An Indian Suite
(Inspired by Marguerite Duras)
Sthala (सल) sanskrit word meaning: a place, a spot, a room.
Conception : Annette Leday and Hélène Courvoisier
Direction and choreography : Annette Leday with Hélène Courvoisier, Kalamandalam Unnikrishnan Nair & Sadanam Manikandan
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).
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.