Rudra Sect

Rudra Script

1998 Photo Gallery

1999: Le Mystere de Papa Loko

1997: The Daughters of Ishtar

1996: The Arrival of Empress Zoe


The Temple of Rudra Inspired by traditional Dravidian rituals and myths that worship fire (Rudra) as the Creator and Destroyer of the successive cycles of existence, the events take place in the next cycle of life, in a tribal society, thousands of years from now. From "Tempo di Celebrazione " (Act I), to "Tempo d'Invocazione" (ActII), the action grows into "Tempo Ceremoniale con Accelerando " (Act III) when 200 plus chanting and spinning People of Rudra attain a state of Incantation. This stage is required to connect with the Cosmic Primordial Desire that took place and engendered the beginning of time. The Set: The Temple of Rudra is composed of a four-towered structure with images of deities on its flanks, an elevated stage and two opposing stairways. On top of the elevated stage, four pillars are prepared to cradle the Chalice of Rudra which represents the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Temple. Below an opening under the Chalice, a giant pyre stands on ground level. Inherent to its architecture is a group of dancers representing the Vestals, who couple with the inanimate deities in poses inspired by the erotic sculptures at the Indian temple of Khajuraho. The Temple of Rudra will be further adorned by small Tibetan prayer strips, whipping in the wind during the days prior to the ritual. Visitors will be invited to confess their burning desires upon these strips of cloth which will be ceremonially burned the night of the performance. Tetramorphosis Having gone through tetramorphosis in their process towards purification, the Rudrans' rituals always manifest in a pattern of four. The esoteric language spoken in the worship of Rudra contains only four vowels and four consonants. The ritual is performed within the perimeter of a four-pointed star, embracing four equidistant large pyres. The People of Rudra are divided in four sects representing the bodily humours of alchemy: Choleric, Melancholic, Sanguine, and Phlegmatic. Each Sect is devoted to one of the four Elements and body painted in their representative colors. Separate in their appearance and movement, the Sects will perform separately the rituals of the Invocation at their home pyres in preparation for the final ceremony. The performers/devotees will be encouraged to create their own ritual, style, costumes and objects of adoration of their own Sect. Overture Music, light and action evoke a dream state. This Illusory tale allows a strong presentation of the main performers and places them in their home positions in the Temple. Music: A drone of digiridoo and tambura breaks the silence, growing to a dramatic presence and continuing throughout the entire overture. A loud voice admonishes: "Barua, Barua", etc., queuing the entrance of the Hierophants and the lantern child. A Hindustani-inspired voice sings over the drone growing to a heart breaking, emotional high. The song ends with a monotone: "Om Namai Rudra" sung four times. A firm and ceremonial Tabla drumming indicates the entrance of the Vestals and the Chalice Bearers. The drumming will be enriched by voices of singers and performers, arriving to a climax and a sudden stop. The admonishing voices repeats: "Barua, Barua", etc. Sweet and emotional, the singing voice returns with the monotone "Om Namai Rudra" accompanied viva voce by the performers. After the fourth time, a loud and long "Om" follows, to be overpowered by a blast of horns and bells in a grande finale. Action Hierophants: The Hierophants, on platforms and wearing enormous armour, enter early in the Overture guided and barely lit by a paper lantern carried by a child. In a compact group they will circle the ground stage expressing the power of Rudra in grandiloquent gestures and blessing the unlit pyres on their way to the Temple. In the closing movements of the Overture, (once the Chalice has been placed in the Sanctum Sanctorum), the Hierophants slowly and painfully go up the stage, helped by some Chalice Bearers. Without the Hierophants company, the child wanders in the empty space, searching for them and calling out their names, "Oggy, Balu, Babu, Darissa!" within the first rows of the audience. Vestals and Chalice Bearers: The ceremonial drumming queues the entrance of the Vestals followed by the Chalice Bearers. Dressed with glittered costumes, shining under the moon, the Vestals lead the way, spinning slowly and ethereally. At a faster pace than the Hierophants, the groups will converge at the base of the Temple. Half of the Chalice bearers bring the Chalice up the stage, while the other half removes the Chalice cradle from the scene. During this ceremony, vestals and Hierophants perform related dances on the opposite stairway and around the Temple. Once the Chalice has been placed in the Sanctum Sanctorum , the Hierophants are helped up the stairs to their positions. The Vestals and Chalice Bearers couple in erotic poses and remain static until the end of the first act. Act I: Convocation