seems Butoh eludes definition - it’s not quite a style or practice of improvisational dance, but it’s more than just a state of mind. How do you define Butoh?

I haven't been able to define it. I probably never will. Actually, one of my favorite Butoh masters feels he is still exploring about what is Butoh. I totally respect that. If there is a concrete concept of Butoh, for me, it’s not Butoh anymore. I believe that our souls want to come and go spontaneously, but a social human concept, everyday life does not allow for this freedom. Butoh is the revolution, guiding beyond concept and ego. Butoh is the expansion or depth behind everyday life. We see ourselves through a mirror which is reflective of the images which are seen from outside, by others. Butoh is behind the mirror. Also, generally, we think we move, do, act with own will, but actually our life is moved by something or someone. All circumstances from inside as well as outside of ourselves make up the phenomenon of experience.

Being moved, created by resonance, this is Butoh for me, for now. Everything is changeable. I'm the new generation of Butoh. I'm exploring toward more openness, vulnerability, and acceptance. Especially in Subbody Butoh there is no border between body and mind. Subbody means subconscious body and subtle body. With various conditioning techniques we enter into subbody. Here, body and mind are oneness, so a ‘state of mind’ does not exist. Butoh is improvisation by soul or unknown life forces. We are developing a very unique way of dance improvisation. To resonate with each cell of the body, we develop slowness, lots of body controllability. There are specific ways to train and to have resonance with hidden bodies, such as weakness, disability and sickness.

 How do you see the influence of Butoh on contemporary dance?

For me, in contemporary dance or art, there are huge and deep roots of judgment, in particular the concept of beauty and duality. I see some clear directions in contemporary (dance), whatever they head to. Butoh is multi dimensional and breaks all borders. I see the lack of space for our souls. I see limited space in the darkness or unknown world. If there is limit of darkness, it means the limit of brightness, too. For me, darkness is not just black, it's unknown, the depth of the abyss. Also black darkness is so beautiful, normal society pushes us to hide it, but there it beauty there. We embrace the shadow to be life itself, recovering pure life as oneness. Once I joined a contemporary dance class and I shared Butoh attributes with them, the way of Butoh movements and their resonance. After class the other participants said, they felt as a sense of the organic and something pure and ecstatic, encountering their own dance from their own life, which nobody else can imitate. Butoh emerged against modern western dance, like the salmon moves against the flow of the river.

photo courstey - Antigone Kourakou
There are very few schools in the world and there is no traditional or set way to learn Butoh. What are your views regarding this?

I don't know if the word 'traditional' is proper with Butoh or not, because Butoh is the revolution itself, beyond all borders. Even some masters who were students of Butoh founder, Hijikata, guide Butoh to different ways. One time when I joined a Yumiko Yoshioka workshop in Germany, it was only for 10 days, which is common for Butoh workshops, maximum 3 weeks, I felt it was too short a time to integrate through my body and life. I asked if I could continue to learn more. I felt desperate. I was lucky because I was able to join her production for several weeks and I saw growth within myself. That's why many people visit this Subbody Butoh school. There are very few chances to learn Butoh over a long term anywhere in the world. I have been 5 years with this school. After finishing a 2-year course, I asked myself, "Are you ready to leave?” "Definitely, not!" And so I continued (Butoh) school during every summer either in Europe or Canada, exploring to get different flows of Butoh.  Each master has a different approach and I appreciate these diverse gateways very much. I think this is the essence Butoh.

 How was your experience in Kolkata?

