Photo: Michèle Laurent
The representation of last Saturday, first presented as a first, has finally been announced as a general.
At a time when France is troubled, and Robert Lepage have found the means of reconciling the French ? One thing is for certain, the piece that he presents since Saturday in Paris with the legendary troupe of the Theatre of the Sun appears to rally the French critics. With the exception of a few reserves due primarily to the lack of preparation, it has, in fact, acclaimed Kanata (Episode 1. The controversy). A show yet accused last summer in Quebec of” cultural appropriation, ” since its distribution did not involve Aboriginal peoples. And this, even if the 32 performers of the piece are available in over twenty different nationalities.
In this “show masterful and dark,” the daily Le Figaro believes that ” everything here is based “. According to Armelle Héliot, this show tells the story of a junkie native american in the streets of Vancouver is ” a reflection on our world, our societies, a lucid analysis of a Twenty-first century cut off from its deepest roots. And where the only credible answer is the art and sharing “. Even if it is the first time that the director Ariane Mnouchkine entrusts his main show with a different director, wrote the first daily French national, ” the troupe preserves its great vitality, its ability to move physical and intellectual.”
In a critique less laudatory, the newspaper The World , nevertheless, believes that ” everything is in place in this project for the magic “. Joëlle Gayot welcomes both about “humanist, potentially moving, and certainly attentive to the fates unique as it exposes” and a form that ” evokes the wonderful, including Ariane Mnouchkine, the patron saint of the Theatre of the Sun, made his signature “. It particularly stresses the “how subtle of transforming the plateau” and the ” sliding skilful of here to elsewhere “. The only downside, you ask yourself, ” Robert Lepage is he, unbeknownst to her, hobbled by a guilt which would have cornered the critical eye of his fellow aboriginal peoples ? One feels, in its representation, a desire for legitimation. It results in discomfort and awkward attempts of justification.” And the criticism to conclude that, despite these reservations, Ariane Mnouchkine has had reason to fight ” with determination for this show see the light of day “.
Despite some problems of rhythm and play, the critic of the daily The Echoes believes that ” this picture book scary takes us in a whirlwind of sensations and reflections, vivid humanity which is fractured, shoot the illusions fatal, but may still believe in his salvation, cultivating the art, the redemption, and the tenderness.” For Philippe Chevilley, Lepage managed the tour de force universalize ” with flying colors the debate on the identity and relationships of colonizer-colonized “.
Rare discordant note in Paris, The Express believes that Kanata “is more like a movie” and is ” an exploration of the ethnographic more than a piece of theatre “. According to the critic, ” a few beautiful paintings are not enough to conceal the slow pace of the room, burdened by strongly by changes of scenery sometimes laborious. The writing itself is quite flat “. This does not preclude the week to denounce the “fatal cabal communitarian and identity,” which has been the victim of the piece in Quebec.
In qualifying Robert Lepage” artist white “, Laura Cappelle in the New York Times is clearly distinguishable from all the criticism the French. She believes that by letting himself ” overwhelmed by the story of appropriation, the director has turned Kanata in a business of justification. According to her, ” the final product examines the state of the country’s First Nations, but it does so through the veil defensive of an artist white who cannot help but tell us that he, too, has been the victim of retaliation “. The criticism was particularly shocked by the blood that squirts out a window when the murder of the young Aboriginal girl. The artist who immortalisera her face, she wrote again that she is first, she also, ” savior white “.
The difference of this reading, the French press has unanimously denounced the pressures exerted on Robert Lepage, and praised the tenacity of Ariane Mnouchkine, without which the piece would have probably never been mounted.