Around Rodin, sculpture…

The profound admiration and connection that the French sculptor Auguste Rodin had for ancient art was a subject to which the great artist constantly referred in his work, as in several of his articles published in art magazines. His love for the antique gave him in 1913 the opportunity to see a series of photographs made in South India by the orientalist archaeologist Victor Goloubew with whom Rodin had several interviews on the subject. These were pictures reproducing two ancient bronze sculptures by the god Shiva Nataraja, “Who creates and destroys the world by dancing”. Deeply moved by these images, Rodin gave free rein to his thoughts, which he wrote in the form of notes. With sensitivity, the sculptor expresses once again all the gratitude he has towards the antique; observing the sculpted form of Nataraja, Rodin immediately recognizes the highly spiritual work and at the same time so human of the ancient Indian artists. Rodin’s notes as well as the photographic images were published in Ars Asiatica in 1921, three years after the sculptor’s death.

... dance and poems of India

In 1997, my teacher of Bharata Nâtyam, Smt Amala Devi, gave me a copy of Rodin’s texts suggesting to me to put on a show where these texts would play an important role. The reading of Rodin’s notes strongly stimulated my imagination, and from then on I undertook a long research and documentation work which gave shape to the show: Around Rodin, Sculpture, Dance and Poems of India.

Presented for the first time in Geneva in October 2000, this show stages dance, music, texts and projections of images linking and succeeding each other within an organized whole. If Rodin’s texts are the axis around which the show develops, Nataraja is its center. The transfigured human emotion is the motor that moves around this center and axis the dancer and the voices of the two actors present on stage. (…) The choice of the repertoire of Bharata Nâtyam dances echoes Rodin’s texts, the Shivaït hymns and poems, as well as the slides projection of the photographs seen by Rodin.

(Chandikusum, excerpts from the Foreword to the show, October 2000)


Adaptation and direction of Chandikusum (According to an original idea of Amala Devi)


Chandikusum: dance
Xavier Fernandez-Cavada: voice
Emilien Palenzuela: voice

Production: Association Kinkini (2000)


The realization of this work was settled by the signing of a co-authors agreement between Mrs Chandikusum and Mrs Amala Devi, registered in Switzerland on 22 April 1999.

With the support of: State of Geneva, Department of Public Education of the State of Geneva, Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Geneva, Loterie Romande.

This show received the patronage of the International Dance Council CID, UNESCO, Paris.

Letter of CID