“Where theater happens, life happens”

We have known Christiane Jatahy’s work in Europe for barely ten years. In this time, the Brazilian director, also an actress and filmmaker, has become a director that all theaters are snapping up. As she has just received the Golden Lion at the Venice Theater Biennale, she talks about her sources of inspiration and her working methods.

About the Lion d’Or she received, Christiane Jatahy says:

It’s a prize that highlights my entire artistic trajectory. And we know that it’s not easy to build a solid artistic history, especially as a woman who was born in Brazil. There were plenty of times when I thought it was over and I couldn’t go on. So this award is an important confirmation to continue and to go further in my research.Christian Jatahy

Theater beyond borders

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during the military dictatorship, Christiane Jatahy spent her entire youth under this regime, one of whose priorities was to eradicate culture, art and critical thinking. After studying cinema, theater and philosophy, she began as an actress, then very quickly moved on to directing, with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Shakespeare, then a first trilogy: “Trilogy of initiation” – Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Pinocchio – adapted from the original texts (and not from their version for children).

The theater does not exist for me or for you, but between us. So the working methods and the languages ​​that I develop and which are the most important are really focused on the relationship with the actors and actresses.Christian Jatahy

Then there will be “Caresses”, by Sergi Belbel, but above all “Conjugado”, “A falta que nos move” and “Cut”, between 2004 and 2010, a second trilogy which lays the first stone of all his research until today and propels her to the forefront of the Parisian and European theatrical scene.

I find families in every place where I work and, in France, I have a very large familyChristian Jatahy

January 27, 2022

58 min

Break the fourth wall

From piece to piece, Christiane Jatahy never ceases to question the porosity between theater and cinema. She has made this dialogue her trademark, as evidenced by her play “The Rules of the Game” in 2017, adapted from Jean Renoir’s film, with the troupe of the Comédie-Française, or her play ‘”Between dog and Wolf”, based on the film “Dogville” by Lars von Trier, which she premiered in 2021 at the Avignon Festival. But beyond the adaptation, the director strives for each show to discover new territories and shift the boundaries between actor and spectator, reality and fiction:

I never thought of a form as a part of research. The form is the result of what I need for dramaturgy, to build the story […] When I think of a structure that may seem complex, it’s never to be hermetic, if not to give possibilities of doors to enter and to consider the intelligence of the public who will completeChristian Jatahy

The Brazilian context always infuses deeply into Christiane Jatahy’s shows. Migrations and exile are at the heart of many of his pieces, particularly his Odyssey diptych, “Ithaque – Notre Odyssée 1” in 2018 then “Le present qui déborde – Notre Odyssée 2” in 2019.

Theater, for me, is always political. I don’t think politics in the sense of the idea of ​​politics. My politics is like the “polis”: it’s the space where we are together, it’s the space where our society can be transformed. Even if we don’t talk about politics, the theater is politicalChristian Jatahy

January 27, 2022

58 min

His news:

Sounds played during the show:

  • Archive of Jean Renoir presenting his film “The Rules of the Game” (1939)
  • “Jongo” by Vitor Araujo


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