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THE TIRAYATTAM RITUAL

Documentary fim by Franck Schneider

Production: Stratis, 2001
Ethnova collection in collaboration with the Ateliers d’ethnomusicologie
DVD or PAL VHS cassette, 52'

The Cité Bleue’s stage in Geneva is the setting for a curious ceremony.  In the half-light, several voices whisper around a strange altar.  All of a sudden, the sound of drums invades the space.  The audience has only just roused itself from its torpor when it is confronted by a deafening commotion, as if the stage had been suddenly ripped away to welcome all the gods of the Hindu pantheon into the theatre.

For the first time in the West, Indian musicians and dancers perform extracts from Tirayattam.  But how does one adapt the hours of songs, trances and religious fervour for a Western audience?  And what meaning can such an event have?  This documentary explores these questions.

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