Renowned French playwright, screenwriter, author, actor and raconteur par excellence, Jean-Claude Carrière spent eleven years in India, tracing the Mahabaharatas roots in civilization, geography and its relevance in modern India. His nine-hour magnum opus, The Mahabharata, opened in 1985 under the stellar direction of his lifetime collaborator Peter Brook and an international cast, and quickly became a watershed moment in theatrical history across the Western world. Jean-Claude Carriére gives Bay Area audiences a simple but powerful, one-man rendition of the story of Mahabharata, in the style of the old wandering minstrels of India.
The performance will be in English.
The program will include In Search of the Mahabharata, a conversation between Jean-Claude Carriére and the eminent UC Berkeley Sanskritist, Professor Robert Goldman.
Robert Goldman is Professor of Sanskrit at UC Berkeley. His areas of scholarly interest include Sanskrit literature and literary theory, Indian Epic Studies, and psychoanalytically oriented cultural studies. He has published widely in these areas, authoring several books and dozens of scholarly articles. He is perhaps best known for his work as the Director, General Editor, and a principal translator of a massive and fully annotated translation of the critical edition of the Valmiki Ramayana. His work has been recognized by several awards and fellowships including election as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
About the Epic: The Mahabharata
The Mahabharata, one of the greatest stories ever told, has passed down in a classical canon of Sanskrit verses, over 100,000 stanzas long. The authorship of The Mahabharata is attributed to sage Vyasa, himself a character in the epic, who dictated the story to his scribe, Lord Ganesha. Jean-Claude Carriére spent eleven years in India immersing himself in this, the longest epic ever written by man, tracing its roots in civilization, geography, and its relevance in modern India.
About the Performer: Jean-Claude Carrière
Jean-Claude Carrières name figures in the list of the greatest storytellers of our time with a prolific body of work spanning six decades. Jean-Claude Carrière is an Academy Award winning scriptwriter and director for over 170 films including The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), Cyrano de Bergerac (1990), The Chinese Box. He is a celebrated playwright with works including The Mahabharata and the Conference of the Birds, an adaptation of a 10th century Sufi poem.He has acted in 80 films and TV series including Diary of a Chambermaid (1964), Jaya Ganga and Les aventures de Robinson Crusoë (1964), a French-West German production much seen overseas. He also collaborated with Peter Brook on a nine-hour stage version of the ancient Sanskrit epic The Mahabharata, and a five-hour film version. Jean-Claude Carrières litany of awards include four Academy nominations and one Oscar, four BAFTA nominations for Best Screenplay and two Awards, and numerous others, including a Grand Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival. Carrière is an Officier de la Légion dHonneur, Frances highest honor. He was the founder and President of La Fémis, the French State Film School (the École normale supérieure de Saint-Cloud) as well as the President of the Festival de Théâtre de Montpellier and the Printemps des Comédiens.