All the world’s a stage

Avignon. Antigone. The Symphonies of Pain part 3.

Reviewed by Yana Meerzon

ANTIGONE – FESTIVAL D AVIGNON – 71e EDITION –
Texte : SOPHOCLE –
Traduction : Shigetake YAGINUMA –
Mise en scène : Satoshi MIYAGI –
Musique : Hiroko TANAKAWA –
Scénographie : Junpei KIZ –
Lumière : Koji OSAKO –
Costumes : Kayo TAKAHASHI –
Coiffure et maquillage : Kyoko KAJITA –
A
Lieu : Cour d’Honneur du Palais des Papes –
Ville : Avignon –
Le 04 07 2017 –
Photo : Christophe RAYNAUD DE LAGE

Antigone  by Sophocles, directed by Satoshi Miyagi;  music by Hiroko Tanakawa; scenography by Junpei Kiz

Sophocles’ Antigone directed by  Satoshi Miyagi and presented at the heart of the Avignon festival, in the Palais des papes, is one more example of a theatre  as a  symphony  of pain.

Antigone – much like the other productions –  is also a play about war, injustice and suffering. It concerns the death of a young woman whose personal goal was to bury her brother and put his soul to rest.  One of the foundational myths of Western consciousness, in Satoshi Miyagi’s theatrical universe,  this Greek tragedy also links  the traditions of Japanese Noh theatre and the philosophy of Buddhist monks. (more…)

Avignon. Saigon. Symphonies of Pain part 4

Reviewed by Yana Meerzon

SAÏGON – 71e Festival d’Avignon –
Texte et mise en scène : Caroline GUIELA NGUYEN –
Collaboration artistique : Claire CALVI –
Dramaturgie : Jérémie SCHEIDLER – Manon WORMS –
Traduction : Duc Duy Nguyen, Thi Thanh Thu Tô
Scénographie : Alice DUCHANGE
Lumière : Jérémie PAPIN
Son : Antoine RICHARD
Costumes : Benjamin MOREAU
 Gymnase du Lycée Aubanel –
Photo: Christophe  Raynaud  De Lage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caroline Guiela Nguyen has created a four-hour  theatrical tale based on the history of Vietnam.  Its story centres on  colonialism and the struggle for independence, reflected in the lives of several Vietnamese families, who left Saigon for France. Nguyen is an offspring of this exodus. For her,  the post-colonial history of Vietnam, and the history of Hồ Chí Minh–city, the city of Saigon,    the one that “we can tell only with tears in our eyes”, is  part of her identity and her artistic exploration.  The play captures  the drama of departures and returns, the tragedy of unfulfilled hopes and the suffering of misunderstanding. (more…)

Avignon: Standing in Time Symphonies of Pain part 2

Reviewed by Yana Meerzon

Standing in Time, Photo: Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Standing in Time.  texts by Rasha Abbas.  Direction, scenography by Lemi Ponifasio; sound design by Lemi Ponifasio (Auckland)

Lemi Ponifasio’s Standing in Time, also the example of a  symphony of pain,  speaks as well of abused women, the victims of history and colonial genocide. Ponifasio’s context is very different from  that of Munyaneza’s because she meditates on the  history of colonial oppression in New Zealand. The style of the production is highly informed by the performative culture of everyday rituals, religious ceremonies, celebrations and mourning as practiced by the mauri women from the New Zealand islands.  (more…)

Avignon: Unwanted. Symphonies of Pain part 1

Reviewed by Yana Meerzon

UNWANTED –
Conception et chorégraphie : Dorothée MUNYANEZA –
Artiste plasticien : Bruce CLARKE –
Musique :
Holland ANDREWS –
Alain MAHÉ –
Dorothée MUNYANEZA –
Scénographie : Vincent GADRAS –
Lumière : Christian DUBET –
Costumes : Stéphanie COUDERT –
lieu: Villeneuve-lès-Avignon –
Photo: Christophe Raynaud De Lage

4 heures du matin: une complicité émouvante entre acteur et metteur en scène

Reviewed by Alvina Ruprecht

Cette adaptation par Hassane Kouyaté,  du roman d’Ernest J. Gaines  (nommé aux Prix Pulitzer et Prix Nobel de littérature), est une  production de Tropiques Atrium ( Fort de France) oὺ Kouyaté dirige la scène nationale. Cette saison, deux créations de l’ Atrium  ont été intégrées à la programmation du Tarmac :  Le But de Roberto Carlos  (mise en scène et scénographie de Kouyaté ), une coproduction du Tarmac et de la Scène nationale de Martinique,  est une réflexion sur la migration recréée par un acteur, un chanteur et un musicien. Ensuite, Paris a reçu  Quatre heures du matin, adapté du roman de l’Américain Ernest Gaines et mis en scène par Kouyate.  Ce monologue est  une coproduction de la Scène nationale  et de la Cie  2 temps 3 mouvements.  Ruddy Syllaire, acteur d’origine haïtienne établi  depuis de nombreuses années en Martinique et qui a  interprété Othello à Montréal sous la direction de Denis Marleau, a eu le rôle du  jeune migrant, alors qu’un   acteur d’origine congolaise Abdon Fortuné Koumbha  a incarné  Lewis, le jeune noir  qui se débat contre le racisme américain dans le texte de Gaines.

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Arrabal: A Story of Love and Politics Told through the Tango

Reviewed by Jane Baldwin

Photo: Celia Von Tiedeman.

