Flash Flashback, 9-6: Battling the Dark Spaces In a World of Conflict, Gerard Violette & Padmini Chettur See Another Path

chetturPadmini Chettur’s “Paperdoll.” Photo by and copyright Jirka Jansch, courtesy Theatre de la Ville.

By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2006, 2016 Paul Ben-Itzak

Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable
And lightness has a call that’s hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it, I’m crawling on your shore.
— Indigo Girls, “Closer to Fine”

(Originally published October 27, 2006.)

PARIS — As inevitable as conflict may seem these days, the world offers choices. Gerard Violette, artistic director of the Theatre de la Ville — arguably the most critical dance presenter in the world — and its two auditoriums, closes his season-opening greetings in this year’s program brochure by quoting from Albert Jacquard’s “My Utopia” (Stock): “Nowadays, most encounters are opportunities for confrontation, struggle, prize-listing. Yet, nothing matters but the possibility to exchange. It is our view of the other that must be transformed. We must no longer consider him as competition…. What I would like to say is you may become what you choose to be. And that other people’s happiness concurs to build one’s own.” To which Violette adds: “‘Other views, exchange, other people’s happiness….’ You’re in a theater.” I read this Wednesday night sitting in TDLV’s 380-seat les Abbesses theater up near the sky in Montmartre, where Padmini Chettur immediately proved the precept in “Paperdoll.”

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