Théâtre du Soleil Kanata – Episode I – La Controverse
This production sees, for the very first time in the fifty-four years of its history, Ariane Mnouchkine handing over the Théâtre du Soleil troupe to an invited director - Canada’s Robert Lepage. The latter has conjured up a piece which pieces together fragments of a far-reaching epic spanning two hundred years of history in his native land. “Kanata”, the Iroquois word for “village”, gave its name to Canada and cements, through the intermediary of the actors, this encounter between two of theatre’s foremost directors. Humanists, above all, the duty of the artist to reflect the era they live in is a conviction shared by them both
A painting. Mysterious and beautiful. An Indian girl from Canada. An Aboriginal. There is splendour in her regard, it draws us in irresistibly; it is the regard of an empress.. She has a name: Josephte Ourné. The painter also has one. Joseph Légaré. Another painting by this same Légaré: Landscape with a speaker addressing the Indians. This speaker, we are told is Edmund Kean, the actor, Theatre personified, all dressed in black like a pastor. What is he doing here before a small group of attentive Hurons? Is he colonizer or merely preacher? Is he
reciting Shakespeare? Is he Invader? Peddlar? Or actor? Or is he, as is the fact, a womanizer in priestly robes, whom a prudish and hypocritical public has hounded from his homeland and forced into exile. Pursued by censure everywhere he settles, from Canada to Quebec, forever dogged by his female entanglements, until he meets the Hurons. They will love him, make him an honorary chief and even give him a name: Alanienouidet; which roughly means snowflakes swirling in a gust of wind, supposedly a description of his acting style.
Leyla Farrokhzad, the curator of the Museum, and Jacques Pelletier, curator of the Quai Branly. have taught us all this and, whatever they may think, they are not done yet with these portraits and adventures.
An impressive, serene forest. A long house. Enter some loggers. Chainsaws howl.
A "friendly popular" neighbourhood, or so it appears to Miranda and Ferdinand, she a young painter and he a keen young actor. They have just moved into the loft of their dreams, rented from a Chinese woman. Here we get to know this neighbourhood. Needle Park , centre of the drug underworld. We meet Rosa, the social worker, Tanya, the heroin addict. We go to the police station. Women have disappeared. Aboriginals all.
The environs of Vancouver
A pigsty. A man drinks his beer. The squealing of pigs as they eat.
Vancouver and what follows
Theatre will show how, but suffice to say for now that Tanya and Miranda meet and that the latter senses certain responsibilities. We also come to know that Tanya is adopted and that she speaks Persian with her adoptive mother. The world is decidedly small, and the serial killer is close by. And then there is Tobie trying to make a documentary about this "so nice and popular" neighbourhood.
The theatre will reveal how. And then there is the controversy. »
Ariane Mnouchkine, September 2018
Estimated running time : 2h30 intermission included
Show is available from age twelve
Directed by Robert Lepage
With the Théâtre du Soleil actors, Shaghayegh Beheshti, Vincent Mangado, Sylvain Jailloux, Omid Rawendah, Ghulam Reza Rajabi, Taher Baig, Aref Bahunar, Martial Jacques, Seear Kohi, Shafiq Kohi, Duccio Bellugi-Vannuccini, Sayed Ahmad Hashimi, Frédérique Voruz, Andrea Marchant, Astrid Grant, Jean-Sébastien Merle, Ana Dosse, Miguel Nogueira, Saboor Dilawar, Alice Milléquant, Agustin Letelier, Samir Abdul Jabbar Saed, Arman Saribekyan, Wazhma Tota Khil, Nirupama Nityanandan, Camille Grandville, Aline Borsari, Man Waï Fok, Dominique Jambert, Sébastien Brottet-Michel, Eve Doe Bruce, Maurice Durozier
Dramaturgy, Michel Nadeau
Creative direction and design, Steve Blanchet
Set design and props, Ariane Sauvé, Benjamin Bottinelli, David Buizard, Pascal Gallepe, Kaveh Kishipour, Etienne Lemasson, Martin Claude with the assistance of Judit Jancso, Thomas Verhaag, Clément Vernerey, Roland Zimmermann
Painting and patinas, Elena Antsiferova, Xevi Ribas with the assistance of Sylvie Le Vessier
Lighting, Lucie Bazzo with Geoffroy Adragna, Lila Meynard
Composer, Ludovic Bonnier
Sound, Yann Lemêtre, Thérèse Spirli, Marie-Jasmine Cocito
Images and projections, Pedro Pires, with Etienne Frayssinet, Antoine J. Chami
Surtitling, Suzana Thomaz
Costumes, Marie-Hélène Bouvet, Nathalie Thomas, Annie Tran
Hairstyles and wigs, Jean-Sébastien Merle
Assistant Director, Lucile Cocito
Thanks to the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs’ apprentices and their teachers Elise Capdenat, Annabel Vergne, and the Lycée Léonard de Vinci (Paris)' apprentices and their teachers Anne Bottard, Franck Vallet
Thanks to Mordjane Djaouchi (acrobatie).
This performance is made possible in part by Ex Machina, thanks to: David Leclerc and Benoît Brunet-Poirier (video), Olivier Bourque and Mateo Thébaudeau (technical direction), Gabrielle Doucet (painter), Virginie Leclerc (set an props), Viviane Paradis (production).
Support also provided by Banff Center for the Arts, Alberta (Canada) and University Simon Fraser Woodward (cultural programs), Vancouver (Canada).
For all great affairs, Charles-Henri Bradier
Technical and organizational affairs, Etienne Lemasson, with the assistance of Pascal Gallepe
Administrative affairs, Astrid Renoux, with the assistance of Joséphine Supe, and accounting affairs, Rolande Fontaine
Public affairs, Liliana Andreone, Maria Adroher-Baus, Sylvie Papandré or, Svetlana Dukovska, Margot Blanc
International affairs, Elaine Méric
Editorial affairs, Franck Pendino
The kitchen chefs, Hélène Cinque, Karim Gougam, Paban das Baul, Mimlu Sen
Poster and flyer, Thomas Félix-François
The great healer, Marc Pujo
The photographer, Michèle Laurent
- Témoignages vidéo de survivants de pensionnats autochtones au Canada, projet Where Are The Children?, The Legacy of Hope Foundation
- Joseph Légaré, Josepthe Ourné, vers 1840, huile sur toile, National Gallery of Canada
- Joseph Légaré, Paysage avec un orateur s’adressant aux Indiens, vers 1842-1843, huile sur toile, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, legs Horsley and Annie Townsend
- Henry Hoppner Meyer, Edmund Kean en Alanienouidet, Chef et prince de la tribu des Hurons, vers 1833, huile sur toile, The Art Archive / Garrick Club
- Henry-Daniel Thielcke, Présentation d’un chef nouvellement élu au Conseil de la tribu huronne de Lorette, 1840, huile sur toile, Château Ramezay
- Cornelius Krieghoff, Un Huron-Wendat de Lorette, vers 1855, huile sur toile, Musée McCord, legs Arnold Wainwright
A production by Théâtre du Soleil ; in conjunction with Festival d’Automne à Paris
Coproduction Printemps des Comédiens (Montpellier), Napoli Teatro Festival Italia
In association with Théâtre du Soleil ; and Festival d’Automne à Paris
First performance on 15 December 2018 at Théâtre du Soleil (Paris) in conjunction with Festival d’Automne à Paris
In partnership with France Inter