Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Not a review: Performa 2011 opening night

In 2009, a mindblowing Performa festival reinstated New York as a city where the arts are alive and kicking, despite the recession and general depressed mood. We waited two long years for the 2011 edition of Performa and, as opening night, we get "Happy Days In the Art World"? Why? It's a lame show with a lame text badly directed and featuring two actors who don't know what they're doing on this particular stage. And I'm not talking metaphysical angst. The lack of drama, the poorness of the dialogues, the egotistical characters offered no material for the actors to work on. In fact, a good third of the audience was falling asleep, in the lovely theater provided for the occasion.

The show perked up a bit thanks to Kim Criswell. Departing from the self congratulatory mode, a real part was actually written for her, with things to say. And song. She did both beautifully. If the show had been any better before she appeared, she would have roused the crowd to their feet. But it could not be salvaged. The various outfits worn by people who paid $300 or $1000 for the evening were way more interesting. I wondered how they felt about paying this much money for the show, but I suppose it was just a short and unpleasant interlude between two glasses of champagne. In fact the show started half an hour late, probably waiting for the champagne drinkers to finish their glasses.

I stayed until the end because I wanted to see the crowd's reaction. Trust a New York audience not to be fooled by mediocrity. They clapped politely. Some friends of the performers or creators tried to raise the level of response but their efforts were lost on a somnolent crowd. In fact, when it was time to deliver the bouquets to the actors and creators, the lights had already come on and the audience was leaving. I haven't seen other Elmgreen and Dragset (how could they not be successful with these names?!) shows, and I'm ready to believe they're better than what we were presented with last night. But Becket didn't deserve this treatment.

The question left by the opening night dud is whether it's a reflection of the whole 2011 Performa? Not Avant-Garde, not audacious, not creative, poorly performed? Hope not.

Contributed by  - -  Arabella Hutter

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Phénix de peluche

Octobre 2010, subway F. Il y a une place vide à côté d'Alma. Elle l'offre à un homme debout devant elle. Maigre, le crane rasé, il porte une grosse sacoche carrée en toile noire, à l'air fonctionnel et technique. Il tient aussi un animal en peluche rouge sang sous son bras. D'abord il décline l'offre, puis change d'avis et s'assied. Je lui dis:
- Méfiez-vous, elle vous a surement proposé le siège dans l'espoir que vous lui donniez la peluche.
J’ai hésité a plaisanter, parce que je lui trouve un air illuminé. Va-t-il essayer de nous vendre un médicament miracle ou de la religion ? Mais il rit gaiment.
- Impossible. C'est le prototype d'une mascotte. Les jeux olympiques des pompiers et de la police vont prendre place à New York en septembre 2011. Ça fait 9/11 comme la date de l'attentat ((September 11 en anglais). Nous souhaitons commémorer les 10 ans de manière positive. Et cette mascotte est un phénix. Tu sais ce que c'est, un phénix?
- Oui, l'oiseau qui renait de ses cendres.
Alma est férue de mythologie grecque.
- Bravo. Ce que tu ne sais peut-être pas, c'est que ses larmes guérissent et soulage.
Il nous raconte. Il fait partie du comite d'organisation. Ses voyages l’emmènent dans le monde entier. Un drôle de destin pour un pompier New new-yorkais. Oui, mais alors pourquoi la sacoche utilitaire quand elle ne contient probablement que de la paperasserie? Pour ne pas renier ses origines prolétaires malgré son emploi de cadre?

Effectivement, des jeux sont organisés à New York pour la commémoration de 2011, mais pas trace du phénix de peluche : malgré le symbolisme de l'oiseau, le comité d'organisation n'a sans doute pas été convaincu.

in English

Contribué et publié par  - -  Arabella Hutter

Friday, September 9, 2011

Phoenix beanie baby

October 2010. The seat next to Alma is free. She offers it to a man standing in front of her. He's holding a large satchel, the kind inspectors carry, and under the other arm a blood red stuffed animal. At first he turns her down, then changes his mind and sits down. I say:
     -    She probably offered you the seat in the hope that you would give her the beanie baby.
I wasn’t sure about joking with him. Skinny, with a shaven skull, there’s something mystical about him. Is he going to sell us a miracle health supplement or a religion? I'm relieved as he laughs freely.
• Won’t happen! This beanie is the prototype of a mascot. The police and fire force’s Olympic games will take place in New York in September 2011. 9/11, same as the date of the attack. We want to commemorate the 10th anniversary in a positive way. This mascot is a phoenix. Do you know what a phoenix is?
• Yes. A bird that is reborn from its ashes.
Alma is keen on Greek mythology.
       -  Impressive! Do you also know that its tears cure and heal?
He’s part of the organizing committee. His trips take him all over the world. Unlikely destiny for a fireman from New York. In that case, why the technical satchel which probably carries only paperwork? To assert his loyalty to his working class origins despite his white collar job?

