Camille Claudel in Rio, the Carnival of Life

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Camille Claudel (1864-1943) was a French sculptress in the Paris of the fin de siècle, a woman confronting the male-oriented market of art, and Rodin’s insanely dedicated model, muse and lover.

Adriana Rabelo, Ramon Botelho and their team, after some years of touring Brazil with the play, make a personal and successful staging focusing on aspects of her personality and work such as her creativeness, the impulsivity of her emotions and the instability of her love for her mentor Rodin, which eventually sends her to a psychiatric hospital with mania persecution.

Camille’s monologue is enliven by constant leaps moving back and forth in time from different moments in her life to the lunatic asylum, where she looks back at the past to find in vain a sense for her life. Transitions are clearly and economically stated with an electroshock-like noise, a simple unbuttoning or tying up her hair, and changes in the gravity of expression, which experienced actress Adriana Rabelo masterfully achieve, switching in seconds from teenage happiness to young frustration to decay and mature desperation.

Special moments are her declaiming Rimbaud bare-breasted, the metatheatrical play with marionettes and voices to explain her relationship with Rodin and the inevitable and climactic implicit destruction of her own work.

Camille finally addresses and thanks the audience, for we are her last visitors to the asylum, where she is to end her days as a misunderstood artist.

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