la pluie, a moving depiction of the memories of a Holocaust witness

Since its re-creation at the Lucernaire, the press has praised la pluie, a theatrical performance both wonderful and intimate. Staged with human-sized puppets by Alexandre Haslé, this soliloquy depicts the moral pain of an old babouchka haunted by the memories of those who left their personal belongings with her before being deported.

That a play as unadorned and poetic as this one can still provoke such intense emotion is precious : it is a reminder that theater needs not mimic a rock show to be moving – quite the contrary. Manipulation of the puppets is visible which suggests a rejection of deception, while the puppets are displayed at the end of the show as if the truth told onstage transcended the tricks used, or maybe in order to help the spectators distance themselves from overwhelming feelings.

A. Haslé confirms, every evening, that the need to re-create the play comes from the indignity with which refugees are being treated, and his concern over rising intolerance in society.

La pluie, illustration © Araso
La pluie, illustration © Araso

La pluie is at the Lucernaire in Paris until November 26th 2016

Robyn Orlin's plea for generations to come

What future do we build for ourselves? Our children? To what extent are we responsible for our fate?

Unclassifiable performer Albert Silindokuhle IBOKWE Khoza meets engaged choreographer Robyn Orlin. Both are from South Africa. They scrutinize their country and western world through the prism of Africa.

Ibokwe curates his body like a work of art. Wrapped up in a plastic he will later vigorously knife off, he stuffs himself with oranges splashing the stage and the audience in the process. Attired as a Nubian queen, he dances with Putin whilst trading weapons for diamonds, money for garbage, etc.

Ibokwe has his back against the audience. He is seated in a large brown leather armchair facing a recording camera. The image is projected on the wall. This relationship to others is the underlying issue throughout the show.

Through this character who wants to be looked at, understood, loved, admired, coveted, Ibokwe and Robyn Orlin tackle with humour the multiple faces of their home country and its failure to address the most fundamental issues.

Albert Silindokuhle IBOKWE Khoza in «And so you see…» by Robyn Orlin, illustration © Araso
Albert Silindokuhle IBOKWE Khoza in «And so you see…» by Robyn Orlin, illustration © Araso

And so you see… our honourable blue sky and ever enduring sun… can only be consumed slice by slice…
By Robyn Orlin, with Albert Silindokuhle IBOKWE Khoza
At the Théâtre de la Bastille in Paris until Novembre 12th 2016

Rocìo Molina: flamenco beyond genre

Rocìo Molina appears in a traditional outfit wearing a traje de flamenca of an immaculate white. She moves in a surgical kind of slow.

She strips naked before her four male musicians. They behave like fathers, brothers, lovers, the plot is unclear. Rocìo emerges as a matador and literally explodes. Her muscles tremble, her fingers snap and uncurl the movement until the tip of her nails. Her focus is absolute.

The chrysalis discards a series of cocoons and stumbles her way through ancient stereotypes, slogging between potent masculine energy and an infantile and fragile type of femininity. The imago eventually slips on a blood-stained plastic gown, dripping jets of red liquid onto her legs as she smudges the floor with it.

Swaying between folklore an emancipation, Rocìo Molina built Caìda del Cielo on an alternation of clichés, which she faithfully embodies before destroying them with her weapons of choice: her perfect command of flamenco, (pretty bad) rock music and SM equipment. The result is eloquent.

It’s not written in the stars that tradition should be a confinement.

Rocìo Molina in Caìda del Cielo, Théâtre National de Chaillot, illustration © Araso
Rocìo Molina in Caìda del Cielo, Théâtre National de Chaillot, illustration © Araso

Caìda del Cielo is flamenca Rocìo Molina’s latest creation,
Théâtre National de Chaillot, Paris from November 3rd to 11th

Olivia Csiky Trnka est Anaïs Nin dans «A comme Anaïs», mes Françoise Courvoisier, Illustration © Araso

A comme Anaïs: Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin larger than life

« Establishing a dialog takes time. Time is about to disappear. Nobody has time for anything anymore. » Thus spoke Wim Wenders yesterday morning on France Inter.