A year later, the games do take place but no sign of a Phoenix beanie baby. Despite the bird's symbolism, the organising committee must have rejected it. Alma could have been given it after all:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sculptures of sculptures - Guy Laramée

Guy Laramée sculpts different subjects into books. Some represent sculptures which have been destroyed by the Taliban. He destroys old books to produce representations of destroyed sculptures. Which one deserves to be preserved, the book or the ancient statue?  What determines the value, the right to live, of an object such as an old book which might never be read again? An ancient Buddha statue? I'm not sure, artists can walk a sharp ethical edge. Guy Laramée's sculptures are for sale.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Feeding the Birds

Bin Laden's death has resulted in a whole range of reactions. Here's Jon Ferguson's, which I find particularly apt. I just want to add that Khalid Sheik Mohammed's subjection 183 times to waterboard torture is said to have produced Bin Laden's messenger's name. Oh, and one more thing: Bin Laden lived in some of the poorest regions of the world for 10 years with a 25 million dollar offer on any information leading to his arrest. Nobody snitched.

Feeding the Birds

In spring, when the weather is nice, I am wont to eat my lunch on a park bench between the Café Beau Rivage and Lac Leman. Most of my colleagues stay at school at midday, but I need to get away to keep a grasp on my sanity. Teaching thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen-year olds today is not what it used to be thirty-seven years ago when I started. Maybe it’s me who has changed the most. Maybe it’s the kids. In any case, I need to take a hike whenever I can.

I always buy a salad, a roll, and some fruit juice. I never touch wine until after work and a heavy meal at noon just makes me want to go to sleep. My take-out place is run by a woman from Sri Lanka whom I probably should have married in an ideal world. She has black hair combed off her face, ivory teeth that seem illuminated, a dancing chest, shiny lips, and a smile that makes ordering her food a daily pleasure. Her marriage brought her to Switzerland, but ended in a quick divorce. I was already in the country when I wed. I’m still here after divorcing. In the four years since I started frequenting “Les Bonnes Choses” I’ve never seen her in a bad mood. All her sandwiches, paninis, foccacias, and salads are always fresh, crisp, and copious.

I take my bag and walk to my bench of predilection. It faces the lake, the Alps, and a large patch of beautiful flowers. Behind me and to my left is the café of one of the finest hotels in the world. Rich people eat there on a terrace in the sun. They have more time than me for lunch. There are two lines of trees wherein sparrows wait for people to give them bits of bread. I wonder if the birds “know who we are” and recognize us when they see us coming.

I don’t start throwing the rest of my roll until I have finished my salad. I don’t like eating with beggars at my feet. But I always save at least half of my roll for the birds. And they always come, dropping to the ground from the heavily leafed trees like planes to an aircraft carrier. Within seconds of my first toss, there are a couple dozen of them. I break what bread I have left and try to satify as many of them as possible.

Yesterday was the day Bin Laden was shot in the head, “just above the left eye” the news said. Evidently a unanimous shout of joy went up across America. From sea to shining sea arms and hands were raised to the sky and voices proclaimed that justice had finally been done.
Yesterday while I was feeding the birds there were two children playing behind me. Suddenly one of them made a sound like the “pop” of a cork gun, the kind you don’t see anymore. All of the birds immediately took flight in unison. I was left alone on my bench to finish the last bite of bread and to think about how nature works.

Contributed by - - Jon Ferguson

Published by - - Arabella Hutter

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

authentique ou frime?

J'ai une demi heure à perdre. Il fait doux, je fais un crochet par Washington Square. Je passe devant un violoncelliste qui profite de l'acoustique sous la grande arche du square. Je l'écouterais bien, mais son son est assommé par le vacarme des planches à roulette sur les pavés de béton. Un groupe d'étudiants chantent accapella au milieu du square. Ils sont une quinzaine, à s'arracher les poumons, les coeurs, les tripes pour les promeneurs du soir. Je les filme. Il est temps d'aller à la séance du festival de l'écriture. Un homme noir s'approche de moi.
Vous avez aimé la musique? Vous l'avez filmée?

