Mnouchkine takes the stage at Puducherry

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As part of Bonjour India 2017-18Alliance Française de Pondichéry had the pleasure of hosting the grande dame of European theatre – Ariane Mnouchkine – and the famed Ecole nomade from January 7 to January 27, 2018. A force to be reckoned with, Mnouchkine co-founded the Théâtre du Soleil over 40 years ago and continues to be its artistic and stage director. To the present day, she is the only only female recipient of the international Ibsen award.

Mnouchkine has toured around the world with the Théâtre du Soleil and encountered several different languages and cultures. She has incorporated these experiences into her creative oeuvre and her productions often talk of how different cultures coexist and battle against one another. The current visit marks Mnouchkine’s second foray to Pondicherry with her troop after an initial trip in 2015.

Ariane Mnouchkine

Ariane Mnouchkine

The explicit aim of the Ecole nomade is to teach and transmit the working methodology of the Théâtre du Soleil to young actors and directors. In collaboration with the Indianostrum Theater (Pondicherry), 120 participants benefitted from Mnouchkine’s 55 years of theatrical experience and the know-how of her troupe during their stay. These included 80 participants from India, 20 participants from the Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique de Paris and 20 participants from different nationalities around the world. The goal was not to conduct drama classes but to develop a collective practice using improvisation, masks, music, dance, and movement.

Apart from these sessions, Alliance Française de Pondichéry also organised two other events within the framework of Mnouchkine’s participation in Bonjour India 2017-18. The first of these was Rêves – a recital of French songs by Maurice Durozier (actor, composer and lyricist for Théâtre du Soleil) – and the second was a meeting cum discussion in French with Ariane Mnouchkine for the general public.

Maurice Durozier on stage for 'Rêves' at AF Pondicherry

Maurice Durozier on stage for ‘Rêves’ at AF Pondicherry

These initiatives could not have been possible without the combined efforts of different French organisations in Pondicherry – the Consulat général de France, the Lycée français, the Ecole Française d’Extrême Orient, the Institut Français de Recherche and of course the Alliance Française de Pondichéry. All in all, it was a incredible experience which the denizens of Pondicherry will hold close to their hearts for a long time to come!

Siddharth BHATT

Rédaction AF Magazine Inde-Népal

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Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...