Avignon from “Little Rome” to the famous theater city

Many people know that Avignon may have originated from Picasso’s masterpiece “The Girl of Avignon.” People in the early 20th century, it is precisely because this work knows the “century wizard” Picasso. Although Picasso created this work that set off the art revolution of the 20th century, and has no direct relationship with the ancient French city of Avignon, the search for and innovation of the new art language is the common cultural gene.

Avignon is the only way to Paris to the Côte d’Azur. It is located in the heart of Provence, France. It is one of the most important cities in southeastern France and a famous tourist destination. Most people’s impression of Avignon may be Picasso’s masterpiece “The Girl of Avignon”.

Go to Avignon

It takes ten hours to fly from Beijing to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, and then transfer to the train to Avignon is a choice for many people. Although there are only a few trains a day, you can take a direct ride from the airport to the train to Avignon. There are two train stations in Avignon, one called Gare dfAvignonTGV, which is located outside the city and is docked by the intercity express trains of each country. The other is called Gare d’Avignon-Centre, which is located in the city center and is the old train station. The slow train will stop here.

However, in a dozen hours, the summer has changed from a sultry Beijing fan to a sunny Provencal style. The ardent and humorous French often ridicule. In July of each year, Paris is not their capital. The focus of the world is on the ancient city of Avignon in South France.

Of course, Avignon is also a transit point for tourism in South Africa. It is less than an hour’s drive from Marseille, France’s second largest city, and only half a day’s drive from the famous Nice and the Côte d’Azur. Not to mention the famous attractions such as the Provence Lavender Field, the “Van Gogh Town” Arles, the Nim Roman Water Bridge and many other places around Avignon. There is no doubt that this ancient city is an important stop for tourism in South Africa.

French “Little Rome”

At the end of the 13th century, the struggle between the various political and religious factions in Rome directly threatened the security of the pope. Therefore, Pope Clemens V moved the Holy See to Avignon in 1309. In the following 94 years, this little-known town became a sacred place for European Catholics to worship. The ancient city wall that surrounds the city for a week has a history of nearly seven hundred years, and the famous Rhone River flows quietly on the edge of the ancient city.

There are many religious buildings in the city of Avignon, the most famous of which is the Palais. The Papal Palace, built in 1334, is the biggest highlight of Avignon and the origin of the “Pope of the Pope”. The magnificent Pope Palace is the largest Gothic palace in the West, both a fortress and a church. In the 14th century, this was the residence of the Pope. Therefore, Avignon is also known as the “People’s Capital of Rome” and enjoys the reputation of “Little Rome”.

If you stroll along the ancient walls at dusk to the banks of the Rhone, you will not miss another famous attraction in Avignon: the Broken Bridge, the Saint-Beneze Bridge. In France, there is an old song “On the Avignon Bridge”: “On the Avignon Bridge, people dance; on the Avignon Bridge, the people dance in a circle…”

The Pont St-Benezet, which spans the Rhone, was originally completed in 1185. It was originally 900 metres long and connects the Old Town with the New Town. Legend has it that more than 800 years ago, the 15-year-old shepherd boy Benezer was inspired by the gods and decided to build a bridge on the Rhone. He alone moved a boulder that could not be lifted by a dozen people to the river and determined the location of the bridge. The local people, under his leadership, lasted for 8 years and finally built the bridge.

For a long time, the bridge was the only bridge in the lower reaches of the Rhone, and it was a delight to see pilgrims and business people between Spain and Italy. However, after the completion of the bridge, it was repeatedly flooded and rebuilt several times. Until the 17th century, people decided to give up this effort. Only a part of the broken bridge survived to this day and became the famous Avignon Broken Bridge.

Over the past 100 years, Avignon has attracted countless tourists. This historic city was also listed as a World Heritage Site in 1995 under the name of “Avignon Historic District”.

Avignon Theatre Festival

In July of each year, a grand event in Avignon will attract hundreds of thousands of professional theatrical and theatre enthusiasts from all over the world to pilgrimage and celebrate the feast of the drama. This is the prestigious “A The Vignon Theatre Festival.” This small town of southern France, with a population of only 80,000 and listed as a world cultural heritage by the United Nations, has once again become a world-famous art palace.

Known as one of the world’s three major theatre festivals, the French “Avignon Theatre Festival” was founded in July 1946. The French dramatist Jean-Villar was dissatisfied with the boring drama creation atmosphere of Paris after the war and the monopoly of Paris’s cultural resources, trying to create a theatre festival in a local city far from Paris, in order to revive the French theatre art and expand the geographical range of theatrical art. . After its founding in 1947, the annual Avignon Theatre Festival was extended under the guidance of this concept and gradually became a theatre event that influenced the world.

