Upcoming Events

Portland Playback Theater: "Letting the World In: Stories of Discovery"

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February 26, 2015 7:00 PM  – 8:30 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

The Portland Playback Theater comes to campus for a wonderful evening of storytelling and improv theater! This troupe of highly-trained, multi-talented actors featuring Erin Curren, visiting lecturer in French, will "playback" audience stories of discovery, difficulty, culture, realization and more. The group joins the art of improvisation with real-life stories spontaneously shared by members of the audience. Using movement, dialogue and music, the actors seek to honor the countless moments and events that shape our lives. 

Portland Playback Theatre Company was founded in Portland, Maine in 2005. The Playback Theatre style models transformation; a new way to relate to the world. When trained playback practitioners enact a story told by a member of the audience, a deep bond of understanding is established between the “teller” and the audience. Playback helps people see their common humanity. When people join together in sharing their stories and watching the re-enactments, it engenders an ability to focus on commonalities rather then judgments of otherness.  

Hosted by the Off Campus Study office, along with the McKeen Center and other offices on campus.

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Dancer and Choreographer Chantal Loïal: 'On t'appelle Venus (They Call You Venus)'

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February 28, 2015 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

In her performance piece, On t'appelle Venus, choreographer and dancer Chantal Loial pays tribute to Sawtche (1789-1819), known as the Black Venus, who had been brought to France in the nineteenth century by a "tamer" who prostituted her and exploited her as a circus freak. Swatche's body, deemed abnormal, fascinated the European imagination. After she died, scientists dissected her body and displayed it at the Musee de l'Homme in Paris, all in the name of scientific and anthropological progress. Through this artistic expression of her body, Chantal Loial invites us to think of feminine body and the norms we use to draw laws about both the body and beauty.

Loial created her dance company in 1994. She began dancing her native Afro-Guadeloupean traditional dances at age seven and went on to become a professional choreographer and dancer, earning her diploma in contemporary dance at the National Dance Centre of Pantin, France in 2008. She reinterprets traditional Caribbean and African dances that she mixes with European ballet and other forms of dance. In 2014, Loïal received the highest French Order, the National Order of the Legion of Honor for her work in the Arts (Knight of the Legion of Honor).

Open to the public free of charge.

For more information, contact Hanétha Vété-Congolo at mvete@bowdoin.edu.

Sponsored by the Andrew Mellon Foundation (Mellon Humanities Initiative).

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Film Screening: 'The Man From Oran' with Director, Actor, and Screenwriter Lyes Salem

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March 2, 2015 7:00 PM  – 10:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Corruption in political life, falsification of historical facts, personal loss, and thirst for power are all dealt with remarkable lucidity and conviction in Algerian filmmaker Lyes Salem's The Man From Oran (L'Oranais), a haunting political drama laced with the agony and angst of men and women who lived through the Algerian Revolution. 

Djaffar, the main character and “man from Oran,” has no interest in the liberation movement until he finds himself involved with his friend Hamid in the murder of a French farmer. By the time they manage to run away, Djaffar's beloved wife has been raped by the farmer’s son as a vendetta. She will give birth to a son of her own and die in despair. 

All of this is kept in secret from Djaffar until after the war when he returns home a hero. He accepts the boy as his own, but asks everybody to act as if the rape never occurred and Hamid--now a minister in the new government--helps him rewrite his story. But year after year they grow apart and their deliberate falsification of history has terrible consequences for them, their friends and families, and for the country. The movie enumerates through Djaffar's life how tragic separations, breakdown of families, small sacrifices and strong selfish desires change the tone and tenor of a society.

This event is sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages, the Cinema Studies Program and the Blythe Bickel Edwards Fund.

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