Diversity and Modernity, Reflection and Collision

Every July, the heat of drama always ignites Avignon, a small town in the south of France, and this year, a century-old European history hit France with high temperatures, which happened to be full of passion and sun in the 73rd Avignon Theatre Festival.

The theme of this year’s drama festival is “L’Odyssée” (Homer Epic), which explores issues such as the displacement of modern society and the refugee wave. This also appropriately reflects the overall appearance of French drama creation and performance in 2018, highlighting “politicality” as one of the important themes of the French theater stage in 2018, whether it is Vincent Magnier performed at the Colin National Theatre. (Macaigne) Director’s work “Je suis un pays” Thinking about the possibility of transforming and saving the world under the existing Western political system, or the drama of Peter Brook’s new drama “The Prisoner” Prisoner), selected four main characters to be played by Rwandan, Indian, Sri Lankan and British actors. The story was selected from Indian mythological stories, but ultimately pointed to the discussion of the community of human destiny. The French drama stage in the past year focused on “politics “Sex” and “social” phenomena also received positive responses at the Avignon Festival 2019.

Olivier Py, artistic director of this festival, is the first theatre artist to lead the festival after Jean Vilar, the founder of the festival. In 2006, he directed “Vila The Mystery of Seoul is staged in the glorious courtyard of the Palais des Avignons, with the intention of paying tribute to Jean Villar. In 2007 he was appointed director of the Odion European Theatre and since 2014 he has been director of the Avignon Theatre Festival. The festival is divided into IN (officially invited by the festival) and OFF (operated by the crew). This year’s drama festival will perform 35 IN units and over 300 IN units in 20 days. The OFF unit is even more There were 1,592 performances by nearly 1,300 art groups. It is worth mentioning that the classic “teahouse” directed by Meng Jinghui and writer Lao She is the first drama in Mainland China to be invited to participate in the IN unit in 73 years. In addition, Chinese dancer Wen Hui and Czech director Jana Svobodová Ordinary people and Kirill Serebrennikov, a Russian director, directed the show, Outside, inspired by the late Chinese photographer Ren Hang. Shortlisted for the IN unit of the Avignon Theatre Festival. Many works including Kunqu Opera “Six Chapters of a Floating Life”, body drama “Aquatic”, dance theater “Water Chamber”, children’s drama “Zhong Huan”, and two works selected by Beijing Youth Festival “Miss Miss” and “Hey Are Me” The repertoire with Chinese traditional art characteristics and modern drama style participated in the performance of the OFF section of the Drama Festival. Compared to the IN unit that reflects the thematic concentration, the participating works of the OFF unit are more freely expressed in form. The crew has invested at their own expense and can perform in any place such as gardens, streets, and squares. It breaks the stage and becomes a real “popular drama.” “.


On July 4, with the opening performance “Architecture” performed in the Palais des Theatres, the prestigious 73rd Avignon Theatre Festival opened. The play was written, directed and installed by Pascal Rambert. The story is set in a 20th-century war- and nationalist-torn Europe, where actors play different members of a family: artists, philosophy Home and composer. Actors use strong body language to express “covered by fear”. They neither escape nor resist, nor can they unite to overcome “fear”, which seems to be a metaphor for the current political situation in Europe; because this ” “Fear”, the simple and holistic stage on the white background is extremely empty and far away. You don’t know what kind of emotion will be in the next moment, and the chaos and anxiety between people will be fully revealed. The actors frequently walked, roared and vented, and the loneliness and endlessness of the palace wall reflected the profound hopelessness. After watching it, I simply shared the experience of watching the drama with my fellow French friends. They did n’t have much interest in the opening drama, and it was difficult to understand in many places. The last 3 hours were too verbose and tedious, and the unfriendly temperature made the overall effect of watching the theater Can’t help but regret. And the atmosphere of the theater festival is as evocative as ever. When the actor closes the curtain and walks out of the old city after zero o’clock, those singing, screaming and drunk crowds are enough to make you find the truth of life.