At the beginning of the planning of the festival, it received great support from people from all walks of life. Therefore, the “Avignon Theatre Festival Management Association”, the organizer of the festival, was able to get rid of the economic pressure and concentrate on mobilizing local resources to expand the influence of the festival. They have highly integrated the cultural resources of Avignon and, on the basis of breaking the rules, have worked closely with local cultural institutions including schools, art venues and performing arts groups to create a new platform for drama culture.

In order to let the audience experience the art of drama in close quarters, the organizers of the festival did not limit the space of the festival to the palace of the stage. The festival breaks the organizational model centered on a single theater stage, and builds a temporary stage on many places closely related to the lives of local residents to reduce the distance between theatrical works and the amateur audience. The theaters, opera houses, chapels in the ancient walls of Avignon, the school’s gymnasiums, gardens and other open spaces are temporary theaters for the festival.

With the gradual popularization of the Avignon Theatre Festival, walking into the streets and promoting the drama culture has become a new sign of the Avignon Theatre Festival. In order to bring the drama to the ordinary people, the organizers of the festival want to step out of the theater stage in the architectural sense.

Since 2013, the festival has gone beyond the original 3km range of activities and visited remote communities with drama activities such as touring. These activities are different from the regular performances during the festival, and are arranged outside the theater festival, which is one of the “People’s People” initiatives of the festival. The goal of this initiative is to bring drama performances that do not require complex technical means to ordinary people who have little opportunity to participate in cultural activities. Each year, this event benefits 10 to 15 different institutions in the city of Avignon, including cultural centers, businesses, hospitals, schools and more.

In addition, the organizers of the Avignon Theatre Festival also attach great importance to local drama education. By expanding the audience and getting in touch with the audience, the Avignon Theatre Festival is better able to promote “drama education.” The festival also provides professional drama performance classes, as well as various interest groups and science education for amateur audiences such as primary and secondary school students. As a result, the “technical threshold” for non-professional audiences to participate in the festival is greatly reduced.

Over the years, the Avignon Theatre Festival is building an ecosystem of art experience, art education and art creation. In fact, as of 2018, there are as many as 5,000 students participating in the Avignon Theatre Festival, and 95 schools participating in the festival, which will become the future Avignon Theatre Festival. Strong backup force.

Fun Theatre Festival

Today’s Avignon Theatre Festival is divided into two parts, INtDOFF. The Avignon IN Theatre Festival has become the world’s leading performer in Europe and the world, the world’s best artists in the dance and cross-over stage art, and Jean-Vella’s popular drama in the 69-year drama festival. Drama, the stage art temple that art workers yearn for.

If you are in the theater festival, whether you will buy tickets or enter the theater, you will see many performances including impromptu performances on the streets, roadshows of the troupes, and even juggling magic. All the performing arts will happen anytime, anywhere. Avignon in the theatre festival. You have become a part of the festival. If you want to be better integrated into the festival, not just a spectator or a passer. Then you need to know:

IN unit – Like other major art festivals in the world, the Avignon Theatre Festival is an art director system. The duties of the art director are mainly to select invitational plays and set up the theme of the festival. The repertoire of the IN unit needs to be strictly selected, and the expenses required for the performance are often borne by the official institutions. Therefore the IN unit can also be called the “official unit”.

OFF unit – there is no strict selection mechanism, it is a platform that is completely open to all theatrical and theatre lovers. Under the premise of having a work, as long as you can find a theater, rent a time period, register for your own performance information at the OFF unit organizing committee, you can participate in the drama festival. Therefore, the OFF unit can also be referred to as a “folk unit.”

Poster Wars – There are more than a thousand plays in the annual Avignon Theatre Festival. How to let the audience enter the theater to watch their own plays, it is very important to publicize the offensive. The annual festival festival organizing committee will announce a precise time point. Only after this time can the various teams be able to post posters on the streets of the ancient city. Over time, this time of the year has spawned a unique “poster war”. Each group has their own magical powers in order to seize the favorable terrain and post more posters. I believe that you will not be willing to miss this “combat”.

Parade – In addition to the posters, a large-scale drama festival parade will be held on the opening day of the annual festival. All the crews will wear their own characters and walk on the main street of the ancient city to show the purpose of the show. Style. The parade’s team often stretches nearly two kilometers, and the parade takes nearly three hours.

The opening and closing performances of the Palace Theatre – the IN unit of the Theatre Festival will be held in the glorious courtyard of the Palais. If you can only walk into a theater at the Avignon Theatre Festival, then this is definitely the best option. The glorious courtyard of the Palais des Nations has a history of more than 800 years. Appreciating a wonderful work among such long historical sites will undoubtedly be one of the best memories of the festival.

Focus on China

In 2019, the Avignon Theatre Festival was held from July 4th to 23rd. The theme of this year’s Drama Festival is “Odyssey – Armed Disarming.” A total of 35 stage works from different countries in the world are presented in Avignon. Section IN unit. It is worth mentioning that Meng Jinghui’s “Tea House” was invited to be the first Chinese work in the 73-year history of the Avignon Theatre Festival.

