The ALT Artist Lab is a place for culturally diverse artists to share their work, their artistic research, innovations, experiences, and events.


Abhijit Ganguly

Contributing Writer

Kolkata, India

Kaitie Elizabeth

Contributing Artist

Idaho, USA

Ivan R. Lopez

Contributing Artist

Miami, Florida, USA

Michelle Antelo

Contributing Artist

Miami, Florida, USA

June 18, 2017

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Thomas Chen is a singer/songwriter from Kolkata (India). He sings in Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi and English. In addition, he has also sung in Bengali, Cantonese and Nepali. Thomas is a First Indian Chinese
Artist to sing successfully in Mandarin for innumerable prestigious Chinese Festival since 2007. (New Year celebrations, Mid Autumn Fest, Elders Day Celebration, Chinni Adda, China-Kolkata International Book Fair 2013, Kolkata Christmas Carnival 2014 & 2015, Kolkata's First Dragon Boat Festival 2015 to 2017, etc.

When was the first time you realized you wanted to pursue music?

Music always played a vital part since childhood. I was actively involved in the church choir as school kid, and am still involved.  I took vocal lesson from Pandit Shyam Sundar Goswami and am...

March 21, 2016

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Recently, The Alliance Francaise du Bengale, Subbody Butoh School, "Katha' Koli" & 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. In their collaborative work they seek to weave around the legend of 'Kali', an adaptation of "Sick Dancing Princess: through 'Butoh' movement, soundscapes, verses and readings. The Butoh performers are Izabela Wazsek and Jiyo and Honza Svasek. The jazz and sound is done by Andrew Kay, flute and voice art is by Pradip Chatterjee, live art
by Viola, story-telling by Janardan Ghosh and chants by Vidyapati.
Abhijit Ganguly spoke to Honza and Sati (Gio) on the sidelines of the event.
With Honza Svas...

November 6, 2015

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"Indian classical dance is a marathon and not a short distance dash"-Ramli Ibrahim


Recently, a nine-member group of the Sutra Dance Theatre, Malaysia performed a 90-minute show entitled, ‘Krishna, Love Re-invented’ at the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) Kolkata. Accomplished in ballet, modern, and Indian classical dance, Director, Ramli Ibrahim is a cultural icon who has performed internationally for more than three decades. He is now curating the Dance Component of a comprehensive Arts Festival: DiverseCity: Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival 2015.


What led you to start Sutra Dance Theatre?


This is a long story. I formed Sutra Dance Theatre more than 32 years ago in 1983 when I returned to Malaysia from Australia after more than 8 years as a profess...

September 3, 2015

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Assamese Singer Simanta Shekhar is creating a sensation with his lovely and attractive voice and melodious songs.  His debut Assamese Album is Pakhila and is well known for his popular smash-hit song "Toradoi" in Pakhila. Another hit song of dikhou noi eriba nuwaru was popular with Assamese audience. His first Assamese solo Album is Apsora.


He Studied Pharmaceutical Science at Dibrugarh University of Assam but abandoned this lucrative career option to follow his heart, that is music. Talking about his initial journey Simanta says, “I was never a pharmaceutical person at heart. My parents always wanted me to take education seriously. They didn’t think that one could make a career out of music. That is the perception of most Indian parents. The society accepts music, d...

July 17, 2015

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Vassilis is Artistic Director at Eilissos a company for culture.”Eilissos" micro-art space is the seat of the homonymous non- profit organization founded in 2006 by group of artists, scientists and entrepreneurs to overall research, study, preservation and dissemination of art in various manifestations. An old house - in the city center near the old bed of the homonymous river - converted into "pocket theater",  music scene,  exhibition space according to the needs of the event.  Abhijit Ganguly spoke to him on the sidelines of Celebrating 82nd birth anniversay of Jerzy Grotowski the event Celebrating 82nd birth anniversary of Jerzy Grotowski in Kolkata organized by Bibhaban In association with. Theatre House & Proscenium Art Centre.


What exactly is the phi...

June 7, 2015

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The Sorbs of Western Slavic origin  have been living in regions of Eastern Germany long before Germany as a nation state existed. Overcoming numerous obstacles like the terror aimed at them during the Third Reich, they have endured and are still holding onto their own language, rights, and traditions even today. They have become fairly integrated into German society but still place a lot of value on their Sorbian identity, which for them precedes their German nationality.


German photographer Yana Wernicke  through her work “Irrlicht” wants to go back to the mythical and fantastic roots of Sorbian life. Inspired by fairy tales and legends, she delved deeply into Sorbian history in order to bring to life an imagery that has long been f...

May 10, 2015

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Ritika Sahni is a professional singer, performer, composer, producer of children’s albums and a social activist. She has been working with disability related issues for the more than two decades and founded Trinayani, a NGO working with disability advocacy in 2006 with the sole desire to inform, communicate and create awareness, tolerance and respect about the world of people with disabilities among the non- disabled population and explore and create equal opportunities for persons with disabilities. 


From Bengali jingles to playback singing, Ritika Sahini has come a long way. How do you see your journey?

A It has been a long journey. Things have changed drastically. We had only cassettes those days. And now we are talking about releasing songs in pen drives. When I s...

April 22, 2015

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“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 and political violence, reconstruction of public institutions to resistance against aggressive forms of development. Recently, artists from 15 countries covering almost all the continents came to Kolkata to participate at the Muktadhara VI theatre festiva...

April 14, 2015

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Indian Council For Cultural Relations (ICCR) presents Made In Ilva by Instabili Vaganti. The act is a masterpiece of physical theatre exploring the impact of the biggest steelworks in Europe on the environment and surrounding population. From an original script based on real life testimonies and poems from the workers at the Ilva steel plant which had caused severe damage to the environment by emitting toxic gases and causing deaths from cancer and leukemia. This theatrical performance has been bestowed with several awards such as 2013 Critics Award in Ermo Colle 2013, ward Cassino OFF Theatres of Life and 2012 Total Theatre Award Nomination at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014. Abhijit Ganguly spoke to Nicola Pianzola and Anna Dora Dorno before their show on 11th Se...

January 17, 2015

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“What I love most of the classical guitar is the intimacy one gets when playing the instrument”  ~Simon Cheong


Simon Cheong was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia He founded the Classical Guitar Society (WP/Sel) Malaysia in 1993 and has been the President ever since. He is the festival director of ‘CGS Malaysia International Guitar Festival & Camp’. In 2004, with his students, he formed the Kuala Lumpur Guitar Ensemble II (2004-2014). He has performed at guitar festivals in Turkey, Thailand and Germany. Abhijit Ganguly speaks to Simon on the sidelines of Calcutta International Classical Guitar Festival & Competition 2014.


What is it that drew you to the classical guitar and what do you love about the instrument?


Simon Cheong - “Firstly, on my moth...

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