Avidya, in Buddhism, is misconception, one of the links in the chain that captures humans in the endless cycle of suffering and rebirth.

It is also the name of the Dark Inn staged by Kurô Tanino, which is like a world fading away, a gateway between two realities. One is that of modern life, symbolized by the Shinkansen, which is programmed to tear this piece of Japanese countryside in two ; the other is that of traditional Japan, to which the inhabitants of the secluded inn belong, who come there to enjoy the hot springs.

The arrival of a strange couple, the father, a dwarfish puppeteer, and the son, almost mute, sets in motion a series of scenes which unfold in the four rooms of the inn, presented on a rotating stage.

A disturbing, farcical, cruel play, that has the public hanging between laughter and nostalgia. One is sometimes confused by the narrative, grapples for the codes, admires the seemingly endless series of moving tableaux, and takes home a fleeting, disturbing feeling. It is a wonderful play, both subtle and generous.

Illustration © Araso

Avidya – Ignorance Inn

From 14th to 17th of September, at the Maison de la Culture du Japon à Paris for the Paris Autumn Festival

Written and directed by Kurô Tanino
Niwa Gekidan Penino Company