Once a “boat person” who fled Vietnam by sea to Hong Kong, Yen Han is today a prima ballerina and one of the most popular dancers of Ballet Zurich. During the years that she has been a member, the company has become one of the best in Europe. Yen has danced the principal characters in all the great classics of the repertoire, including “Swan Lake”, “The Nutcracker” and “Cinderella”. Of Chinese-American origin, Yen Han has been living in Switzerland for more than two decades and has opened the Yen Han Dance Center in Zurich to teach children and adults the art of ballet.
Did you know that Swiss singer-songwriter Bastian Baker is also into real estate and tech start-ups? The 27-year-old from Lausanne who was discovered by the legendary Claude Nobs takes a break from his world tour with Shania Twain and talks to Tanya König about how he invests his money.
The largest public investment by the city of Lugano in recent years was for the construction of a new center for visual arts, music, and theater. Tanya König spoke with the director of LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura to find out how successful it’s been since opening in 2015.
Collaboration is key, says Michael Steiner, one of Switzerland’s best-known filmmakers. But with the release of his latest, “Wolkenbruch,” the director of “Grounding” tells us that past success doesn’t help secure state funding for future films, something that’s crucial in a small market.
Joel Basman is one of the country’s rising stars who has appeared in George Clooney’s “Monuments Men.” Now he’s back with “Wolkenbruch” and tells us that Hollywood doesn’t always pay better and that Switzerland needs a different business model to become a major player in the global film industry.
The Reverend Richard Coles, a priest in the Church of England, has made some interesting stops along the way, including as part of a hit-making 80s pop band, a broadcaster, and reality TV star. Coles uses his vast experience to inspire those in the world of business, even right here in Switzerland.
Following the debut of “Never Look Away” in Switzerland, director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck tells Ana Maria Montero that the rise of the superhero franchise is putting the era of sweeping, dramatic cinema such as “Titanic” at risk. But the Academy Award-winning filmmaker is not going down without fight.
It’s a wrap for the Zurich Film Festival, which included a spin-off event called the Zurich Summit, a gathering of international producers there to talk film and finance. Organizer Karl Spoerri told us that while TV is experiencing a golden age, Swiss film is at a low point.
From “Phantom of the Opera” to “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Florian Schneider has performed leading roles in over 20 musical productions in both Switzerland and Germany. As the classically trained performer tells Ana Maria Montero, it was the freedom of musical theater that captured his heart.
Bob Marley’s eldest son Ziggy Marley is continuing his father’s legacy by singing about fake leaders and humanity on his latest album “Rebellion Rises.” He tells Tanya König what makes a good leader, what motivated him to name an EP after Spotify, and why tapping into other businesses such as writing a cookbook or having an emoji app helps him reach more people. As he explains, it isn’t money that’s driving him.
Up-and-coming Swiss fashion designer Julia Seemann has made clothes worn by celebrities such as Rihanna. You’d think, in other words, that she’s arrived, but as she tells Tanya König, she still can’t quite make a living at it. Nonetheless, her passion keeps her going, and she continues to work toward turning that kind of visibility—along with collaborations with Swarovski—into sales. Seemann is also due to show her collection at Mode Suisse, the international platform showcasing local talent, which begins today in Zurich.
Are we experiencing content overload? Ted Hope, head of film production at Amazon Studios, doesn’t think so. He explains why he thinks we are living through “a change in the entire entertainment economy” in which more audience choice will drive up standards. He spoke to Ana Maria Montero at the Locarno Festival, where he received the Raimundo Rezzonico Lifetime Achievement Award.
The 72-year-old Irish novelist John Banville—who also uses the nom de plume Benjamin Black—has enjoyed commercial success along with critical acclaim and has been mentioned as a possible Nobel Prize winner. But in an interview with Martina Fuchs, he says that he’s always steered clear of politics in his work. “If you put politics into art, you get bad politics and bad art,” he says. “I have no message. All I want to give to readers is delight and a heightened sense of what it is to be alive in this strange planet that we’ve been cast upon.” He also tells Fuchs, "My biggest struggle is always to try to get the sentence right.”