November 2 – Chandala, impure

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Chandâla, impure is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Directed by Koumarane Valavane ¦ Produced by Indianostrum Theatre, Pondicherry
Language: Tamil ¦ Duration: 160 minutes + interval ¦ Suitable for 12 years and older

In the beautiful India where our play takes place lives a very old demon who feeds only on hate sitting on his throne painted with sacred. He divided the world into four colors:
“At the height of purity are the Brahmins; below them- Kshatriya, the warriors, then the Vaisya- the merchants and, finally the Sudras- the servants. There should be fifth category that needs to be added – of those who are totally impure to touch, the Chandalas. They are excluded from everything because they can pollute the purity. Purity of the earth they walk on, air they breathe, water they drink, the places they pass by, the objects they touch…”

About the Director: Koumarane Valavane, a Franco-Indian, who left to France in his early years for his studies, started practicing theatre at very young age. In the University of Marseille, he along with his friends created a cultural association named “centre culturel de Luminy ” and made theatre as its primary element. After completing his research in Theoretical Physics he came out of the University and founded his own Theatre Company “Natya”. And before returning back to India in 2006, for 3 years he worked as an actor at Theatre du Soleil, the renowned Theatre Company in Paris.
With the rich experience of Contemporary Theatre gained from France, Koumarane returned to his home with a decision to continue exploring Theatre at home. His thought begun to spread its roots when he met few young people at Alliance Francaise de Madras. This small group connected by the passion to do theatre, decided to form a Theatre group and created Indianostrum in 2007.

Why this play?
In Austria, after a performance in the year 1777, RnJ was banned since the Empress deprecated plays in which “burials, cemeteries, crypts and other such sad spectacles appear”.  Many schools authorities have used “abridged” version instead of original text on the grounds of too much of sexual content. Some parent organisations had demanded a ban on RnJ on the ground the text being too mature for middle school students. This has resulted in censoring “objectionable” lines from the original work of Shakespeare and in some cases banning the students from watching theatrical presentation of the play. 5. In February 2010, in Toronto, Canada, a film adaption of RnJ was banned as it was deemed inappropriate.

About the Company: Indianostrum Théâtre was founded by Koumarane Valavane, a French-Indian Director in the year 2007, along with few young actors who were ready to gamble their flourishing careers in conventional fields over their passion for theatre.
Indianostrum’s core aim is to expand the role of modern theatre in the cultural life of the country, by developing new modern texts, finding the specificities of Indian modern theatre, exploring its relationships with traditional forms and transcending political, social and historical divides.