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    Combining dance, music and video, La ForA?t A�bouriffA�e explores movement and imagination.

    AS WITH popular works in childrena��s literature, the premise for La ForA?t A�bouriffA�ea��which will be performed in the city on Tuesdaya��was provided by a childa��s wild imagination. Protagonist Racine lives a dreary existence with his grandmother and he finds himself distinguished in one way: a forest is growing inside his head. How he goes into the woods to find his true self is where the French performance packs a punch, attempting to recreate his emotions and experiences on stage with an unconventional use of dance, visuals and lighting.
    Tree of life
    The production is the brainchild of France-based choreographers, Christian and Francois Ben Aim, and has been brought to India by Alliance Francaise of Madras, after over 140 performances in Europe (since 2013). a�?The starting point for the play was an offer from a theatre to do a show for children,a�? says Christian. Author and illustrator MA�lusine Thiry was roped in to write a book, which yielded the central theme of the performance. Thiry also designed the visual content for the show, which will be projected on to twoA� screens, in front of which two dancers will play the role of Racine.
    a�?The scenography creates a sense of depth between the images and the bodies in motion, causing confusion between dream and reality,a�? explains Christian. The aim has been to create a visual effect wherein the creatures imagined by the little boy, the setting and the dancersa�� bodies are all shown to belong to the same universe, he adds.
    On stage
    The performance (targeting children between six and 10 years) will feature a contemporary dance piece to reflect the emotional and physical states of Racine, interspersed with a narration in English, Francois explains. Lighting is an aspect to watch out for, as they have to showcase the dancers without coming in the way of the visuals. a�?Ia��ve essentially used side lights to lend a magical effect to the dancers, who appear through a soft fog,a�? explains Laurent Patissier, the lighting director. It also has to a�?focus on the dancers but not too mucha�?, as we have to create the illusion that they arena��t real and are only a part of the visual landscape shown, the 44-year-old explains. What the audience will see is a kind of movie with two living dancers moving inside, Patissier adds.
    At Sir Mutha Hall, on May 31, at 7 pm. Free passes on eventjini.com

    a��Sharadha Narayanan

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