  Oui, ils chantent avec conviction.
  Moi aussi je chante.
  Quel genre de musique?
 Je mélange, jazz, impro, ça vient de l'intérieur.
Il est très mince, assez grand, un beau visage. Passé la cinquantaine. Une robe noire qui s'ouvre sur un collier massif comprenant une croix, un pantalon noir, un grand turban noir. Il me demande si je suis en visite à New York. Non, j'habite ici. Il me sort une grande tirade sur les Américains, qu'il dit ne pas aimer, sur New York qui était tellement plus vivante dans les années 80 et 90. 
Je ne sais pas. J'ai eu deux enfants depuis que je suis à New York. Ma vie a tellement changé que je suis incapable de me faire une perception continue de la ville. Je viens de Suisse.
Je connaissais un Suisse, Günther, un mec tout petit qui rapportait toujours du vin suisse. 
Et toi, d'où viens-tu?
Du Nigéria.
Du coup, les sirènes d'alarme se mettent en route dans ma tête. Le Nigéria. Exportation numéro un: l'escroquerie.
Il me raconte qu'il attend un paiement (un frère du président a 50 millions de dollars bloqués dans un compte?) et qu'il prévoyait s'acheter une guitare, une guitare verte dans un magasin près du square. Va-t-il me demander de l'aider à acheter sa guitare? Son regard furète aux quatre coins. Que craint-il? Mais c'est égal. Un être humain avec une belle gueule et une dégaine somptueuse a droit à mon attention. Je n'ai pas besoin d'accepter une demande de prêt.
Dommage, la guitare verte a été vendue. Chaque fois que je vais dans ce magasin et que j'essaie une guitare, quelqu'un l'achète tout de suite.
Excuse-moi, mais il faut que je m'en aille, je vais à un événement du festival des écrivains. Je m'appelle Arabella. Et toi?
Christian. Tu as une carte de visite?
Oui, bien sûr.
On se voit pour une tasse de café?
Je suis très occupée ces temps, et j'ai un rhume des foins paralysant. 
Je m'en vais, m'inquiétant que je lui aie donné ma carte de visite, qu'il l'utilise pour vol d'identité. Si je soupçonnais tous les êtres m'entournant, il me faudrait vivre au quotidien avec une perception aigre de l'humanité. Je marche d'un bon pas, jusqu'au Meat District. Quand j'y travaillais dans une boîte de production, on y vendait encore de la viande, le trottoir était glissant de restes organiques. Maintenant, j'ai l'impression de traverser le tournage d'une publicité pour Prada. Des clichés s'imposent à ma rétine à chaque tournant: Deux jeunes femmes très minces en robes courtes descendent un escalier, alors que la musique qui s'échappe du club sans enseigne, comble du chic à New York, fait vibrer les plaques d'égoût. J'apperçois entre des voitures deux paires de chaussures à talons et plate-forme vertigineux puis les chaussures se munissent de jambes fines, puis du corps de deux jeunes femmes accompagnées de deux hommes qui arrêtent un taxi. A peine entrée dans l'hôtel où se tient la séance, une nouvelle série de clichés, une jeune femme noire en robe noire, allongée comme un point d'exclamation, est présentée sur un canapé de cuir blanc. Deux jeunes hommes dans des habits chics lèvent la tête quand je passe, avec cette expression d'arrogance spécifique aux publicités pour la mode. Riches, jeunes et beaux.  Je prends l'ascenceur et arrive dans un lobby enfumé. Pas de cigarettes ou de cigares, c'est interdit! Du gaz carbonique comme dans les fllms, pour faire semblant. Deux jeunes femmes sur les châteaux qui leur servent de chaussures, affublées de tiares, sont en robes courtes et vestes de fourrures. Il fait 25C. Malheureusement, elles sont assises derrière moi, et n'arrêtent pas de gigoter, de taper sur leurs téléphones, de chuchoter pendant la séance. Qui est inégale. Ecrivains, conteurs, photographes sur le thème ghost stories. Et se termine par l'intervention du manager de l'hôtel. C'est à lui sans doute que l'on doit le prix modique de la séance dans cet hôtel de luxe, on n'a probablement pas pu lui refuser le micro. Il raconte une histoire complètement inintéressante de fantômes qu'il a vus dans un hôtel à Bali. Le public applaudit poliment. La tête me tourne.

