Accueil>Le festival>Édition>2019>Lalla Aicha – The Berber Song of Water

Lalla Aicha – The Berber Song of Water

May 26, 2019 at 15:00Le CamilloisKhadija El Mahdi (France/Morocco)25 $

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A young woman meshes her intimate recollections with ancestral memories to create a link with everything that survives the passage of time. Wearing an old woman’s mask, she lets us see and hear the teachings of her meetings with the Other. We are reminded of long evenings by the fireside where the body becomes a living memory that narrates, sings, recounts, dances and calls to the living.

When she meets Mama Khan, Lalla Richa the Recluse is overcome with emotions and relives each moment of her existence: love, marriage, birth of her children, discord with her in-laws. Rejected by her parents who are afraid of what people will think, she takes refuge in a cave and there contemplates the beauty of nature while diving into the heart of her pain. After a time, her garden gives her such beautiful fruit that she wants to share them. She dares go to the market to sell them but commerce is forbidden to women. A battle ensues to create and share the fruits of her labour. In the market square, beside the musician, she shares her stories in which she questions the essential and necessary balance between masculine and feminine in Berber society.

As the stories unfold, she becomes Tilsit N’Anzar, the rain’s fiancée. She sprays with water everyone she meets and calls for the right to be true to one’s self and to the birth of rainbows. Tilsit N’Anzar, the Rainbow, is the name of the legend which underlies this play.


Khadija El Mahdi is an actor, writer and researcher in mask theater. Since 2012, she is working on a projet called “Les 13 chemins de la grand-mère terre”, a series of travel stories. The first part, Mama Khan – chant de la terre Lakota, is shown on May 18th.

Michel Thouseau is a polymorphic artist who composes music in his own image. His music is open, rich, off the beaten path, surprising to the ear while always exploring the present moment. Michel is a composer, double-bass player and dancer. He conceives instruments and has created a double-bass equipped with a MIDI system and sympathetic strings. The MIDI system lets him sample sounds and process them immediately. The sympathetic strings opens the « song of resonances ».

Text, stage direction and acting: Khadija El Mahdi
Mask: Étienne Champion
Music: Michel Thouseau