It was a very unexpected experience, like Butoh. If Butoh satisfies the audience's expectation, it's not Butoh. With my first step in Kolkata, I felt the unknown beauty within this city, the air, the people, etc., and a beautiful co-existence between old and new. Most of all, the local artists were amazing musicians, actors, dancers, all widely open, flexible, with full power and a very centered energy. Incredible resonance! Feeling so comfortable with them. Audiences are very open and ready to embrace a new art, Butoh. Especially here in Kali I have found this open exploration is ongoing. I feel a deep connection and something essential to my own life history here, something in-between destroying and protecting or creating. The time has not been long enough to explore Kali’s Butoh potential. Already I'm thinking of coming back to Kolkata, organizing a longer Butoh project and a new collaboration with local artists. I would say, I'm already sensing that I will miss Kolkata from my all cells, more so than I can express. Cells that resonate with the time and space: sending warm deep life resonance, breath of life.


“Digital art can have a manifold of appearances - either being in the digital realm or reflect the digital within the analog world.”

Sabine Himmelsbach is the artistic director of the House of Electronic Arts Basel (HeK). HeK is dedicated to digital culture and the new art forms of the information age. It is a place for creative and critical discourse on the aesthetic, socio-political and economic impact of media technologies. HeK shows contemporary art that explores and configures new technologies; it promotes an aesthetic practice that uses information technology as a medium, makes it vividly accessible and actively intervenes in its processes. Recently she gave a talk at the  Experimenter Kolkata.

Artists working with digital technologies are redefining art, music, theater, film, and architecture, often dissolving the boundaries between these traditional forms. How does this affect the way to deal with art?

HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel) is dealing with that development. We are a multi-disciplinary institution that is dedicated to the arts - to the visual arts, electronic music and other forms and formats that involve the use or reflection of media technologies on our society. Of course, this also means that we are broadening our network. We are collaborating with a variety of institutions - from other museums (e.g. Museum Tinguely, Vitra Design Museum) to theaters (Kaserne Basel, Theater Basel) or music producers (Electronic Studio Basel).

What is the specific aesthetic of digital art? 

Digital art can have a manifold of appearances - either being in the digital realm or reflect the digital within the analog world. A great example is the project "H33333333K" by the Zurich artist duo! Mediengruppe Bitnik who were invited to do a „art-in-architecture“ piece for the facade of HeK. They produced a glitch, a digital artifact that was built in real. Something that we only know from the digital became real architecture and was quite irritating and is always reminding the viewer of the digital. 

The British artist James Bridle has coined the term "New Aesthetic", and uses it to refer to the increasing appearance of the visual language of digital technology and the Internet in the physical world. That term also addresses the evermore blending of virtual and physical.

How is digital art currently impacting the contemporary design world in your opinion? 

I think that with critical design and speculative design there is a strong connection between a contemporary art practice and design strategies. We have shown several speculative design scenarios within our exhibition projects. 

Experts in the creative industries are claiming there is a gap between what students are being taught at design schools and what they actually need to know to make products. What are your views?

That’s hard to tell from my perspective as I am not a teacher. We actually work closely with the academy of art and design in Basel and their students are often involved in projects in HeK (be it scenography, graphic design or other needs). That certainly helps them to understand the processes within a museum or exhibition space. 

Do you think the economic future of digital artists will lie in the realm of commercial art, gaming or somewhere else? 

That question is also difficult to answer. Of course the gaming industry is highly successful and will continue to be so. There will be many opportunities there. I also see that more and more artists working with media technologies are also successful within the art market and that there are more galleries featuring those works as well. 


“My sound and compositions portray my emotions!”- Giuliana Soscia

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Italian Embassy Cultural Centre presented a concert by the Giuliana Soscia Trio. Soscia is a talented Italian accordion player who has worked with famous orchestras like the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and the Parco della Musica Jazz Orchestra. The concert started with pieces composed by Giuliana Soscia, “First Impression”, “Contemporary Tango”, “Sonata per Luna crescente” which were followed by “Olhos de gato” by Carla Bley, well known American jazz composer, “Choro Dancado” by Grammy Award winner Maria Schneider, ”Kogun” by Toshiko Akiyoshi, yet another American composer who took inspiration from the Japanese musical tradition. She was accompanied by double bass player Aldo Vigorito and drummer/percussionist Pasquale Fiore.

