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Unmasking theatre

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Event Alliance Française de Trivandrum organises a theatre workshop by French director and comedienne Françoise Calvel

Oscar Wilde regarded theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being. And the city has always encouraged this wonderful art either through its regular theatre festivals or by nurturing home grown talent. This weekend, we've got one more reason to agree with Wilde. Theatre buffs get to participate in a theatre workshop organised by Alliance Française de Trivandrum on September 24.

Facilitated by French artiste Françoise Calvel, a director and comedienne with over two decades of experience on the stage, the workshop has something for every age group.

Helping us connect

“The objective of this workshop is to let people discover theatre, the art of the common man,” says Francoise. She strongly believes that theatre can help us connect with the self and respect our inner selves.

Going by the years she has spent under the spotlight, she should know. Françoise started out as a comedienne and director at the age of 18, and later on also ventured into playwriting. Having got into an intense relationship with theatre that young, Françoise has had some memorable experiences. “I had the good fortune of meeting and working with great artistes such as Carlo Boso, who is a grand master of ‘Commedia dell'arte' – Italian Comic Theatre of masks.”

Exploring human emotions, particularly through the mask, is perhaps, a sure way to conquer them. Which is probably why in much of her works, Françoise has used masks.

“My quest has always been for an understanding of the human consciousness so that I can be an amplifier of human emotions through the performing arts,” she adds.

In this workshop, Françoise will be primarily using pantomime, mask and marionette to allow participants explore human emotions. Physical movements and artistic expressions of theatre that involve the body encourage self-confidence in participants. “The workshop will be using games and exercises as well,” says Françoise.

Françoise will be using English as the medium of communication, also given that she is an admirer of writers such as Tennessee Williams and Woody Allen.

She is also a great aficionado of traditional theatre forms of Kerala, and even joined for a course in Kathakali in 2003. However, Françoise believes that the theatre of the West and East cannot be compared. Rather than the differences, she has faith in connections and fusions. “I prefer fusing the two and believe in the exchange and meetings of artistes and trends.”

Dividing her time between France and the city, Françoise is hopeful of offering regular such theatre workshops for children and adults here.

The workshop will be held at Alliance Française de Trivandrum. Contact: 2320666

Anupama Raju

My quest has always been for an understanding of the human consciousness so that I can be an amplifier of human emotions through the performing arts Françoise Calvel

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