Artistic research: OPERA CREOLE
‘Opera Creole’ is a term that describes a style of musical theatre of the stage artist. The research would have been complete with the actual staging of each play. For a long time, the researcher considered his directing skills as the most promising. Playwriting has become the most viable method of leaving behind a body of research that spans over decades and across the planet. First, there was PIKPIK, a play with songs adapted from a story by the French author Alphonse Allais. Much later, MIND THE GAPS became a play about London with a thin story line but an early awareness about climate change. PAPA LAVAL (Cap Sur l’Ile Maurice) is the published play, produced, arranged, staged and performed. DESTINATION CROYDON (Refugee) has been written with 30 songs awaiting input from various composers. Two more themes have been researched to clarify what ‘opera creole’ entails. In brief, it is a form of contemporary musical theatre, centred around a key figure whose life story crosses borders, the theme is multicultural and the medium is multilingual. It raises the curtain on tomorrow’s plural world.
Academic research: CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT (Africa)
FACE – The Foundation for Arts, Creativity & Exchange has been set up to contain the main findings of a research applied to the study of performing arts in sub-Saharan Africa. Funding remains the key issue blocking significant progress. Hence, the need for a purposeful funding agency. Training is a viable route towards tapping into unlimited potential of live arts in Africa, for Africans. The word ‘drumma’ has been coined to indicate the specificity of the rich fabric of arts performed within the communities. ‘The Diamond Theory’ tries to provide intellectual coherence and command essential attention from all concerned, in and out of Africa. Cultural development would make real sense in Africa if only the arts were considered a raw material as rich and valuable as the minerals in the soil of the African continent holds for its inhabitants and for humanity. The book EMPOWERING THE PERFORMER must be seen as only an introduction into the subject matter.
Training research: WHAT THEATRE FOR WHAT PEOPLE?
Yet to be published: THEATRE MATRICE. This book has been written to expose and explain what in the 1970s the theatre workshop of Mauritius (L’Atelier Theatre) tried to achieve soon after the independence of Mauritius. At one stage, there were only questions and challenges at all levels. The theatre was used to make a contribution. What was the training method used? What were the themes treated? What were the forms of theatre that may translate the living experience of a people? What specific plays came out of the experiment? SAPSONA was one of the most important results from this new form of theatre. The play has been published in 2020 by l’Harmattan, in Paris. Which indicates that time tends to attribute lasting value to the work undertaken at a specific time in the history of an island state. One of the characteristics of the research: highlighting whatever brings together the apparently different types on Mauritians. One ambitious objective: what could the Mauritian experience teach the world?