Time is what these two consumed copiously: Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller wrote each other passionate letters for more than thirty years. Oddly enough, it seems that no one had the idea to adapt it for stage but Swiss director Françoise Courvoisier.

Created in 2013 at the Poche Theater in Geneva, the play is supported by Frédéric Landenberg’s compelling performance as Henry Miller and Olivia Csiky Trnka’s exquisite interpretation as the high-spirited lover of sex and the arts.

Whereas contemporary art seems to be all about words, this ode to writing and epistolary love affairs is an exhilarating godsend of inspiration. Writing shapes up the mind, the hand sculpts the movement, the eye contemplates in infinite delight.

Olivia Csiky Trnka is Anaïs Nin in «A comme Anaïs», directed by Françoise Courvoisier, Illustration © Araso
Olivia Csiky Trnka is Anaïs Nin in «A comme Anaïs», directed by Françoise Courvoisier, Illustration © Araso

A comme Anaïs with Olivia Csiky Trnka and Frédéric Landenberg
Manufacture des Abbesses
Sundays at 8 pm
Mondays to Wednesdays at 9 pm
Until December 21st 2016

Lucinda Childs illustration by Araso

Lucinda Childs: the footprints of a legend

Is it because in herself she says it all about Philip Glass, Robert Wilson and Sol LeWitt altogether?

Is it because at 76, her slender figure and her stately demeanour seem to indicate that neither time nor space has any hold over her?

Lucinda Childs reigns over the realm of dance with iconic discretion and humour. Her piece, soberly titled «Dance» (1979) has been shown once again this month at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris. It has become one of those classics which one can never seem to get tired of.

At the Commune in Aubervilliers, seated in the front row, an impassive Lucinda watches her dancers perform her  Early Works. The precision of repetition and the flow of movement: the scene is a masterpiece of human concentration. Earlier that evening, Lucinda herself performed a text by Susan Sontag in Description (of a description) inside Pantin’s CND. On stage she is even more of a queen.

Is it about pugnacity? Gift? Having a vision of one’s time and world? Picking the right medium? Is it contemporaneity?

What makes a legend a legend?

There are those who write, and those who invent grammar.

Lucinda Childs, illustration by Araso
Lucinda Childs, illustration by Araso

This year, Paris Autumn Festival pays tribute to Lucinda Childs in a “portrait”.

Sofia Ruis and Vitor Roriz are Antony and Cleopatra for Tiago Rodrigues

Antony and Cleopatra: a lesson of creativity by Tiago Rodrigues

« Antony looks at Cleopatra.
Cleopatra looks at Antony.
Cleopatra inhales.
Antony inhales.
Cleopatra exhales.
Antony exhales. »

Portuguese dancers and choreographers Sofia Dias and Vitor Roriz are Antony and Cleopatra. They tell a well-known tale of love, betrayal and death. Entirely in French to add spice to the task.

Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare, or how to pay a tribute to giants with a minimum of artifice and a great deal of talent (and humour!): this is creativity defined by Tiago Rodrigues.

The duo is dressed in jeans and t-shirts. Their set is minimalistic: a multi-purpose mobile gives a body to missing characters such as Cesar and Pompey while mimicking precious net curtains and thick palace walls. The accessories: a record player, two glasses and a carafe.

With just a few handpicked words, unmistakable looks and carefully-weighted gestures, the pair brings a myth back to life. For a moment out there one can actually see Antony and Cleopatra with their dignified and despicable entourage.

To those out there looking for the true «power of imagination»: this is it.

Sofia Dias and Vitor Ruis are Antony and Cleopatra for Tiago Rodrigues
Sofia Dias and Vitor Ruis are Antony and Cleopatra for Tiago Rodrigues

Illustration © Araso

Antoine et Cléopâtre at the Bastille Theater in Paris until October 8th 2016
With the Autumn Festival in Paris
A 2015 creation by Tiago Rodrigues, with excerpts from Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare