The Asian Age New Delhi · 22 Mars 2013 · GATES TO INDIA SONG

The Asian Age New Delhi · 22 Mars 2013 · GATES TO INDIA SONG
"Beyond semantics of language of each culture there is a universal understanding related to sound."
Presse internationale
Kavita Nagpal
22 Mar 2013
The Asian Age New Delhi
Langue: Anglais
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The Asian Age · New Delhi

22 Mars 2013 · Kavita Nagpal

The french embassy and the Institut Français in collaboration with the Alliance Française presented GATES TO INDIA SONG at the residence of the French ambassador. The play is based on two novels by Marguerite Duras: India Song and The Vice ConsOul and it is directed by Éric Vigner. Mr Vigner has been associated with Ms Duras for two decades. It was in 1983 that he came across Ms Duras after a workshop he conducted adapting her novel Summer Rain for theatre. According to him she gave him the vocabulary and the fundamentals of the kind of theatre he wanted to create. 

For Vigner, beyond speech and beyond semantics of language of each culture there is a universal understanding related to sound. "The Vice-Counsel's truth is beyond words and it is revealed through the deafening scream, which is the single gesture, expressing both his horror at the manner in which the lepers in Calcutta were treated and his love for Anne-Marie Stetter. The discovery of the text informed what I wanted to do in theatre and hear something from literature," he says in his directorial note.

Éric was in India in 2011 when he brought the french play The Barber of Seville in a Albanian version to the Bharat Rang Mahotsava. This year, he was in India to tell the story of the Vice-Counsel's and the french ambassador's wife Anne-Marie Stetter's tragic silent passion. He has Indian actors to work with him. Marguerite Duras whose film work based on her own writing Hiroshima mon amour, is world famous, and this is the world premiere of her novel India Song.

The play was staged in the promenade at the residence of the French Ambassador. It opened in the courtyard with the entire cast reading from the book as they introduced each other, Ms Duras has this thing about the language of the play being destroyed when it is staged. She believes that the play should be read only. Next the cast moved to the dining room where the Vice Counsel from Lahore is introduced as he is shaving at the table. The books are consulted less often now and actors are performing. In the third and final act there're no books at all. Here the actors are all dressed in formal evening attire for the ball.

The director's penchant for black and white is retained in all the costumes which are beautifully tailored. There is only one black dress that Anne-Marie wears after the lover leaves and she is desolate and torturted as she lies down on the floor of the area that leads onto the garden where the last scene is enacted.

The performances were all good with Nandita Das leading the troupe. The Vice-Counsel's scream where he says  "I want to spend the night with you. Why can't I ?"' is most effective as uttered by Suhass Ahuja