French visual theatre troupe created in 1985 in Lyon by Michel Laubu (born in Creutzwald, France in 1961). Turak builds shows with everyday objects, inspired by mythologies, ancient or imaginary.
In 1979, Michel Laubu – then in high school – created his first show for pre-school ages. In 1981, he trained at the Centre Universitaire International de Formation et de Recherche Dramatique (International University Centre for Drama Training and Research) in Nancy where he discovered the methodologies of Asian theatres, the Théâtre Laboratoire of Wrocław, Poland, and of the Odin Theatre in Denmark. In 1984, he created Le Poulailler (The Chicken Coop), his first “visual and sound show without text” in which the props were reduced to a suitcase.
The aesthetic originality of Turak is based on a confrontation between the strangeness of the objects created and the everyday nature of the materials they are made of. Built on non-linear drama and narration, the productions are journeys into a surrealist universe, to discover a world (“Turakie”) filled with objects chosen and reorganized in a different logic.
After Lintang ou les Princes de l’exil (Lintang or the Princes of Exile, 1986), Turak earned the first prize for young companies and the audience award of the Festival of Ambert with Golek ou les Mémoires d’une courge (Golek or the Memoirs of a Marrow, 1987). Turakie was invented with Zboïde, des pissenlits aux étoiles (Zboïde, Dandelions in the Stars, 1992) which gave birth to the “l’Archéologie Turak” (Turak archaeology) with “Champs de fouilles” (Field Excavations) produced at the Théâtre de la Marionnette in Paris.
Michel Laubu wrote the book: L’Objet Turak (1999). The idea of Turakie has been exported abroad, specifically to Laos, where, after three years of workshops with a local company, the show Ka Bong was created in 2002, thus marking the birth of object theatre in that South East Asian country.
- Laubu, Michel. L’Objet Turak. Montreuil: Éditions de l’Œil, 1999.