A la séance ghost stories

Contribué par  - -  Arabella Hutter

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A propos de bilinguisme, justement

Il y a une tendance à croire que le bilinguisme (ou multilinguisme) est en expansion grâce aux à l'explosion des moyens de communications. Je pense que c'est plutôt le contraire. Les langues disparaissent, la densité des languages diminuent. L'UNESCO prévoit qu'il ne restera probablement plus que 500 langues d'ici un siècle sur les 6000 langues existant actuellement. Faut-il préserver les langues, et lesquelles? Dans la région où j'ai grandi en Suisse, le dialecte local a probablement complètement disparu. A moins qu'une poignée d'octagénaires se souviennent de quelques mots. Il est estimé qu'au moins 30'000 langues sont nées et ont disparu dans les derniers 5000 ans. Je tiens ces informations d'un site web extensif qui registre de très intéressantes données linguistiques mondiales.

De plus, nous nous imaginons que les communeautés primitives se déplaçaient peu, mais je pense que de tout temps les gens ont bougé, qu'ils aient émigré ou voyagé. Le déplacement est une aspiration élémentale humaine qui contrebalance le désir de sécurité et de confort. Comme le territoire des langues étaient plus petits, les voyageurs se trouvaient rapidement dans un territoire où une langue étrangère était parlée. De plus les conquêtes ont fréquemment balayé les continents, les conquérants apportant avec eux leur langue qui cohabitait avec les langues locales.

Il me semble que les langues se créent non seulement par créolisation, mais aussi comme moyen de se distinguer des autres, pour créer une identité.

J'admire Foucault, mais je regrette qu'il ait nié les bénéfices de la créolisation pour les langues, telle que la propose Glissant. Cette vision pétrifiante du français m'attriste. La défense d'une langue monolithique offre un moyen de confirmer la supériorité de la France sur le reste de la communauté francophone et celle des classes éduquées sur les individus étrangers ou issus des classes populaires.

contribué par  - -  Arabella Hutter

Thursday, March 17, 2011

le rôle de l'avocat

Pierre Olivier, un avocat, discute sur France Culture de la vérité en justice. Il présente la situation d'un pédophile qui nie les faits malgré les preuves accablantes qui ont été rassemblées contre lui. Son rôle en tant qu'avocat de la défense, est de lui expliquer que s'il nie, il écopera de 15 ans, s'il admet, il s'en tirera avec 8. Mais parfois l'accusé ne veut pas, ou ne peut pas, reconnaître les faits. Il a besoin de continuer à nier pour préserver sa perception de lui-même ainsi que celle de sa famille. Pierre Olivier soutient que l'avocat ne doit pas le pousser à avouer sa culpabilité, parce que cela pourrait résulter en un suicide, soit de l'accusé soit de sa famille, l'un de ses enfants par exemple. J'étais  choquée. Si je me mets à la place de la victime, il me semble, plus que d'une incarcération, d'un "châtiment", j'aurais besoin que le crime soit reconnu, que mon statut de victime soit entériné par l'accusé. 

Un sujet difficile. La justice me semble faillir trop souvent dans notre société actuelle. Notre système légal nous vient des Romains. Il serait temps de le revoir et de l'améliorer.

Contribué par  - -  Arabella Hutter

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Not a review of The Diary of a Madman at BAM

What can I say? One of the best theater shows I've ever seen. Every aspect of theater, text, staging, lighting, acting, music came together to put Gogol's Diary of a Madman in front of an audience.

A perfect marriage of physical theater and verbal expression.

The show was maybe so succesful because it wasn't staging a play written by a playwright, as in writer sits at table and writes in the usual format:

"Mad woman (recoiling in corner)
Aaaaaah.... Aaaaaaaaaah.

Mad man
I don't know why they shaved my head, I told them not to. They have such strange customs in this country.

Mad woman
Aaaaaaaaaaaaah...  Aaaah..."

For this play, it would have to be a different format:
"A woman, her hair shaven off, in tatters, rolls on the floor. She utters screams of absolute pain that wrench the soul. Her face is distorted by fear. Meanwhile the madman tries to foster his chimera, holding on to language and a few scraps of clothes."

