SAKUNTALA'S RING

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Sakuntala's Ring is a project by the Bayerisches Staatsballett, based on the Indian verse drama Sakuntala by the poet Kalidasa. This verse drama is one of the main sources of inspiration for the ballet classic La Bayadère by Marius Petipa. Seven illustrators were commissioned as part of the "Dance Digital" funding project to visually interpret one act each of Kalidasa's Sakuntala. Renu Hossain (RENU) created a sound design for this, using a recording of La Bayadère specially made by the Bayerisches Staatsballett. 

The Japanese stage and costume designer Tomio Mohri made an unconventional choice for the Munich production of La Bayadère in 1998. He combined Japanese woodblock prints, fairy tale elements, and motifs from classical ballet into a fantasy world. His interest in graphic art in Japanese art inspired the Bayerisches Staatsballett to create Sakuntala's Ring in illustrated form.

 

 

SAKUNTALA'S RING

 

KÜNSTLER:INNEN & TEAM

ACT 1: ALICE BLOOMFIELD

London-based artist Alice Bloomfield explores human emotions in her illustrated and animated works. Her linear, figurative style is reminiscent of manga with cool colors and rich compositions. She describes her art as "opulent, disturbing and shabby" and finds her inspiration in 70s interiors and anything dark and mysterious. While studying illustration at the University of Brighton, she discovered her love for animation and moving images. After graduating, she created the music video "As Is" for Puma Blue. She was then signed by Black Dog Films.

ACt 2: Gage Lindsten

Gage Lindsten is a visual artist, filmmaker and game designer from Chicago, Illinois.

ACt 3: Jiahuan Wang

Jiahuan Wang works as a freelance illustrator in Paris. She previously studied at the illustration department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Belgium. In her illustrated world, she depicts stories of love and violence as well as hidden and intense fantasies that flow like a river of desire in daydreams, gentle yet powerful. She uses contrasting colors, delicate lines and soulful color gradients to create an intense emotional atmosphere.

ACt 4: Antoine Leisure

Antoine Leisure was born in 1993 in Nancy in north-eastern France. He grew up in Thionville, a small town in Lorraine near Luxembourg. In Paris, where he now lives and works, he studied graphic design, type design and editing. After completing his master's degree, he assisted various artists. He has been drawing for as long as he can remember and paints in his own studio. In 2021, he began exhibiting works in two group exhibitions in Paris. His work is created in the studio, painting on canvas and drawing at home for other people. He also creates visuals for artists, record covers and clothing brands in Japan, the United States, Germany, Australia and France.

ACt 5: Pete Sharp

Pete Sharp is an illustrator and animator from the West Midlands, UK. He graduated from Brighton University in 2013 with a degree in Illustration before relocating to South East London in the same year. There he worked as a printmaker, specializing in screen printing, and as a production technician for an industrial lithography press. In 2016, he began his animation career as an art director for a music video. Since then, he has directed a number of short animations and music videos. He has also contributed character design for the HBO series "Scavengers Reign". Pete's personal work explores everyday, real-life stories through vivid science fiction comics and animation.

ACt 6: Raman Djafari

Raman Djafari is an illustrator, animator and filmmaker working in both 2D and 3D. Currently he is based in Berlin, Germany. Through colorful imagery and fragmented narratives, he invents a realm of honest emotionality and idiosyncratic fragility in his work. He creates surreal worlds and characters that oscillate between the familiar and the fantastical. Raman has directed music videos for artists from around the world including Elton John, Dua Lipa and Ashnikko and collaborated with people and organizations such as Adult Swim, Medium and The New Yorker. He is currently represented as a director by London-based animation studio BlinkInk.

ACt 7: Masanobu Hiraoka

Masanobu Hiraoka is originally from Kyoto in Japan. He taught himself the craft of animation and graduated from Digital Hollywood University in Tokyo in 2006. He has been working as a freelance animator since 2010, pursuing his passion. He developed his own style, inspired by his personal animation projects based on metamorphosis and fluid movement, which he sets in an improbable reality. He has been responsible for numerous animation projects throughout his career. These include collaborations with artists such as Battles, Flying Lotus, Stephanie Gilmore and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Sounddesign

RENU (Renu Hossain) is a London-born interdisciplinary artist of Bengali origin. She lives in Berlin, London and Granada and works as a composer, producer, tabla player, percussionist and curator. She has worked as a percussionist for Grace Jones and other pop icons. She learned from percussion masters in India, Brazil and Cuba and creates compositions for dance, theater and film. RENU released her album "They Dance in the Dark" at the end of 2017 with great success. RENU is a tabla student of Sri Chiranjit Mukherjee (senior student of Kumar Bose) and follows the classical path of learning "Guru shisha parampara", which can be translated as "master-disciple journey". RENU is currently producing Filmy Electronica & Experimental impressions. The sound design of "Sakuntala's Ring" is based on a sound recording of "La Bayadère" with the Bayerisches Staatsorchester conducted by Michael Schmidtsdorff. The recordings were made in May 2023 at the Nationaltheater Munich.

 

BAYERISCHES STAATSBALLETT

The project was initiated by dramaturg Serge Honegger and realised together with artistic director Martina Borsche and Bureau Borsche. 

 

SUPPORTED BY

The project was supported by the Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien as part of the program NEUSTART KULTUR, aid program tanz:digital of the German Dance Association.