Indian Dance Theatre Meets Shakespeare


A Kathakali Interpretation of «Othello» at the Museum Rietberg

Colors, drama, music and dance: Kathakali, a classical theatre tradition from South India, is a mixture between ballet, theatre, opera and pantomime, featuring impressive masks, costumes and complex gestures.

Asia Society Switzerland and Museum Rietberg are partnering for an unusual Kathakali performance: Sadanam Balakrishnan, a world-renowned master of this ancient art form, will perform with his ensemble an interpretation of Shakespeare’s «Othello» - for the very first time in Switzerland.

Asia Society Switzerland members benefit from reduced prices for the event, and access to an exclusive reception before the performance, featuring an introduction to the art and history of Kathakali, please contact us via to book your ticket.

Sadanam Balakrishnan sees many similarities between the traditions of Shakespeare and Kathakali: “Both theatre traditions flourished in the seventeenth century. The language employed in the two theatre traditions is heightened, stylized and poetic. The major characters of each are extraordinary individuals, much above the realm of ordinary folk. They are complex, fully developed characters. Ethical choice, questions of justice and the importance of self-realisation are dominant themes in both dramatic traditions.”


4pm: Reception for Asia Society Switzerland members
with introduction to Kathakali (in English)
5pm – 7.15pm: Kathakali performance – «Othello»
Introduction by Pavel Jiracek (in German)

The ticket price includes entrance to the exhibition „Alice Boner in Indien – Ein Leben für die Kunst“ on the day (10am-5pm).



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This event is hosted in cooperation with Museum Rietberg and supported by the Swiss Embassy in India, the Alice Boner Institute Varanasi, the Accentus Stiftung Elena Probst Fonds.

Event Details

Sat 23 Sep 2017
5:00 PM - 7:15 PM

Museum Rietberg Gablerstrasse 15 8002 Zurich Smaragd, 2. UG
Regular: CHF 35/45, Members of Asia Society Switzerland: CHF 30
Add to Calendar 20170923T150000 20170923T171500 UTC Asia Society: Indian Dance Theatre Meets Shakespeare Museum Rietberg Gablerstrasse 15 8002 Zurich Smaragd, 2. UG