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Author: Guest Contributor

Einige Todsünden (A few deadly sins) – Libertinism dealt with subtlety

Sowgandhika Krishnan reviews the dance drama, ‘Einige Todsünden’, an adaptation of the book “”Les liaisons dangereuses”. “Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody”, said Mark Twain.  A lot of research in psychology as well as a lot of art and literature has centered around the dark side of human personality. One such example is the 18th century book “”Les liaisons dangereuses” (Dangerous Liaisons) by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. Over the years, the book has been adapted into a play, a Broadway production, a film, as well as the rewriting titled ‘Quartet’ by Heiner Müller. Closer home, a Basel based NGO, ‘The Dancers for the World’ (DFW)* have adapted it into a dance drama ‘Einige Todsünden’ (a few deadly sins), choreographed, directed and produced by Catherine Habasque.     THE SHOW – THROUGH THE REVIEWER’S EYES The story, told through a series of letters written by the characters to each other, revolves around the corrupt, bestial, perverted and libertine court life of the French aristocracy shortly before the French Revolution. The two main characters Vicomte de Valmont (Valmont) and Marquise de Merteuil (Marquise) are libertine aristocrats who derive pleasure in ruining the good name of many a modest family, their latest victims being a married woman (Madame de Tourvel) and a young maiden (Cécile). Their Machiavellian tactics with the two ladies however result in a social...

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Basel’s Dabbawallah

Guru Joshi is an unlikely scientist-turned-entrepreneur whose Indian food stall is a big hit in Basel. Guru Joshi. He got a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Bristol, worked at the University of Austin, Texas and then did his postdoc at ETH Zurich. And – nowadays – Joshi’s typical day begins at 7:30 a.m. He carefully washes up shiny violet aubergines and chops them. Crushes some peanuts, and grates some fresh coconut.  Mustard seeds crackle in hot oil as he adds some curry leaves and garlic to make a rich gravy bursting with the complex flavors of a...

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My Story – Parul Chhaparia

My Story’ shares the experiences of an Indian living in Switzerland. Meet Parul Chhaparia who has lived in Switzerland for 2 years.   Q: TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF? I am a freelance journalist based in Zurich. Prior to freelancing, I worked for over eight years as a business journalist for an Indian publication. Q: WHERE DO YOU LIVE AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE TO SWITZERLAND? Newly married, much in love and mesmerized by the alpine beauty, I left my career in journalism to move to Zurich over two years back. The reason was one of the custom among the...

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ALVIN AILEY DANCE THEATRE – AN EVENING OF MODERN DANCE

Basel recently played host to America’s best known cultural ambassador – the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, and I had the opportunity to tick one more ‘artist to watch’, off my bucket list. Established in 1958, the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre brings forth a mix of ballet, contemporary dance, modern dance and African native dances through striking themes. Alvin Ailey grew up at a time when African Americans faced racial discrimination, violence and lynching. He met his mentor Lester Horton in 1949 and learnt classical ballet jazz, native American dances, painting, acting, music, set design, and costuming. He took over...

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EVITA – FROM RAGS TO RICHES

Sowgandhika Krishnan reviews ‘Evita’ – a musical by Andrew Webber that shows Eva Peron’s journey from rags to riches. Eva Peron is a controversial political figure and Andrew Webber is well known for his musicals. So a chance to watch ‘Evita’ – an Andrew Webber musical about Eva Peron’s rags to riches story – was something I wasn’t going to miss. Even if it was on a Sunday! I was looking forward to the musical’s most successful number – “Don’t cry for me Argentina” and, the portrayal of a controversial protagonist on stage, especially one who dies at the...

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