Different from the way of “Architecture”, the other plays of the IN unit that you watched express the theme of this drama festival. This kind of direct will even surprise you deeply. Of course, you can’t help but give applause. Take O AGORA QUE DEMORA Le Présent Qui Déborde-Notre Odyssée II and Nous, lEurope, Banquet des Peuples as examples. The former is directed by Brazilian Christian Christiane Jatany, born in an artistic family in Rio de Janeiro, directed her first dramatic work in 2004. She was a contracted artist at the Paris 104 Art Centre and the European National Theatre of France. Explore the relationship between the audience and actors, the boundaries between fiction and documentary. As a young director, this “Overflowing Present”, adapted from Homer’s epic, continues her usual creative style, explores the stage presentation of the combination of drama and film, and gives this ancient story with extremely modern vocabulary. More explanation. Christina used the camera to record the story of contemporary homeless people looking for their way home. From Palestine to Lebanon, from Greece to South Africa, the moment you walk into the theater, you will lose yourself thinking that you want to watch a movie or multimedia drama, and Just when you are hovering, the beginning of the movie means that the play has already begun. Christina’s video recording, even if you have never experienced it, does not consciously have a sense of participation. Different cultures and nations show a common sense of homeland and spiritual resonance; in order to make this resonance stronger, the director uses real-time video, instant interviews In the form of combining with live vocals, the performance area is transferred to the auditorium. The 8 actors in the auditorium or the staff can also be said to form a dialogue relationship with the image. Their performance can make up for the missing emotional core in the image. It also cleverly led the audience to perform together, creating a very touching interactive space.

“We, Europe-People’s Banquet” also became a highlight of this year’s Avignon Theatre Festival. The director Roland Auzet is also a composer. He has devoted himself to the development of cross-domain and cross-cultural art projects for many years. This time, his works still retain the distinctive musical characteristics. The actors form a large choir, they symbolize different nationalities, different occupations, and different ages, but they have a common name “Europe”, “What kind of Europe do we want? What do we dream to create in Europe?” Facing these questions The whole play took three hours to show the emotions of contemporary European people, especially young people, about the current situation in Europe, such as identity, national borders, refugee issues, economy, consumption, employment, etc. There are positive calls not to forget the meaning of “brothers” between nations and the imagination to portray the future, and there are constant doubts and angers. In the confrontation between the two sides, important historical events in Europe are brought out. It is a wake-up call and a question. “Now we want Where to go? ” The question is still not directly answered, and this discussion through theatrical creation should be worthwhile. Hey Jude, who sang the Beatles at the end, is also a symbol of hope.

“The Teahouse” directed by Meng Jinghui was shortlisted for the IN unit of this drama festival. As the opening drama of the Wuzhen Drama Festival 2018, two discussion voices appeared after the performance. The participation in the Avignon Theatre Festival has been shortened from the Wuzhen version to nearly 3 hours. The stage is limited by the stage width of the performance theater OPERA Confluence, and the giant rollers have also been reduced. The marvel of the effect, after all, compared to the French who are accustomed to minimalism, our “big dance” visual effect is extremely impactful. Leaving aside the differences in audiovisual senses, it is even more difficult to understand the content of the text. The only thing that is confirmed is that this is a brand new “teahouse” because they do not know what it was. Undoubtedly, it doesn’t make much sense to further evaluate the evaluation of Meng Jinghui’s “Tea House” at the Avignon Theatre Festival, whether it is the applause of the audience after the end or the audience who have left the room one hour after the opening, Whether it is the tears of excitement that Olivier Pey watched or the “minus sign” evaluation given by European media, the voice of Chinese dramatists in Avignon is constantly spreading, and Chinese drama should also create more such time.

In addition, the 35 dramas of the IN unit this time, while highlighting the theme of the theater festival, the diversity and modernity of the show are richer. This is reflected in the following three aspects: first is the diversity of the composition and genre of the play, the Shakespeare directed by Olivier Py and Enzo Verdet The philosopher Macbeth Philosophe, four consecutive performances of his masterpiece Jean-Pierre Vincent in “Lorestie”, Swiss director François Gremaud’s Racine play “Phèdre!”, French female director Blandine Savetier’s “LOdyssée” ) And other four repertoires are reinterpretations of classic works, whether it is the use of eight prisoners of Avignon Le Pente prison to interpret the black light of Shakespeare or Grahamd’s transformation of classical tragedy into a modern version Happy Odyssey, they all try to convey the power and tremor of drama in modern vocabulary. In addition to the classics, there are also new works and the emergence of rookie directors. Brazilian director (Tiganá Santana) “Miragre dos Peixes” premiered at the festival, young Belgian female director, Julian National Theatre resident artist Julie · Pelléas et Mélisande by Julie Duclos, Dévotion, Dernière offrande aux by Mass, the French young director (Clément Bondu) (dieux morts) invariably combines the interplay of drama and film, boldly using modern visual language to create. The festival is also rich in variety of types, including the immersive drama “$” (money), the children’s drama “Lamour Vainqueur”, “The Republic of Bees” (La République des Abeilles), “Snow White” “A Story of a Prince” (Blanche-Neige, Histoire dun Prince), concert “La Nuit des”