Arrabal, now playing at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge in its U.S. début, premiered in Toronto in 2014. In its present state, it is a fascinating theatre experience, a political drama told without words via the tango and music. It is also an immersive show where some audience members, supposedly at a tango club in Buenos Aires, sit at tables downstage as well as on the orchestra floor, which had several rows of seats removed. In the first scene which takes place in the present spectators are invited to join the performers onstage for a tango lesson.

The joyous mood changes abruptly as the story begins. A projection announces that it is 1976, the year in which Isabel Peron’s government was overthrown by a right-wing junta. We meet Rodolfo (Julio Zurita), an endangered resistant, bringing his infant daughter to his mother who lives in a slum (arrabal in Spanish) outside Buenos Aires. He dances a tender tango with baby Arrabal (a word also associated with the tango) before putting her into the bassinet and leaving her a red scarf. (more…)

« L’Autre Rive » – “La Otra Orilla” de Ulises Cala

News from Capital Critics Circle

— Par Selim Lander —
Spectacle présenté à Fort-de-France, Martinique
« Jusqu’où faut-il aimer ? Il faudrait un manuel pour expliquer cela. »

Cette phrase prononcée par un homme qui va émigrer en abandonnant sa fille n’est qu’un aspect d’un texte qui brasse toutes sortes de sentiments, de sensations, depuis les jeux amoureux pleins de malice jusqu’à la désespérance profonde en passant par les moments d’attente indécise hantés par la crainte des « persécuteurs ». Nous sommes sur une île, Cuba sans nul doute, entourée d’une « mer interdite ». La télévision qu’on entend parfois s’exprime en espagnol (« la télévision est une chose répugnante » répètera l’homme à plusieurs reprises).Ils sont deux comédiens qui interprètent plusieurs rôles, principalement celui d’un homme et d’une femme sur le chemin de l’exil. Ils attendent le passeur qui les conduira sur l’autre rive d’un fleuve (ou n’est-ce pas plutôt le détroit entre Cuba et la Floride ?), vers leur eldorado.
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Cap Excellence : Quand la scène théâtrale tend un miroir à la société.

News from Capital Critics Circle

Succédant à ce qui fut le Festival des Abymes, Guadeloupe, la 6ème édition de Cap Excellence théâtre, organisée à l’initiative de la communauté des trois communes Abymes, Baie-Mahaut et Pointe-à-Pitre, propose du 09 au 14 mai 2017 un programme autour du thème « La quête du mieux-être ».
L’observation de la programmation semble révélatrice de certains choix.
On constate, en premier lieu, une diversité liée à l’origine différente des compagnies (de Guadeloupe, de Martinique, de France et de Côte d’Ivoire). Une autre diversité est celle des lieux de représentations, situés dans différentes salles et établissements scolaires des trois communes. Ajoutons à cela une diversité évidente de formes, le festival proposant des représentations, des lectures, une déambulation et de nombreux ateliers pédagogiques. (more…)

The Bridges of Madison County: Musical Adaptation Adds Corn

Reviewed by Jane Baldwin

Photo: Glenn Perry Photography

In 1992, Robert James Waller wrote the romantic best seller, The Bridges of Madison County, the kind of book which is often dismissed as chick lit. Three years later its next iteration appeared as a film directed by and starring Clint Eastwood with Meryl Streep playing opposite him. The film received better reviews than the book. And in 2014, it opened on Broadway as a musical with the book by Marsha Norman and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. Although it won two Tony Awards, one for the best original score, the other for the best orchestration, it closed after a four month run.

Now available to the regionals, it is presently playing at Boston’s SpeakEasy Stage Company which has particular skill in working with musicals. Jason Robert Brown’s music is varied, moving from operatic songs, to jazz, to bluegrass, to American country music. For this production, SpeakEasy has strong singers, particularly the multi-talented Jennifer Ellis who plays Francesca, the protagonist and baritone Christiaan Smith as Robert who falls in love with her. (more…)

17 Border Crossings or Around the World in 20 Years

Reviewed by Jane Baldwin

boarderimages (4)

After a three year lapse, the innovative company Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental has returned to ArtsEmerson in Boston, this time with 17 Border Crossings. The earlier production Red Eye to Havre de Grace was a devised musical and dance piece, directed by Thaddeus Phillips, which focussed on trying to solve the mystery of Edgar Allen Poe’s death. Similar to Border Crossings and other works of Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental, travel was an important element, although the plot was far more developed.

Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental as its name suggests has no home. It is a travelling theatre that creates pieces which sometimes, as in the case of 17 Border Crossings, can be years in the making. It is based on trips that Thaddeus Phillips, the playwright and actor in this solo show, took over more than twenty years, starting in his youth. It is directed by Phillips’ wife and collaborator Tatiana Mallarino. The setting designed by Phillips is spare, consisting of a table, chair, microphone, radio and a long metal bar hung with lights that can be raised and lowered. In part, the bright lights serve to transition from one voyage to another. In one scene Phillips cleverly uses them to give the impression he is riding a bicycle. Phillips’ performance is reminiscent of Spaulding Gray’s monologues, but without the narcissistic intensity, while his set and David Todaro’s lighting recall Robert Lepage, but at a simpler level. Phillips audited Lepage’s work over a long period and appeared in his Miracle of Geometry. Lepage’s influence can also be seen in Phillip’s movement work.

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