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Anka Refghi

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The Rebellious Dance Genius

Sergei Polunin’s story is the stuff great movies are made of. The ‘Dancer’ documentary film, portrays the probably most gifted ballet dancer of our time who had achieved everything at the age of 20 and then hit rock bottom. An impressive story about his rise, fall and rebirth.

Sergei Polunin is a star in the ballet world. No one jumps as high, as elegant, as expressive, with such a brilliant technique that challenges gravity as he does. His story?
Such a moving story that even Hollywood could not have scripted any better.

The Wonder Child

It is the story of a wonder child. Sergei Polunin was born into a very poor family in Ukraine on 20 November 1989 and his mother noticed early that he moved more elegantly than other children. He started training at the age of four – first as a gymnast and then as a dancer. Blessed with a unique talent, little Sergei soon outperformed all the others. His aim: to become the world’s best dancer. Thanks to a scholarship, he attended the legendary Royal Ballet School in London at the age of 13 where he lived on his own far away from his parents. Dancing, sleeping, dancing that is how he describes the time during which not pain but perfection was all that mattered. Carrying on his shoulders the burden of hope of his family who invested all they had in his training.

The Way to the Top

His career? A supposed fairy-tale life. After his graduation in 2007, he became a group dancer in the ballet ensemble of the Royal Theatre and then a demi-soloist in 2008, a soloist in 2009 and a first soloist in 2010 – and thus the company’s youngest-ever principal male dancer. Sergei Polunin had reached the top – and was lonely. He came to grief over the unfulfilling system of the dance world, the realisation of his lost childhood and his life ruled by discipline. That was all too much for Sergei Polunin and his fall started. Alcohol and drug abuse, self-injury, missed rehearsals and numerous tattoos are the summary of a downward spiral that ended with a big bang when he spontaneously terminated his contract in January 2012. “I felt free for the first time on that day,” recalls the highly gifted dancer today. He first reappeared in summer of the same year – as first soloist at the Stanislavsky and Nemirowich-Danchenko Music Theatre in Moscow that offered him new personal development opportunities. But it did not change his wish to quit dancing for good.

The Rebirth

The turning point was a telephone call from the photographer David Lachappell who talked Sergei into taking part in a film shooting on Hawaii in 2014. It was meant to be his last dance but in the end it was a new beginning. “During the nine hours on the set for the ‘Take me to Church’ dance video”, said Polunin, “it became clear to me that I could not completely do without dancing.” He meanwhile dances classical ballet again as a guest soloist but today primarily sees himself as a freelance artist and actor.

Photos Copyrights: Johan Persson

Henri Cartier-Bresson

The Master of Black-and-White Photography

As a pioneer of modern photojournalism and co-founder of the Magnum Agency, Henri Cartier-Bresson is without doubt one of the greatest photographers of all time and has known since the 1930’s how to consistently set new standards.

His photographs are icons of photographic history and important contemporary witnesses that attracted worldwide attention. Bresson who was born in Chanteloup-en-Brie in France in 1908 was not only an exceptionally gifted photographer who established photography as an art form but also a restless nomad who travelled the world and became a witness to dramatic political events. Bresson regarded his camera as a sketchpad, as a tool of intuition and spontaneity. His talent of capturing the fleeting reality of sometimes bizarre but also humorous moments of life at the right millisecond is both legendary and unrivalled. With the illustrated book titled “Die Photographien – Henri Cartier-Bresson” (The Photographs – Henri Cartier-Bresson), the Schirmer / Mosel publishing company will launch a new edition of the classic this autumn. A great record of his creative work that will delight everyone with main works selected personally by Henri-Cartier Bresson and dating back to the years 1929 and 1979.

… the fleeting reality of sometimes bizarre but also humorous moments of life …

… a restless nomad who travelled the world and became a witness to dramatic political events …

 

 

 

 

Photos Copyrights: © Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos / courtesy Schirmer/Mosel

A Handsome Pair

They are probably Liechtenstein’s most handsome exports: Hans and Raphael Hatt. With ideal measurements, full lips and their striking and androgynous features, the two brothers with German and Latin American roots are internationally sought-after models.

Dior Hommes, Kenzo, Moncler, Yves Saint Laurent, Balmain or Tom Ford – the list of designers for whom Hans, 24, and Raphael, 22, have already worked, could be extended indefinitely. And the co-operation with big names like Irina Shayk or Karolina Kurkova proves that they are not just two of many. It all started with Hans Hatt, who entered the model business after his mother had sent photographs of him to the renowned Mega Models Agency in Hamburg. To cut a long story short: He was offered a contract after only one week and was soon booked internationally. As winner of the Elite Model Look Competition in 2014, his brother Raphael followed in his footsteps to conquer the world of models. The handsome brothers – often booked together – have since then been much sought-after models on international catwalks and in the fashion advertorials of renowned magazines such as QC Style China or i-D Magazine. 

Photos Copyrights: Option Model Agency AG

Aurora

An Oasis in Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse

Where the legendary café Ernst once was, the Aurora restaurant has presented itself in new splendour since January 2016. Four passionate young restaurant chefs got the lease for this location at Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse 61. Chef Stefano Carrado, Restaurant Management Assistant Alexander Unterberg and the two proprietors Michael Oberperfler und Stefan Persterer are the protagonists and the latter three have already worked together for many years before they became self-employed. With their restaurant, the bar and a unique boulevard catering, they breathe new culinary life into Zurich’s famous street. Regardless of whether you have a business lunch, an exquisite dinner or a quick snack, the light Mediterranean cuisine convinces just as much as the philosophy of providing the guests with a familiar atmosphere.

Mr. Persterer, what has changed at Aurora since 4 January?

The concept was turned upside down. We implemented a slight ‘facelifting’ throughout the restaurant, redesigned the walls, changed the colour concept that was previously based on pink and pastel shades and employed a completely new team.

What is the philosophy behind the new concept?

We want to provide our guests with a familiar atmosphere. And that is why the four of us always work full-time and are always present. Our guests simply appreciate it when we know where they like to sit and what their favourite drinks are.

How would you describe your culinary offer?

It is very much a Mediterranean, light cuisine that allows crossovers to suit everybody’s taste. I would describe it as an honest cuisine where the focus is on top-quality products and the fresh preparation of all ingredients. You won’t find any powder or stock cubes at our restaurant and that is of course an aspect that our guests very much appreciate in these fast-moving times.

Besides the restaurant, you also have a wonderful bar on the ground floor…

That’s right, we want to make the bar a cosy meeting place where people meet after shopping or after work, get to know each other and have conversations. The bar opens in the morning at 10 o’clock with coffee and croissants. At lunchtime, we offer small delicacies for a quick snack, and then continue with the aperitif business in the evening. The bar therefore completely changes its offer during the day.

The boulevard catering is new in Bahnhofstrasse…

That’s right. We have 80 seats that are distributed across three areas. A restaurant area, a separate lounge area with bar and our café with bistro tables in the front area where you can enjoy the hustle and bustle in Bahnhofstrasse. In summer, this oasis is of course unique in Bahnhofstrasse.

Is it also possible to rent the Aurora as event location?

Yes, you can rent the bar and/or the restaurant. We have space for 160 persons for a flying dinner or for 100 persons for a sitting dinner. That has meanwhile become very popular.

www.aurora-restaurant.ch