The vividness of life in its various facets seen on every street and gully in India is in itself an instruction for stage theatre, according to renowned experimental director Araiane Mnouchkine who is currently on an India tour.
Winner of the The Ibsen Award, one of the biggest awards in theatre, the French director has travelled world over with her plays and is currently in India with Ecole Nomade of Theatre du Soleil for a 16-day workshop in Puducherry, which begins December 14.
Mnouchkine, whose theatre group Theatre du Soleil is reckoned to be an avant-garde ensemble, founded by herself, Philippe Leotard and theatre students in 1964 as a collective of theatre artists in Paris, however, admits that she has not seen the modern Indian theatre productions.
"I would say there was and there is still theatre everywhere in India. The streets were the theatre for me because of the beauty of the people. Because of their musicality in their gestures, their intensity. So everything made theatre during this trip. I didn't need to go to actual theatres to gather a vision for theatre," she says.
Asked if the Indian productions would hold ground at global level, she says, "I don't know Indian modern theatre. So I don't know. But, what I know is the Indian tradition of theatre is way above many other theatres. Traditional Indian form of theatre is of course recognised as source, interest, inspiration, discipline and example...They are like a book. They are parts of the Bible of the Theatre."
Now 75, Mnouchkine who had travelled far and wide in India before her venture into theatre direction during the 1960s may have cultivated experiences from her journey here, but it was China that attracted her artistic instincts more in the beginning before India became her source of inspiration.