S.THALA – 18/01/2022 at 6:30 pm


An Indian Suite 

(Inspired by Marguerite Duras) 

Sthala (सल) sanskrit word meaning: a place, a spot, a room.

Time :18th January 2021 |  6:30 pm  at AFM auditorium

Conception : Annette Leday and Hélène Courvoisier

Direction and choreography : Annette Leday  with Hélène Courvoisier, Kalamandalam Unnikrishnan Nair & Sadanam Manikandan

Writer, playwright, screenwriter and film director, Marguerite Duras (1914-1996) is one  of the major figures in the French literary and artistic world. In her multiform corpus, the  texts and films of the “Indian cycle” occupy a central place. By revisiting Duras’ fantasized  India in this cycle and the very real one at the heart of the productions of our company,  we propose to question the Durassian work in order to create a new choreographic and  theatrical piece nurtured by her organic literary writings.
The project: 

Without attempting to reproduce or illustrate the complex narrative patterns of Marguerite Duras’  texts, the choreography will evoke situations and characters emblematic of her fictional universe. The narrative will be based on selected passages in the works composing the “Indian cycle”, and  more particularly in L’Amour, whose fragmented writing and almost anonymous characters echo  non-linear choreographic writing. In this cycle characters travel from one text to the other not  necessarily following a precise narrative but always referring to an initial event that happened  during a dance party. This event comes back as a leitmotiv at different places in the cycle.

In L’Amour, there are many physical and space indications. We will explore and extrapolate them  in our choreography without looking for realistic definitions of the characters or their gender.

“The stillness of the text and the static nature of its characters is a deception – in fact it is  full of movement, people shifting from place to place, endlessly moving with the rich  plalette of variations in verbs that only French can provide: venir, partir, revenir,  repartir, marcher, aller, traverser, se promener, and so on… Since the characters are

unnamed, there are many moments when it is hard to know who is who.”  Kazim Ali (Translator for the English version of the text). 

The characters: 

Triangular relationship:

A woman: Hélène / Unnikrishnan

Two men: Unnikrishnan and Manikandan

The beggar: Manikandan and others  The Fool: Unnikrishnan

We also wondered about the repetition of the name of the imaginary city S.Thala that we  linked to the Sanskrit term Sthala (स थल) which means a place, a space, a room. In our  preparatory work we could not discover whether Marguerite Duras knew the existence and  meaning of this Sanskrit word. We decided to adopt it as a title and as a common ground.


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