In this Gogol text, a clerk has aspirations to climb up the society ladder. There's a ladder on stage, but only the maid climbs it, because it's a real ladder that could lead possibly to real happiness, not the chimera the clerk is after. In Russian 19th century, society is so mineralized that there is no going up the ladder, no going anywhere but fitting into the system. Bowing to the individuals higher on the ladder and ill treating individuals lower on the ladder.

The Finnish maid makes the case for humanity, for warmth and tenderness and spontaneity. And what a case the young actor Yael Stone makes. The clerk doesn't even see her. His only hope of breaking from his lonely fate, she's constantly there, at arm's length, for him to grab salvation, but he can't, he won't.

The structure of the play is brilliant, with scenes ending abruptly with lights dimmed, dialogue stopped in midsentence. The first part all fun and comedy. The second part quickly turns to tragedy, as the clerk having taken his chimera of social ascension for reality can only gyrate down into madness. The tragic pay off would work better if there was more of an emotional connection with the main character. While his representation is brilliant, he doesn't quite come across as a complete human being. He's more of an abstract commentary on society.

Geoffrey Rush and Yael Stone
The play feels contemporary, with its theme, its humor. At the same time, it completely respects the substance of Gogol's text. While everyone in Gogol's time aspires to get closer to the Czar, our society is obsessed with celebrity. 

Music based on Mussorgsky was composed for the play: a violin, a clarinet, and various percussive instruments. The musical episodes dialogue with the madman, interrupt him, underscore his monologues to great effect.

Max and Moritz
The costumes and make up and wigs fit the characters to perfection. His a tragic clown, with a reference to Max & Moritz, 19th century comic book characters.

I've only seen the total control of  physical expression Rush exhibits in Asian performers who spend 12 hrs a day practicing. Or 15. His limbs flow with suppleness, his hands express every feeling he needs to convey. Mercury.

It makes me wonder what kind of theater they have in Australia. While many good actors have come from Australia, wasn't aware of a vibrant theater culture.

Did I say Geoffrey Rush is simply fantastic in the role?

Not a review. If you are interested in finding out why I don't write reviews, go to this entry:

Contributed by  - -  Arabella Hutter

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Le spectacle est dans la salle/the audience is part of the show

I forgot to talk about the audience at BAM in my Nightingale entry. So far my favorite in the world. However I haven't been everywhere.<

I go to different types of shows at BAM, dance, opera, theater, and the audience varies accordingly. The audience for dance shows are young. They all seem the same age, in their early thirties, and the same height - small to medium - when I arrive. Young women, young gay men. Chatter, laugh. They stand straight and their feet tend to point outwards. No fat bellies. Understated clothes. Before the show the air is solid with excitement. And I think, I love being in New York.

The audience for the theater tends to be older. Men help women put their coats on. Camel hair. Pearls float around. Their expressions are serious, they're here for business. In the higher rows sit younger people. Their voices boom all the way down to the orchestra. Their faces and their jaws are too large. It's an advantage for an actor to have a large head. Dress is without flair from the bottom to the top..

The avant-guarde music or mixed media shows often attract the older avant-guarde, they're less conservative than the young generation, I suspect. The women's hair are dyed in interesting variations of the rainbow, they wear jewels at odd angles. The men have ear rings and clothes made out of velvet. They're having a good time.

And at The Nightingale and Other Fables, the audience was eclectic. A lot of stunning individual styles. Alas I had been too lazy, for once, to enjoy dressing up! A tall man, cousin of Yves St-Laurent, wore an intricate turquoise necklace. Or breast piece rather, it was so large. He walked around with his head high, alone, going somewhere. Another man had long gray hair brushed back over the head French style, and huge glasses. A woman in her fifties with beautiful short grey hair wore an exponential dress of burgundy taffetas full of ruche. A young woman had delightful long heels. Long and fine. Just like her legs. Everyone looked famous. Well at least one celebrity: Alan Rickman was there.

Contributed by  - -  Arabella Hutter

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Not a review of The Nightingale and Other Short Fables - at BAM

It's actually Other Fables and The Nightingale, as the fables come first. 

