Maurice Durozier : Word of Actor

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Is it possible to define Art? Perhaps a more important question is whether that is necessary at all. Some works of art are powerful enough to change something within one forever. Pondicherry  recently had the opportunity to host a great French theatre actor, Maurice Durozier who was in town to perform his play, Word of Actor. 

Maurice Durozier

Maurice Durozier

He is currently touring the world, performing a particularly curious piece called Word of Actor in several languages. By any honest admission, one needs more than one experience of this piece to truly absorb all that Durozier has to share. But by no means is this piece too complex for those whose lives are not as fully steeped in theatre as Maurice’s. Indeed, the observations on theatre and life that this play offers are genius in their universality. Through this production Durozier presents an invitation to enter into intimacy with an actor and his daughter as they explore the art he has dedicated his days to. The space an actor occupies is unabashedly different from that occupied by everybody else. It may even be unique for an actor to carry within him an intangible expanse, of perhaps even vacuum, as Durozier suggests in his play, interwoven delicately with emotions signifying endless possibility. It is this that has the incredible potential to transform a person from himself into an actor.
In a career that has spanned over 3 decades, Durozier is most renowned for being the lead actor of the legendary Théâtre du Soleil led by the equally enigmatic Ariane Mnouchkine. In a section of the piece, he reveals subtly the impact Ariane had on him. It is not surprising at all then that he refers to Théâtre du Soleil as his artistic family.
Being exceptionally perceptive and sensitive, he grew from a rebellious youngster and an active participant of the legendary events of May 1968 in France into an exceptional artist. In his own opinion, he believes that it is because he always persevered resolutely to protect himself from the worst affliction to befall an artist : ego. However, Durozier doesn’t simply hand over the lessons he has learnt in charming brevity. He shares instead the beauty he sees in his art, and how his passion influences his life. His daughter manifests an insistent yearning to understand her father’s passion, with both emotional and clinical inquiry.

Durozier through this play hopes to share not only his love for theatre but also the belief that an artist’s life is beautiful, noble and great. However, he never seems to be tempted to delve into hyperbole. Even in the intimacy of the performance there are moments when the actor wanders along his own memory and relives in real time some significant phases of his life. One of the more riveting sections of the production is the description of the moments when Durozier struggled to find within him the character that changed him, the beak-nosed Pulcinella. This play is written beautifully, with solicitude and great perspicacity. The writer also had the incredible opportunity to play his daughter in the English version of the play. For any young thespian, this production is immeasurably insightful. The French and English versions of the play were staged at Indianostrum Theatre supported by the Alliance Francaise, Pondicherry.

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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 ...