From 'S.Thala, An Indian Suite', a show held as part of Bonjour India 2022 | Photo: Special arrangement
Delhi: A unique dance show titled 'S.Thala, An Indian Suite' was showcased in the Alliance Francaise de Delhi on April 2 as a part of Bonjour India 2022. Bonjour India (Hello India) is an artistic, cultural, educational and social initiative taken by The French cooperation network in India as an Indo-French moment. It presented a 128-event programme developed in partnership with French and Indian partners in fields such as education, science, literature, cinema, gastronomy, street art, performing arts and photography in 19 Indian cities.
S.Thala is a Sanskrit word meaning a place or a spot and is inspired by Marguerite Duras Indian cycle and her book L'Amour.
L'Amour is a fascinating non-linear fragmentary work that invokes rehashed, changed memories drawn from the Indian Cycle's organic magma. Characters from the original works have been dislocated and projected into new narrative zones in L'Amour.
The dance performance was directed by Annette Leday, a French choreographer and dancer who is well versed in Indian and French Theatrical and dance forms. S.Thala's creative process began in December 2019 in Kerala under the direction of Annette. Both French and Indian audiences witnessed a new and unique way of storytelling.
"Bringing these two artforms (Kathakali and French contemporary dance) took 30 years and it has been a process," says Annette to Mathrubhumi.
She later spoke in Malayalam recalling their first experiment which was in 1989, in Kerala. Where she adapted William Shakespeare's King Lear into Kathakali. She also added that Kalamandalam Unnikrishnan, Sadanam Manikandan and Helene Courvoisier are her partners and that they were with her from the start. To the question "What's next?" Annette replied- This is an artist's life and we never know what's coming, we are hoping for the best.