Second, the diversity of background sources for the director of this festival: multiple countries, nationalities, cultures, and identities. Let us see the inclusiveness and globality of the Avignon Theatre Festival. , Strengthened the depth and intensity of reflection on social issues. Especially in the context of the turbulence of the modern society and the refugee wave, not only the directors of European countries are trying to change, but also the IN unit of this theater festival has staged five works by directors from Africa and the Arab region. “Multiple-s” by Burkina Faso dancer Salia Sanou, a West African country, puts writers, dancers, musicians and other identities in a simple and plain stage space. The crowds are linked together, they read poetry, dance and play, and at some point become a whole. Congo dancer Faustin Linyekula follows the story of Revival-Drama (Part I) at the Avignon Theatre Festival 2018, this year will be a drama story (second) ( Histoire (s) du thé? Tre II) turned his creative background to his childhood memories. The space on the stage is like an open house, carrying a private history and national memory. Ivorian artist Yacouba Konaté’s work “Le Jeune Yacou” is the author’s own story and voice, a difficult journey out of crisis; Yakuba escapes from Côte d’Ivoire When he came to France, he joined the workshop of exiled artists, which gave him the power to continue his life. Author of “Mahmoud & Nini” Frenchman Henri Jules Julien is a chemical engineer by profession. Based on his many years of living in Arab countries, he produced on the European stage With a number of dramatic works by actors from Arab countries, this “Muhammad and Nini” shows the conflict and differences between the roles of two men and women, thinking about the sincerity of “intercultural communication”. It is slightly different from the above four artists. British choreographer Akram Khan from Bangladesh has been familiar with everyone. In recent years, some works have appeared at the Shanghai International Art Festival. Outwitting the Devil tries to warn humans of the possible cost of running out of earth resources through dance language.

The third interpretation of the connotation of “diversity” is that eight of the 35 works in the IN unit of this drama festival were created by women, which is also directly related to the female director of the IN unit, Anés Torrie Women have almost become an outlet for the festival and a rich and diverse possibility. The content of their works is full of women’s delicate emotions, but also full of the unique charm and artistic ideal of female directors. Tamara Al Saadi, the director of Place, is an Iraqi-French writer. After graduating from the Paris School of Economics and Political Science, she is mainly engaged in sociological research and drama creation. This time, Her work Place has won many awards in 2018. As an autobiographical political work, “Place” explores the inner state of a young woman’s review of family history. The heroine lingers between being unable to become an Iraqi and an assimilated French, looking for and expressing the author through past memories Multiple identities of individuals. “Ordinary people”, a collaboration between Chinese dancer Wen Hui and Czech director Jana Svobodová, tells the emotional memories of each ordinary person’s fragment through dance, chanting and video. China and the past Czechoslovakia once had With a similar historical background, the two artists used a combination of documentary drama and dance to show the intersection of the two countries and the desire of ordinary people. The concert “La Nuit des Odyssées” comes from the famous female cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton, who has been at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Paris and the Moscow Conservatory Study. In this “Odyssey Night”, she combines classical music played by the cello with songs and stories from different regions (Italy, Congo, India, Greece, Syria, etc.), presenting a passionate audiovisual feast.