Did you always want to be a musician and why did you choose the accordion?

For me  Music is  life! The accordion is similar  to the orchestra.

Tell us about some of the female jazz musician who has been big inspirational figures for you?

Carla Bley, Maria Schneider and Toshiko Akiyoshi have inspired me a lot.

There's a lot of female talent being represented out there in the vocal scene, but unfortunately still not so many instrumentalists. What do you think the challenges are facing women in jazz today?

I guess its the men!

How would you describe your sound and approach to music?

My sound and compositions portray my emotions!

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

I feel it's important to create new styles and do fusion  with other traditional music.

Finally, what advice would you have for aspiring female jazz musicians out there?

I advise them to be patient and work hard.


"I enjoy watching young people gain confidence in themselves and make positive connections with their peers and adults in their community through the act of collaborative art making." - Joel Bergner

Joel Bergner is a muralist/ street artist and educator from the US, whose work focuses on issues of culture, social justice, and telling the stories of those who have been ignored or misunderstood by society. U.S. Consulate General in collaboration with Banglanatak.com and Birla Academy of Art & Culture  hosted  Joel Bergner and his wife, artist and activist Karla Jayne Thomas at the Birla Academy Premises. Joel worked with Kolkata based young leaders and local artists to create a mural on U.S.-India Relationship .

What inspired you to become an artist? What lead you to your path as a mural artist?

I’ve always been into art since I was a small child, so it wasn’t a conscious decision to become an artist. When I was a teenager, creating art was a way to focus and express myself during difficult struggles. I was drawn to public murals because I saw them as a way to make art that was for the broader population and focus on societal issues.

Are there different qualities that define a mural artist?

Yes, a mural artist must contemplate the location of the piece, including the community, the surrounding environment and the physical space where the mural will be painted. The muralist must also have the ability to paint on a large scale. In today’s movement of street art, it is also important to have the ability to paint quickly, which is aided by spray paint, as one often has a limited amount of time to create a piece. 

How did you get where you are today touring and creating murals to inspire education in foreign countries?

I followed the paths that I felt passionate about—I worked for years in community-based work such as counseling teens in a treatment center and working with the homeless, and simultaneously developed my artwork. Over time, I began to merge these two passions and experiment with community-based mural art. As I facilitated countless projects with NGO’s, youth centers, schools and anyone who I could find to work with over several years, often with very limited funding, my work began to attract attention. I was fortunate enough to connect with opportunities in many countries around the world, and each project led to further opportunities. 

What is the main challenge you face when planning and preparing for a community mural painting?

Each project has new challenges, as I work with a large variety of communities, ages, and demographics. I often walk into a project not knowing exactly what to expect, so this work requires a great deal of flexibility.

At what point in the process of the painting do you begin to feel like the painting belongs as much to the community view and influence as it does to your own? Is there any point when you stop considering the mural to be yours?

That question implies that I think of the mural as my own to begin with, which I don’t. I do create my own personal work as well, which is a separate discussion, but when I facilitate a community mural project I start off with workshops in which the participants themselves come up with the theme and imagery for the mural design through a series of activities, discussions and sketch sessions. I then guide them through the process of turning their ideas into one cohesive mural design, which they paint with me in a collaborative process.

How has mural painting influenced your life?

Mural painting is my chosen tool for interacting with the world, addressing societal issues, meeting new people, advocate for positive social change, and has given me incredible opportunities to travel, learn and share.

What qualities do you look for in the people and artists you work with?

While I enjoy working with artists and educators whose work I admire, the most important aspect that I contemplate when looking for collaborators is their spirit and outlook on community-based work. It is important in this line of work that one has the desire and ability to connect with others, to be open and passionate and truly care about the issues at hand. Positive energy is also critical.

In your experience, what's the best thing about painting murals?