I''m a sucker for Lepage. He's all about theatricality. No beating about the bush. The first fables are illustrated by hand shadows. The opera singer sings: The cat is in the cradle, lalala. And a cat appears on the screen, a really cute cat. Let's have a glass of beer, lalala, sings the opera singer. And the face of an old Russian lady with a very recognizable Russian nose shows up on the screen. It's a delight, because we like to be fooled, and to know that we're being fooled. Theater by definition 

All the fables are illustrated by various shows of light and shades. Lepage obviously had a good time experimenting with these techniques.

The Nightingale has action that's more real, but not much. Each singer manipulates a puppet whose part he/she sings. They play themselves and they play the puppet too in a kind of duplicative motif. Theater is duplication too. Lepage likes machinery, artifice. illusion. He gets his heart's content with birds that fly, dragons that fight in the water, manipulators which are dressed in a mummy-like black outfit. We're supposed not to see them. I won't tell of every trick in Lepage's bag to not spoil the show. 

I have just one complaint of consequence, shared by about a third of the audience: we couldn't see well the water pool at the front of the stage where most of the action took place during The Nightingale. What were they thinking?

The costumes are breathtaking. In the Nightingale they combine gamely Russian and Chinese visual styles. A choir is dressed in colors as bright as a flock of parrots. Spectacular make up spectacular.

The lighting's fabulous. Oh for that moon, or is it the earth, floating on a vibrant blue sky.

The music doesn't do it for me. The singers sang their hearts out, and the lyrics are lovely, but I'm not a fan of Stravinsky. Something's missing in his music: a heart?

Oh, and there's a message about technology not bringing happiness, must be a joke, right? 

Not a review.

Contributed by  - -  Arabella Hutter

Thursday, February 3, 2011

death of Edouard Glissant disparu

Grande, grande tristesse. Edouard Glissant est mort aujourd'hui.

Disparu? Non. Il vit dans notre mémoire et notre imaginaire. Les nécrologie parlent de poète, d'écrivain, de combatant. Pour moi, il était d'abord un penseur. Avec un coeur et un imaginaire. Comme dit la journaliste Raphaëlle Rerolle du Monde:

"S'opposant à tout système imposé, à tout refus de l'autre, Edouard Glissant a été le chantre du métissage et de l'échange, formulant dans les essais regroupés au sein de la série "Poétique" sa thèse sur la "Philosophie de la relation" et la "Poétique du divers". Lui-même a refusé de s'enfermer dans un genre unique, circulant en permanence entre le roman, l'essai et le poème, y compris au sein de chaque ouvrage."

J'espère qu'il aura eu le temps, la disponibilité intellectuelle de se réjouir des événements en Tunisie et en Egypte. Même s'ils ne sont pas forcément liés à la pensée du Tout-Monde, ils permettent en 2011 d'entretenir un peu d'optimisme pour le futur.

Edouard Glissant
 Passed Away Today « Repeating Islands
By ivetteromero
Eloquent defender of diversity and métissage, the great Caribbean writer Edouard Glissant died on February 3 in Paris, at the age of 82. Poet, novelist, essayist , playwright, thinker, [and exponent of the concept of] creolization, ...
Repeating Islands -

Édouard Glissant (1928-2011)
By Dr Tony Shaw
The writer Édouard Glissant, born in Martinique, died in France today. He won the Prix Renaudot for La lézarde (The Ripening) in 1958, and after a visit to Rowan Oak, William Faulkner's former home in Oxford, Mississippi, ...
Dr Tony Shaw -

Le poète et écrivain Edouard Glissant est mort | Rue89
By Hubert Artus
On apprend ce jeudi matin le décès de l'écrivain et poète martiniquais Edouard Glissant. Héritier d'Aimé Césaire, penseur et batteleur insatiable du « Tout- Monde », il avait fondé.
A la Une de Rue89 -

Falleció el escritor francés Edouard Glissant - Radio Bío-Bío
By Denisse Charpentier
Bío-Bío La Radio - La red de prensa más grande de Chile.
Radio Bío-Bío -

Poezibao: La mort d'Edouard Glissant
By Florence Trocmé
Le journal Le Monde informe de la mort d'Edouard Glissant. Poezibao reviendra dès que possible sur cette information.
Poezibao -

Edouard Glissant, mort d'un combattant à l'imaginaire flamboyant ...
By Camille Polloni
Une anthologie du Tout-Monde, Édouard Glissant a scandé, entre poétique et politique, entre mesure et démesure, dans une relation qui lui ressemblait, entière, difficile, incroyable, et toujours créatrice, les jours et les nuits de ...
C'est vous qui le dites -

