Moïse Touré: A Visionary International Artist and Ideal Partner For Our School
An artist of African origins and French nationality, Moïse
Touré is a visionary theater artist whose work breaks the
traditional bounds of theater, reaching across disciplines and
ever engaging broader social, philosophical and pedagogical questions. With his company, Les Inachevés, Touré has
undertaken multifaceted projects throughout Europe, South
America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.
In 2011, projects took him from Japan to Burkina Faso to
San Francisco, where he helmed an interdisciplinary project
exploring questions of personal and national identity in San
Francisco’s Mission District. In 2012, he was the first French
director invited by the Vietnamese government to helm a project for Vietnam’s National Theater.
Dissatisfied with existing structures for theatrical production, he has created the “Academy of Shared, Intergenerational Artistic Knowledge and Practices”, which offers a
structure for deeper, longer-term projects that reach across
disciplines and national boundaries. In 2012, “The Academy”
also received the official recognition and support of France’s
Ministry of Culture.
Connections to Our School’s Mission
As a school preparing the international leaders of the
future, we continually seek innovative forums that invite critical thinking, demand collaboration and integrate 21st-century
tools. The vision for this project dovetails with those of our
school, as rigor, critical-thinking and cross-cultural communication inform its design.
The participants will delve deeply into the project’s
themes, drawn from Ancient Greece and Classic Tragedy,
while engaging current issues and contemporary audience
members. The scope of the project demands that participants
examine both “where we’ve come from”, and explore, “where
we are headed.”
Key Themes and Starting Points
To answer 21st-century imperatives, what can we learn
by looking back to the foundations of Western Civilization and
to the deep questions of morality, choice and destiny offered
up in Greek Tragedy? What must we invent and mobilize to
create a performance event today as rich, relevant and potent
– in form and content – for a 21st-century community as a
Greek tragedy would have been in Athens in 300 B.C.?
In the Golden Age of Ancient Greece, 300-500 B.C., there
were three core, interconnected institutions: The Academy, the
Theater and the Democracy. Through the Academy and the
Theater, the city’s intellectual and artistic life was bound to its
civic and political life, i.e. to the Democracy. In the Academy,
thinkers probed important moral and philosophical questions,
which in turn permeated the Theater. Notably, Greek tragedy invited citizens to consider questions ranging from the
concrete (what is the price of war?) to the philosophical (What
is destiny? Justice? What separates man from beast? Man
from god?). The work of the Academy and the Theater hereby
reflected and nourished issues at play in the Democracy.
Indeed, Theater was considered so integral to the citizen’s
education that he who failed to attend the major theater festival lost his right to vote.
Fast forward to 2012. In this era of iPads and iPhones, of
Facebook and You Tube, in which the world is vast and “flat”,
and the possibilities for gathering information, voicing opinion
and sharing content are increased exponentially, what are the
implications for education, the arts and democracy? How are
these core entities still interconnected? How are they changing – and how do they need to change to remain vibrant and
relevant, to serve and complement each other in the 21st
century? What are the most powerful ways to learn, to teach
and engage one another? And to say what? To do what?
Moreover, in this information-saturated era, what questions
of morality and destiny, first posed thousands of years ago,
remain “eternal” and “universal”? How vital and resonant are
these for future leaders in this complex, fast-paced era with
daunting challenges upon the horizon?