I enjoy watching young people gain confidence in themselves and make positive connections with their peers and adults in their community through the act of collaborative art making.


" I think it would be healthy if the next generation could focus on the music again, rather than on the filter for their next Instagram picture "

Nils Thabo Gelfort came in touch with electronic music pretty late. Mainly listening and playing Hip Hop and Reggae, he got bored by the annoying clichés and stereotypes related to this kind of music. In 2001 he got introduced to new playgrounds within the Techno Scene, staying a consumer at first. By 2007 he started promoting his first events, having today regulars under the label "Remain Raw" at clubs like Weekend, Cookies or Tape Club. Due to the constant interaction with DJ's and producers from around the globe, he finally took his first steps in producing. He released music on labels like Katermukke, Suara or Clap Your Hands. His sets follow a suspense curve, driven by pulsating bass lines, rhythmic percussion and a little dash of the Hip Hop he fell in love with in the 90's. Recently he performed at the Border movement Lounge organized by Goethe Institute. It is a platform to showcase established and upcoming artists and producers from across South Asia. The lounge is an informal event format that hopes to foster a more open and interactive culture of electronic music performance, as well as a more well-rounded appreciation from the local music community.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a producer? I know a lot of people start out as DJ’ing first and then fall into producing. Was that the same for you?

I actually started playing hip hop and reggae DJ sets. At a certain point I got tired of the aggressive atmosphere on those events and I started going out to techno and house parties. I still loved hip, me and my two friends decided to throw some hip hop parties like they have been, putting 90's hip hop in the focus and therefor attracting older people who felt the same way we did. At the same time I started really liking the electronic music as well and my friend Renzky and I opened up a house floor on those very nights. I did more and more only house/techno nights and starting to get in touch with a lot of people from that scene and finally making friends. At one point just DJing wasn´t enough for me and I asked some of those friends to show me some aspects of production. I would say from the moment I laid hands on an Ableton live project for the first time, I knew I wanted to keep on doing productions.

Who are your biggest inspirations?

Well, like I told from the angle of production definitely friends like Renzky and Mat. Joe. In a more broader approach I simply love music and there is so much to hear and discover, no matter what style or time. If I´d had to point out some names though, I´d be back to that 90's hip hop with Gangstar, Biggie and A Tribe Called Quest.

In terms of genre or style, how has your sound changed or grown since you first started?

At first I always tried sampling some hip hop and funk records. Stuff were very melodic and rather deep. The things I am working on at the moment got way more techie and groovy but you can still feel a bit of urban crisp.

What do you consider to be some advantages that young producers have now that may not have been available to you when you got started? Conversely, what are some of the challenges facing artists looking to break in 2016?

Definitely the producing aspects. I started doing my first tracks on Reason and Fruity Loops and had to have people explaining to me what the hell is going on there. Nowadays you can lock yourself in a room watch 10 hours of tutorials and produce your first decent track. At the same time, for the same reasons there is millions of producers in the world and some of them are really good, but it’s getting harder to get heard. Nowadays everything is about your like and follower numbers. I envy guys who had their success before that whole social media thing and don´t have to worry about posting  every day in fear of loosing their edge rank. I think it would be healthier if the next generation could focus on the music again, rather than on the filter for their next Instagram picture. I loose so much time on this.

What do you think an artist must do to keep evolving?

Keep on listening what’s happening around you and be yourself.

What advice would you give to other young people looking to succeed in the industry?

Choose wisely who you want to be working together. Believe in you and what you are doing. Don´t do nothing you don´t like.


From "Rags to Riches"...of the soul

Instabili Vaganti was back to India to perform one of the  most symbolic work produced within the Project Rags of Memory, after the work session led in Shantiniketan on September 2015. An original and experimental composition, RAGS OF MEMORY is a play based on physical and vocal actions, live music, and video-projections. The stage is set with three circles of light filled with symbolic elements: rice, soil, stones, water, fire. A timeless holy garden where a man and a woman, on stage or projection, perform mysterious ritual actions and songs, each time in an original and unique way. The performance is a metaphor of the circle of life where birth, pathos, and death represent a cyclic and repetitive path fixed in the eternity of the ritual. Abhijit Ganguly spoke to Anna Dora Dorno & Nicola Pianzola of Instabili Vaganti.