Mort du poète Edouard Glissant, héraut du métissage
En septembre 2007, Edouard Glissant avait cosigné avec un autre écrivain martiniquais, Patrick Chamoiseau, le manifeste “Quand les murs tombent” par opposition à la création en France d'un ministère de l'Immigration et de l' identité ...
François Desouche -

L'écrivain Edouard Glissant est mort - Indexnet
By Indexnet
Poète, romancier, essayiste, auteur dramatique et penseur de la 'créolisation', le grand écrivain antillais est mort le 3 février, à Paris. Source - Actus, recette, infos.
Moteur de recherche Indexnet -

Édouard Glissant est décédé - : l'actualité de l'Afrique ...
Toute l'actualité d'afrique en direct avec : l'actualité de l'Afrique... -

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pudicherry & French occupation history/histoire de la colonisation française à Pondichéry

From Animesh Rai:

"I am forwarding you the review about a recently published book in Tamil (since your blog now caters to a Tamil speaking audience as well!). I happened to have met and interviewed the author of the book (David Annousamy) while conducting my research. In my own book, I have also extensively quoted from the original French version of the book called "L'intermède francais en Inde. Secousses politiques et mutations juridiques." A reference and review of the same book in French can be found at the following address:

Window on French culture : book review


PUDHUVAI MANILAM ANRUM INRUM: David Annusamy; Pub. by Puducherry Cooperative Book Society, 17, 14 {+t} {+h} Street, Krishna Nagar, Puducherry-605008.
Rs. 200.

Quite few books have appeared in Tamil, including one by Anandarangam Pillai, on the history of Puducherry (Pondicherrry). And the one under review by David Annusamy, an eminent jurist, presents the Union Territory's history in three parts. The first deals with the arrival of the French, their early contacts with India and their wars with the other European countries.
While the second segment discusses the phase under the French rule, the third relates to the territory becoming part of the Indian Union — it merged de facto in 1954 and the de jure reunion took place in 1962.
Puducherry, which provided a window on French culture, imbibed the Tamil traditions as well. It has a place of its own in the freedom movement. Sri Aurobindo Ghosh came there in 1910 and he was followed by patriots like Poet Subramania Bharati.
Drawing from his vast and rich reservoir of personal experience and interactions, the author has provided a lot of lesser known details about Puducherry. According to him, there are 50,000 French-Indians (of Puducherry origin) living in France.
Annusamy first wrote the book in French and later had it translated into Tamil, adding some new facts. This will be a useful guide to researchers.

Contributed by Animesh Rai

Published by  Arabella Hutter

Saturday, January 29, 2011

John Gabriel Borkman

Fiona Shaw's performance was a disappointment. A shrill, monochord delivery. Not that she's lost her acting skills, but looks like she's been directed to do so, as Lindsay Duncan's delivery is also stylized: every line is drawled and drawn. But Lindsay manages to do more out of the role. Cleverly, she lets go of the drawl as the play progress. The men do their bits. They all try, and have talent, but the play is a hard nut to crack. A tedious affair, portentous from start to finish. The characters don't evolve, nothing much happens. The director manages to squeeze the most comic relief available.

The only actor who really pulls it off, Cathy Belton, plays Mrs Wilton. She has all the fun: sex, a young lover, possibly another young innocent female lover, money, looks, youth. She is so content when she's on stage, we were hoping she'd take us away from the play, along with the son of the house. The other characters are dire. John Gabriel Borkman worse then the women? Yes, a bit, because he suffers from primal sexism.

If the play is to be staged, best bet would probably be to go for the guts spilled out on stage, method acting, dark dark humanity.

The set by Tom Pye is spectacular. The ground icy brilliant. Snow in the background threatening to invade, a symbol of the cold that grips the hearts of the characters. Didn't get why they had snowed in cars on the stage, though. Joking. Anyone who was coming from Brooklyn's streets would read the snow boulders in the back as cars whose owners haven't had the courage to dig out.

Still, the audience liked it. After some of the memorable performances of Fiona Shaw we've seen at BAM, it's not surprising. They were showing their loyalty. A feeling that has a lot of say for itself.

In the photo below, the set is slightly different. We saw an improved version, without the wall, the snow is literally everywhere. But it was the photo I found where you best saw the cars parked around the house!

Not a review -  by Arabella Hutter