Which is hardly to call Ariane Mnouchkine â who helped found the company in 1964 and is the director of âA Room in Indiaâ â a chicken. But in response to the November 2015 terrorist attack on Paris that killed 130 people, she did offer the members of her troupe a rather zany prompt: What if a theater company much like their own, in residence in a former French colonial town in India, discovered that its director had gone mad and left the group to fulfill an important commission on the fly?
Among the genres traversed are farce, adventure, social realism, puppetry, Japanese drama and YouTube documentary. (Shakespeare, Chekhov, a cow and two macaques all make appearances, because why not.) Among the terrible topics covered are ecological disaster, the Syrian civil war, Hindu-Muslim enmity, the death of culture and, naturally, terrorism. In one horrific scene, the companyâs artists, instead of sewing costumes, produce a tiny explosive vest for a little boy to wear on a suicide mission.
At another point, a group of Saudi Arabian bureaucrats seeking advice about improving their countryâs record on womenâs rights is shown videoconferencing with Icelandic officials. The hysterical response of the Saudis to the cheerful Icelanders â a lesbian, a gay man and a woman whose husband stays home to care for the children â is presented as a smutty sex comedy.
The stories are staged in the Terukkuttu theatrical style of South India, a tradition rich with ornate singing and dancing but also with gorgeous costumes and clever stage tricks. As part of an attempt by her husband to humiliate her, Draupadi (Judit JanscÃ³) is to be stripped of her sari but foils the plan by wearing what seem to be hundreds. Spinning like a bobbin, she wraps fabric around her body as fast as others can pull it off.
And even though the other story, about a warrior and his wife (Shaghayegh Beheshti), is more tragic, she is allowed the great dignity of marital love and grief. You need not understand the Tamil words (or read the supertitles) to be knocked over by the sung power of her feelings.
The Folsom Ice Rink is now open, and Gary is out on the ice checking it out. Skate session: $12 plus $3 skate rental for general admission. $10 kids (8 years old & under), and $10.00 for age 62 and over and $3 skate rental. Each session is 90 minutes
There’s still time to leave the winter blues behind and begin 2018 aboard an astounding superyacht: Host a lavish dock-side party, spend time together with family and friends in tranquil surroundings or learn new skills to make your holiday a truly uniq