JURY DECISION 2009
- ARIANE MNOUCHKINE


Everyone who has seen one of Ariane Mnouchkine’s productions at the Théâtre du Soleil in Paris leaves with the feeling of having been part of a tale of enchantment.

A tale that is larger than life but at the same time reveals life. A fantastic journey that throws fresh light on history and contemporary society, that enriches thought and feeling and in dramatic language inspires an apparently paradoxical faith in the future.

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To enter a Mnouchkine production is to enter another world, a world of fantasy and imagination that makes us transcend our limitations challenging our comfortable illusions.

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It is said that theatre originated in ritual. If so, Ariane Mnouchkine’s theatre is proof that the sources of ritual have not dried up. A Mnouchkine production is not a spectacle but an arena for participation. From the moment of entering the Théâtre du Soleil’s large foyer in the old munitions factory in the forest of Vincennes, each member of the audience is drawn into a total experience – sensual, richly coloured, teeming with life and absorbing in its choreography. Ariane Mnouchkine and her fellow actors at the Théâtre du Soleil give us back what our seemingly hopeless world has taken from us: courage, compassion and joy.