In fact, as early as 2011, Chinese drama works were debuted in the OFF unit of the Avignon Theatre Festival. In 2017, the Chinese dramas in the OFF unit of the Avignon Theatre Festival reached 14 and the number of participating plays was in addition to France. Ranked third in the country. It can be said that through the continuous participation of the eight-year drama festival, Chinese drama art has been recognized by the audience from all over the world and the art committee of the festival. The successful completion of this “Tea House” was a natural success.

Paul Longdan, deputy director of the Avignon Theatre Festival, said: “In order to deepen the drama exchange between France and China, we invited a drama study tour from China to cooperate with a school that trains stage technicians in Avignon. I hope that in the future. Can build longer-term contacts and closer cooperation with China.”

Pierre Buffett, chairman of the Avignon Theatre Festival “Leaving” unit, also believes that it is precisely because of the exchanges between French and Chinese dramas and the dialogue between French and French artists that more French audiences see China. works. He said: “Chinese artists use their own drama language to express their charm in another culture and are accepted by audiences from another culture. This is a great thing.”

The drama “Tea House” is a masterpiece by Mr. Lao She, a classic in the history of Chinese drama. In 1999, Beijing Renyi Lin Zhaohua directed the new “Tea House”, which caused controversy. The latest edition of “The Teahouse” directed by Meng Jinghui completely re-deconstructed the original script. Compared with the classic performance version of Beijing Renyi, it can be described as “unrecognizable”. Meng Jinghui said that the play is Lao She’s original work, adding Lao She’s novels and works by Brecht, Heller Miller “Hamlet Machine”, Shakespeare’s “Othello” and so on. It can be said that the Meng Jinghui version of the “Tea House” is full of “weird” and “hybrid” subversion and deconstruction.

On the stage, the first thing that caught the audience’s eyes was the “magnificent” stage installation, a huge wheel, one circle and one circle, slowly, reversed and reversed, and the icy steel frames were interlaced and overlapped, making a loud and squeaky sound. The living beings inside and outside the teahouse are under the focus of the lights, and they dance and squash into a group of ants. Life is a big tea house. Everyone has come to this place. Some people drink tea, some people chat, and some people come and go here. However, people are unable to grasp their own lives, and the process of being unable to get rid of the bondage of fate is presented in absurd form. In fact, for everyone, death is not terrible, but how troublesome it is to help yourself. As an audience, regardless of the sympathy of the different kings of the shopkeepers and the surrounding people, I care not to care about the pots and pans of the big teahouses, pay attention to not paying attention to the mad predation and coercive oppression, the stage wheel of the time will complete a thorough, Repeated, bloody crushing. In the face of social change and historical shifts, the life of grassroots and even the ownership of life are in a state of no belonging. The humble and sacred rubble of the place produced a new interpretation of Mr. Lao She’s “Tea House”.

The speculative meaning of classic works is eternal, but the connotation and value of its thinking will be derived from the changes of the times. A “teahouse” that is not the same as the classics will surely shine from China at the historic Avignon Theatre Festival. I believe that visiting the first Chinese work of the IN unit of the Avignon Theatre Festival will be a very memorable experience.

In the OFF unit of the Avignon Theatre Festival in 2019, a number of outstanding theatrical works from China were also assembled. The Santuoqi Opera Troupe has participated in the Avignon Theatre Festival for eight consecutive years since 2012. In 2019, they brought in the first episode of the drama “Water”.

“Aquatic” was adapted from Pu Songling’s “Strange of Strange Tales from a Lonely Studio”: It is said that a water ghost lived in a river. In order to be able to leave the cold river and reincarnate, he tried every means to pull down a living. People drowning water to make its substitute. However, due to the remoteness, few people passed, and he could not wait for the living for him. One day, the water ghost finally met a kind old fisherman. The two met with each other and became the turn of the past. Can love overcome resentment? What will happen to the ending of the grudges between man and ghost this time? The Santuoqi Opera Troupe has always been a troupe with the main creative direction of form and drama, and has participated in many international festivals. Body language is simpler and more straightforward than traditional language, and is easy for foreign audiences to understand.

In addition to the dramas mentioned in the above two sections, there are also a variety of dramatic works such as “The Six Chapters of the Floating Life” of the Jiangsu Kunqu Theatre and the “Yu Guanqing” of the Chinese Opera Academy. If you are a fan of drama art, then the Chinese drama in the 2019 Avignon Theatre Festival is worth watching. If you rarely watch theatrical works, then come to Avignon and linger in the ocean of drama. Feel the artistic charm of Chinese drama.

Focus on China through drama and learn about Chinese culture through drama stories. We have seen that today’s modern Chinese drama is on the international high-level art festival platform, dialogue with world drama. More importantly, such exchanges and dialogues undoubtedly provide a window for the audience around the world to understand Chinese and Chinese culture.