As is known to all, the Avignon Theatre Festival breaks the organization model centered on a single theater stage, and sets up temporary stages in many places closely related to the lives of local residents to reduce the sense of distance between theatrical works and amateur audiences. The theaters, opera houses, chapels, school gymnasiums, gardens and other open spaces in the ancient city walls of Avignon can be used as theater performance spaces. Most of the OFF unit performances are completed in these venues. The six Chinese works that participated in the OFF unit were all performed in Collège de la salle, a theater transformed from the school. Since 2011, Chinese drama people have begun to associate with the Avignon Theatre Festival. The cooperation between the Beijing Youth Drama Festival and the Avignon Theatre Festival has promoted Chinese drama to “go out” continuously. This year, the Beijing Youth Drama Festival recommended “Miss Mu”. “Hey is me” participated in the IN unit performance. The other four works cover different genres such as body drama, Kunqu opera and dance theater. Following the critical acclaim at the Avignon Theatre Festival in early 2012, “Aquatic”, directed by young director Zhao Miao, has once again entered the arena of Avignon this year. This physical drama is a fusion of China’s long-standing puppet culture and opera culture Adapted from “Liu Liu Lang” in “Liao Zhai Zhi Yi”, it tells the human nature while telling the story of “one person, one ghost”. The sequence of Six Chapters of a Floating Life from the Suzhou Kun Theatre, with a porridge of flowers, wind appreciation, moon worship, snow embroidery, and an epilogue. It presents the touching scenes of traditional Chinese local folk customs with respect for culture, love, benevolence and sincerity. The biggest feature of the “Water Chamber” in the Shanghai Concert Hall participating in the OFF unit is the combination of Chinese and Western musical instruments and folk dances. From the perspective of modern people, it tells the cycle of life, self-growth, and expresses the life of each “I” The spirit of actively searching for life force in the process; “Water Chamber” is an ancient tune of Xiangxi (Miao people) in Hunan. The “Water Chamber” throughout shows the oriental rhythm directly. When watching, we found that the French audience in the back row followed The actors hummed and punched together until the end.

It can be seen that the types of external display of our works are still mainly based on body plays, dances and operas. Due to cultural and language differences, this is also a balanced move in order to better “export”. But over time, how to further show the development of contemporary Chinese drama and make the world’s understanding of Chinese drama more comprehensive has become a new proposition. Promoting art creation to a larger platform for display and acceptance by more audiences is the direction we must continue to work for. For example, cooperation with the resident theater of the Theater Festival is a more effective model. The six public theaters resident in the Avignon Theatre Festival include the Thé? Tre des Carmes, the Thé? Tre du Chêne Noir, the Thé? Tre du Chien qui fume, and the Market Theatre ( Thé? Tre des Halles), CDC Les Hivernales, Thé? Tre du Balcon, these six resident theatres have their own mature publicity and promotion teams and strong industry theatre resources Cooperation with him is undoubtedly killing two birds with one stone. The Shanghai Academy of Drama is a pioneer of this kind of thinking. In 2011, it cooperated with the Black Oak Theatre. The director of the theater, Gerard Gelas, and the Chinese screenwriter Cao Lusheng jointly launched The West Chamber; in 2014, Established a cooperative relationship with the Market Theatre. Alain Timar, the art director of the Market Theatre, and the Chinese director Hong Bin co-directed “The Emperor is dying.” The local has received a high evaluation, which is also an innovation in the teaching mode of art colleges.

With the boom of domestic drama festivals in recent years, which has boosted the drama market, the performances of the world’s three major theater festivals and new works by well-known directors have been introduced to various performance seasons and participated in domestic drama festivals. Different from the distinctive theme of Avignon’s Drama Festival and the theme of the drama’s profound reflection, our implementation of the theme of the Drama Festival is not deep enough. Taking the theme of Wuzhen Drama Festival as an example, from the “ying” in 2013 to the upcoming 2019 The theme of the 7th Wuzhen Drama Festival is “Yong”. Except for the youth competition unit, which is created around the theme, other invited repertoires seem difficult to come close to. Of course, the fuzzy abstraction of the theme has limited the scope of the selection of works, so we It should be inspired by the Avignon Theater Festival, construct an interactive relationship between the theme and the characteristics of the times, and play more social functions of the Festival. This time I watched the Avignon Theater Festival. French friends would ask us, “Does China have a theater festival?” This can not help but make us dumb and eager to share our drama festival, which shows that we must continue to improve the international dissemination and influence of China’s drama festival. Let it truly become a worldwide drama event.

The Avignon Festival is closely related to the development of French theater, where Patrice Chéreau’s Hamlet and Antoine Vitez direct Satan’s Dog ( Le Soulier de satin), Bernard-Marie Koltes’ “Dans lasolitude des champs de coton” became an eternal classic; the theatre festival also portrays French politics And the characteristics of the social age, actively responding to the voice of the public.

The 20-day drama feast came to an end, and in the streets exposed to the scorching sun in Avignon, hurriedly traversing the ancient city walls to find the theater, so it became a daily memory, the high temperature in Europe slowly receded, and the light and heat of the theater nourished many of you and you. we.