8) I hope to show that while Les Atrides may not escape producing hegemonous effects with its own Orientalist project, it nevertheless manages to historically contextualize the cultural production of Orientalism as a semiotic process.
In Les Atrides the discourses of Orientalism are deployed through theatrical signifiers, and in the process women, Eastern barbarians, ill winds, and other threats to the rising patriarchal Greek empire are condensed, expanded, or diffused into a bodied other that can be followed in the texts and production.
Above all, Les Atrides is not a staging of the tragedy as inevitable, but as a history that didn't have to be.
Indeed, she sees sympathy for Clytemnestra and a critique of the patriarchal Greek empire as already inherent not only in Euripides but even in Aeschylus - with the work of Les Atrides being to strip away the layers of time and convention and let the text speak for itself.
The actors' bodies in Les Atrides are most heavily marked by the signs of the exotic and of gender, yet the gendered and "oriented" bodies are not limited to actors or characters but dispersed throughout the mise en scene, marking its boundaries, shapes, and rhythms.
Impersonation and embodiment in the staging of Les Atrides, and just as strikingly in its critical reception, are used in the construction of social positions marked by gender and race, but also foreground that construction.
But Les Atrides strongly implicates the myth as a self-serving invention of the patriarchy, a way to naturalize the politics of an empire trying to establish itself.
The final casting is gradually and collectively decided, often with one actor taking more than one role as in Les Atrides.
For Les Atrides as for all other productions, the actors work closely with the musicians in creating a distinctive ecriture corporelle, in this case inspired by the Kathakali, yet unlike it in that a new corporal vocabulary is created for each play with Western audiences in mind - though elements are passed on from one production to the next.
For] Les Atrides, except for Catherine Schaub who had learned it in India [and Franco-Indian Nirupama Nityanandan who had spent twenty years training as a Madras dancer], Kathakali is a source of inspiration but completely imaginary.
Mnouchkine said that creating a true chorus was one of her primary goals in directing Les Atrides, and the choral ensembles were among the production's most striking elements, though for clarity only the Chorus Leaders recited the choral odes.
A few in the audience found Les Atrides dull, even pretentious.