Mahabharata - Nalacharitam

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2014 archive

Satoshi Miyagi


Satoshi Miyagi calls on the splendours of Japanese theatre to serve a mythical text come from the dawn of Indian culture.
Mahabharata-Nalacharitam © Miuria


Satoshi Miyagi calls on the splendours of Japanese theatre to serve a mythical text come from the dawn of Indian culture, a founding text for an entire civilisation, a text he hopes to make his without betraying the beauty of the historical legend. The director tasks twenty-five dancer-actors and musicians with relating one particular episode of this vast epic: the love story of star-crossed lovers king Nala and his wife the beautiful princess Damayanti, and of the ordeals they face, their encounters with the monsters of the forests, but also with the genies that will help them to find each other. Miyagi tells this story through a series of tableaux punctuated by the narration of a reciter, and the bodies of the actors, clad in splendid paper kimonos, a nod to the Heian period (9th-12th centuries), are directed with an enthralling precision. Those bodies tell of the battles, the intrigue, the wandering, the desire, the love, the fear, and the stories of men harried by gods. Driven by the power of the poem, those living figures relay, sometimes with a lot of humour and distance, the emotion of an epic that still seems as marvelous and rich in lessons today. In the Boulbon Quarry, where Peter Brook first directed a version of the poem in 1985, Satoshi Miyagi, halfway between tradition and modernity, gives us to hear the universality of a work that remains as spellbinding as ever.

This text belongs to the Itihasa literature, a Sanskrit word that can be translated as “so indeed it was.” This mythical, historical, heroic, and folkloric saga, made up of eighteen books, 81,936 stanzas, and over 200,000 verses, dates back to 2,200 BC, at the time of the transition, in India, from oral tradition to written texts. “Like the Bible and Shakespeare put together,” Peter Brook used to say. The Mahabharata is the eventful story of two branches of a royal family. This epic has been a huge influence on Indian society and gave it moral, ethical, and religious frameworks that are still relevant in India today.

Jean-François Perrier, April 2014

More informations onPearltrees


Mise en scène Satoshi Miyagi
Adaptation Satoshi Miyagi et Azumi Kubota
Musique Hiroko Tanakawa
Paysagiste Junpei Kiz
Dramaturgie Yoshiji Yokoyama
Lumière Koji Osako, Hiroya Kobayakawa, Eiji Yamamori
Son Ryo Mizumura, Hisanao Kato, Koji Makishima
Accessoires Eri Fukasawa
Directeur technique Mahito Horiuchi
Assistanat à la mise en scène Masaki Nakano
Collaboration Keita Mishima
Administration Takako Oishi, Sakiko Nakano

Kazunori Abe
Micari Damayanti
Kouichi Ohtaka Nala
Yoneji Ouchi Varshuneya
Naomi Akamatsu Kesini
Yudai Makiyama Pushkar
Hisashi Yokoyama Kali
Takahiko Watanabe Bhima et Chasseur
Maki Honda Impératrice douairière
Moemi Ishii Sunanda
Yuya Daidomumon Rituparna
Ryuji Makino Sudeva
Yuumi Sakakibara and Momoyo Tateno Indra
Yu Sakurauchi and Maki Honda Agni
Miyuki Yamamoto and Mari Suzuki Varuna
Kotoko Kiuchi and Sachiko Kataoka Yama
Mari Suzuki and Yuumi Sakakibara Karkotaka

And the musicians
Ayako Terauchi
(conductor), Moemi Ishii, Yukio Kato, Yu Sakurauchi, Yuzu Sato, Yuki Nakamura, Fuyuko Moriyama, Miyuki Yamamoto, Ryo Yoshimi, Yoichi Wakamiya


Production SPAC-Shizuoka Performing Arts Center
Coproduction Kanagawa Arts Theatre
With the support of Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan in the fiscal year 2014

Practical infos



Read more