Does theater help people remember, does it improve memory?

For sure an emotional and emphatic theatre such ours drives the spectator on a journey through its memories. More than improving memory it helps to open some inner doors and overcome barriers in order to not be scared to remember. This what we do in Rags of memory which is basically a ritual in memory and on its different aspects:

  • The individual memory
  • The biological memory
  • The memory of the humanity

All the process was inspired by a Marcel Proust sentence“… the legs, the arms are full of blunted memories”. The actions of the performers aim to let the memories appear from the remote lands of the body, of a body able to remember.

What can theater do that say therapy or counselling cannot do?

We believe theatre and the arts are therapeutic in itself, because of its chatarsis, There’s no need to force a process of therapy. The spectator should trust the performer when the performer is honest on stage and is seeking for  truth. Only through this symbiosis the chatarsis can happen. Theatre cannot solve all the problems in people and in the world, but can show a way to do it.

What is your favorite part of the theater experience?

There are two extremely important moments in all the artistic process. One happen to loneliness when the performer is entering into the creative process, experimenting with his body, voice, imagination and memories. It’s the moment of the meeting of the unknown. Something about you that you might not know and you meet because you pass from the everyday life to another territory in which your senses are open to listen, and your body is ready to react without the need of thinking and judging an action.  The second one happens in front of the spectator and is this magic meeting in which the audience is invited in this extra daily land to discover something new together with the performer.

Tell me about a special moment with the audience?

Sometimes there’s a certain kind of silence of the audience that seems the pure voice of the humanity speaking. When you feel that they feel that time and space dimension are changing you feel the audience is with you in that moment that seems eternal. In Rags of memory the last song, sometimes managed to gather people. In Korea, from example, a Korean family watching the performance and captured by the ending song invited us to share 2 days with them in their city, house, family. In Kosovo, all the audience started to sing this last song. In India after our last performance in Mumbai, an old man told me that he has seen a poem becoming body and a body becoming poem.

How is your theater unique?

In these last 12 years of work I think we have managed to find our poetic's, our way and especially the ethics of our work. I think that the uniqueness of our theatre is its intercultural aspects that allowed us to work worldwide and to include performers of different cultural backgrounds and countries in our projects. This being at the same time“global” and “glocal” is what distinguishes our theatre.


“I think it is not enough to have only a nice figure. You need to have a big heart and be intelligent.”

Bestowed with striking features and stunning curves, this buxom-beauty is Mia Bella! Mia has been taking the European modelling industry by storm and in a short time span has established herself phenomenally. She has set milestones in her career by winning several beauty contests such as Miss Globe 2011 China. She has been travelling around the globe for various assignments and working for renowned brands such as Double Tree Hilton Hotel. Mia looks forward to starting her modelling career in India. She has recently collaborated with a hi-end lingerie brand Clovia, a luxury spa, Asian Roots and DHI a leading hair restoration company.

How did you get into modelling? When did you first know that you wanted to be a ‘beauty queen’?

Well, it was way back in 2006. One day surprisingly, I met one guy on the street who was from a model agency. He asked me if I would like to enter in model & beauty business. I was very young, went to China for 3 months. I think around 2010.

Who is your role models? Personalities who you continue to seek inspiration from?

I like Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. I get inspired from them to achieve good results.

You look absolutely fit and beautiful, and many people would like to know how you keep so fit. Please share your fitness regime and diet secrets with us.

I visit gym 2-3 times per week with my trainer. I eat healthy food-lot of vegetables and fruits. The secret is that I’m eating smaller portion, but several times per day. I drink lots of water. I like coco water, it is very good to keep a good shape.

