Simon Abkarian began his career as an actor on the stage of Théâtre du Soleil, where he was directed by Ariane Mnouchkine for eight years. He participated in Hélène Cixous’ Sihanouk and L’Indiade, and at The Atrides: Euripides’ Iphigenia in Aulis and Aeschylus’ Oresteia trilogy, in which he played the roles of Agamemnon, Orestes, and Achilles. Inspired by these performances, he began compiling material about aspects of ancient Greek drama, such as the chorus and costumes.
He later worked with various directors, including Peter Brook, Simon McBurney and Irina Brook. He directed Shakespeare’s plays Love’s Labour’s Lost and Titus Andronicus, as well as plays by Aeschylus and Euripides. He also wrote and directed Pénélope ô Pénélope (special award for best play in 2008) and Le dernier jour du jeûne. More recently, he wrote his own version of Electra, due to premiere soon.
His love and passion for ancient drama has led him to direct many workshops on this subject in France and around the world.
Workshop “Study on Electra”
Attendees will be physically trained, while also learning the rhythm, steps, dance patterns, and acting techniques of Kathakali, an ancient south Indian form of dance art. Through games and exercises they will explore dissociation, breathing, presence and density, voice and songs of loss and exile, in order to create a common language.
The sole identity of the group is a poetic body. This workshop will focus on the chorus, on a body that has its own organic and cosmic laws, visible to all, yet mysterious. The chorus is the origin. The secret behind it is work.
The presence of the chorus is a political statement in itself. The chorus is an entity that avoids psychologism and individualism. The chorus is the matrix of all characters and situations.