Ariane Mnouchkine and artists of Théâtre du Soleil, Paris to conduct workshops for Indian theatre enthusiasts
Pondicherry from 14th to 30th Dec 2015
New Delhi: The Embassy of France in India and its cultural network (Institut Français en Inde and Alliance française de Pondichéry), in collaboration with the Department of Tourism, Government of Puducherry, and Indianostrum Theatre, have invited Ariane Mnouchkine, Europe’s foremost experimental theatre director, to tour India with her École Nomade. On this occasion a press briefing was held on the lawns of the Service for Cooperation and Culture, Embassy of France, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Road where Ariane acknowledged the significant influence of traditional Indian theatre. Speaking on the occasion she further explained that when she realised that she would dedicate her life to the theatres she took the initiation and embarked on a long journey and first arrived in India in 1963. She said ‘… India would be my treasure. I knew I would probably learn the basics of what to do without even knowing what I was going to do. I am indebted towards different forms of traditional theatre.’
A theatre workshop conducted by Ariane Mnouchkine and twelve artists of Théâtre du Soleil will be held in Puducherry from 14th to 30th December. Extracts of these workshops will be available for streaming from the website of Institut Français en Inde (www.institutfrancais.in) for a limited period of time for a larger outreach.
Theatre enthusiasts from across India have been encouraged to apply for these workshops. Auditions will be held for shortlisted candidates to select about 80-odd participants. These selected artists will participate in workshops to hone their skills and exchange creative processes and ideas.
A production should follow the programme, which is scheduled to be showcased in France by the end of 2016 and in India early 2017 as part of the festival of France in India, “Bonjour India”.
Deeply inspired by Asian Theatre, Ariane is Europe’s foremost experimental theatre director, an Ibsen awardee and also one of the most known theatre directors globally, having directed world renowned plays, twelve artists from the Théâtre du Soleil and Ariane Mnouchkine will conduct workshops for the transmission of her style of discovering theatre in India.
Théâtre du Soleil is an avant-garde stage ensemble founded by Ariane Mnouchkine, Philippe Léotard and theatre students in 1964 as a collective of theatre artists in Paris. The company creates original theatrical works using a devising process based on physical theatre and improvisation.
Ariane Mnouchkine, an Ibsen awardee, is one of the best-known international theatre directors, having directed world renowned plays. She has always been inspired by Asian theatre. The Ibsen citation declared: “to enter a Mnouchkine production is to enter another world”, while noted critic Judith G Miller proclaimed that she was nothing less than a “nomad of the imagination”.
Since the beginning, the roots of her work have been inspired by the traditions of Asian theatre (essentially Indian, Balinese and Nô), which she discovered through her encounters with Asia over long months. In 1987, she created L´Indiade or The India of Their Dreams, based on a text by Hélène Cixous. Since several years now, she has been regularly hosting actors, musicians and other Indian artists in residence at the Cartoucherie in Paris.
Indianostrum Theatre in Pondicherry is an eight-year-old theatre company founded by Koumarane Valavane, along with a few actors who were ready to pursue theatre with single-minded dedication. A Franco-Indian who started practising theatre at a very young age, Koumarane left for France in his early years for his studies, where he worked as an actor at Theatre du Soleil in Paris. With the rich experience of contemporary theatre gained from France, Koumarane returned to India in 2006 with the decision of exploring theatre at home by forming his own group. It was thus that Indianostrum came into being in 2007.