Presentation of the Sects in the context of maximum participation with the audience. Music: "Tempo di Celebrazione" The People of Rudra enter drumming and singing a celebration ode as a chorus led by their High Priestess: punctuated by horn blasts, crescendos to a climax at each pyre lighting. The mood is festive with religious fervor. Action: (in the Temple): The Hierophants perform the ceremonial preparations on the stage. The Vestals remain still as human architecture until the end of this act. Action: (the Sects): The People of Rudra, 200 plus performers singing and dressed for celebration, make their entrance with grand fanfare. Symbols, staffs, flags, ceremonial umbrellas and torches are seen over their heads. The procession is opened by the yellow Cholerics brandishing torchesand twirling fire. The blue Phlegmatics follow, bearing a giant lotusfilled with water and a blue flower bedeck the Goddess of Indifference, sprinkling their holy perfumed water over the audience. The red Sanguines, representing earth and blood, run to chosen members of the audience and mark them on the forehead, smearing four lines in a diamond/yoni surrounding a dot representing Rudra. Closing, the black Melancholics, grieving worshipers of the ephemera of air, bless the audience by fanning over them the smoke of sacred incense. Dancers explain with their movements and gestures the sanctity of the process. While the Phlegmatics, Sanguines, and Melancholics bless the audience, the Cholerics, with their torches walk directly to the first pyre, circling it four times before lighting it. 20-30 horns herald the resumption of the procession to the next pyre. Diligently, they proceed with the rest of the pyres to finally lead the People of Rudra into a general congregation surrounding the Temple. Final Action: In the newly arrived light of the Choleric torches, which encircle the base of the Temple, the human architecture begins to slowly animate their erotic poses. As their desire grows more frenzied, they climb off their pedestals to grasp for Rudra. The People of Rudra, arms raised, ecstatically sing to honor Rudra's entrance into His Temple. A voice signals the end of the Tempo di Celebrazione: Barua, Rudra, Barua! Erdu be Rudra, Barua! Act II: Invocation Performance of rituals on the stage and pyres: Music: "Tempo d'Invocazione": A powerful and determined voice, inspired by Hindustani music, evokes the Divine Energy of Fire. The composition grows in volume and drama through four successive stages of ritual with four succeeding musicalmoods. The vocals without words leave room for a devotional prayer spoken by the High Priest. His words in the cryptic tounge of Rudra trigger the successive faces of the ritual. Action: (in the Temple): Through dance, the Vestals undress and bathe the Hierophants, removingtheir sectarian body color and preparing them for the sacrifice. The Hierophants perform a ritual, throwing substances into the Chalice which blasts into colored flames. Action: (the Sects): The music sets the time and mood structure for the four faces of theindividual sectarian rituals. Each face of the ritual is heralded by theHigh Priest's instructions: Gadurai duadra bedi. Aruda Rudra bedi !! Dea dea gadu bedi. Bigradi Rudra bedi!! Homecoming: Sect members dance from the Temple to their home pyre. Sacralization: Sect members sanctify the holy terrain containing their pyre. Crisis: as the intensity of the mood increases, the devotees reveal their crisis. Ordeal: in this painful musical phase, the devotees undergo a ritual ordeal to confront and treat their crisis. Final Action: Beridu guri deba be guada Rudra barua!! Flare bombs explode from the pyres to end the ordeals and the People of Rudra collapse to the ground. Four curtains are released, hiding the Hierophants on the stage. Act III: Incantation Music: "Tempo Ceremoniale con Accelerando": >From the silence emerges a deep drone of Tibetan throat singing, joined by a digiridoo and a cello. The continuous drone will be joined by a monotone chanting of the performers, in crescendo and in accelerando to the level of frantic screaming at the end of the play. Action: (in the Temple): Magnesium dust thrown into the Chalice of Rudra creates bright white light that projects the shadows of the Hierophants on the curtains, who will enact the Divine Dance of Rudra. Action: (the Sects): On the ground, the Sects return to the Temple to form four concentric rings which begin to circle in opposite directions. Final Action: As the circles spin, the Hierophants burn the curtains. Then they'll tilt the Chalice, pouring the fire over the central pyre below, setting the entire structure ablaze. Hierophants and Vestals join the People of Rudra who break their rings to begin chanting, dancing and spinning to the thundering African drumming until the degree of Incantation is achieved, and the Temple collapses. Following the ritual, the Hindustani music will sound into the night, ushering the last lunar eclipse of the millennium, which will begin at the end of the ritual. As written by Pepe Ozan and Christopher Fuelling C