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National Theater

Architecture - Basse-Terre

Artchipel, Guadeloupe’s National Theater and cultural facility, was created in 1996 by the national government and Conseil Général. Designed by Guadeloupe architect Alain Nicolas, it takes up a portion of the surface and underground area of Pichon Square. The building’s architecture evokes Soufrière Volcano and the Caribbean Sea, which dominate the landscape around the city of Basse-Terre. Artchipel holds plays, concerts, and other live performances in four spectator halls. Salle Anacoa, which takes its name from the Taïno Indian queen, is the main performance hall, seating up to 500 spectators. The more intimate Salle Jenny Alpha (named for the French singer and actress of that name, born April 22, 1910, in Fort-de-France, died on September 8, 2010, in Paris) is designed for smaller performances that bring audiences and performers into close proximity, and is also used for exhibitions. Originally a 100-seat lecture hall, Cabaret Sonny Rupaire, named for the Guadeloupe native and militant poet who actively promoted the local creole language, hosts small events and cabaret nights. Finally, Adolphe Catan Gallery, named for the famous Basse-Terre photographer (1899-1979), is mainly used for photographic exhibitions and serves as the theater bookstore on performance nights.

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