Critics often say that pageants mislead young girls into believing that external beauty is all that matters – from having that perfect figure of a pimple less face. What is your response to that?

I think it is not enough to have only a nice figure. You need to have a big heart and be intelligent.

What is it that you keep in mind before you come on board to endorse a brand or a certain range of products?

I do it with a clean mind and complete focus. I do it automatically because I’m professional.

What drew you towards Bollywood?

I have got several international titles in several pageants (contests), I participated in 6 international contests winning 5 titles. I devote myself completely to modeling; have made many video clips, and lots of photo-shooting.

I am already an international model, now I would like to go further; my new goal is to enter to Bollywood and to play roles in the movies. This is my biggest motivation.

If you had one wish, what is the one thing you would ask for?

Most important for me is that my family, real friends is healthy and happy. In my professional life I like to play roles in Bollywood movies, to work for TV and to be a successful  model.

What is a word of advice for aspiring models?

I advise all aspiring models to set realistic goals and to work hard to achieve those goals. Hard work, with strong discipline and motivation and that will always bring great results.


"Spoken word is a powerful tool for self-expression, empowerment, and activism."

Giddy Perez is an international touring spoken-word poet, teaching artist and Cultural Ambassador. She is originally from Brooklyn, New York, currently residing in Tampa, Fl. Some of her competition accolades include ranking 10th in the world at the Women of the World Individual Poetry Slam in 2014 and placing 2nd with her team in 2011 and 2013 at Southern Fried Poetry Slam, the 2nd largest poetry slam competition in the country. In addition to performing, Giddy is an active teaching artist with the Arts Council of Hillsborough County and a program director at the Gustavus Adolphus College Institute of Spoken Word and Slam Poetry, an annual writing summer camp for high school students. Giddy was one of the six urban artists who were here discovering how urban art forms can make a positive difference in communities. The programme, called Celebrate the Connections, was sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. 

How would you explain spoken word as a creative medium to someone unfamiliar? 

Spoken word is the art of performance poetry. It’s heavily influenced by hip-hop, jazz, and storytelling as a form of cultural preservation. Spoken word is a powerful tool for self-expression, empowerment, and activism.

Spoken word seems to be quite political, or provide quite incisive social commentary. What are your views?

Absolutely. Whether personal or political, spoken word is an agent of change because it sheds light on other’s experience and stories.

How were you introduced to spoken word poetry?

I started as a freestyle and beat boxer, but in 2007, I attended an open mic where I witnessed the art of spoken word poetry for the first time.  I challenged myself to try it and the rest is history. 

Who inspires you? In the literary sense and in your day-to-day life?

Artistically, I am very inspired by our youth poetry scene here in Tampa, FL who are constantly evolving and working to make the world a better place. In my day-to-day life—well, that’s easy. It’s my mom. Her strength, love, and generosity are a constant motivating force in my art and my life.  

What makes a good performance poem? 

Authenticity.  Confidence.  Relevance. Body language. And for me personally, humor!

How does the spoken word scene compare with other social literary movements? 

Like all social literary movements in the past, spoken word preserves a specific history. The difference, however, is spoken word is an art form of the people and is directly tied to our generation. Also, spoken word is incredibly inclusive, where other literary movements in the past have been elite and exclusionary. If academic poetry is an entire, spoken word is a melting pot. 

How has your experience been in Kolkata?

Kolkata is the first city I’ve ever visited outside the U.S.! The people were incredibly welcoming and treated each of us like family rather than tourists. My time there left me with a new found appreciation for the small things in life. 

What advice would you give to young people interested in performance poetry?

I would tell them to do their research. Check out a local open mic, watch spoken word online, and familiarize themselves with the art form in order to help find own their voice. I’d also let them know that their voice is the MOST important voice. They are not only the future of this world but of this art form!


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