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

Time's Journey Through a Room

The power of the infinitely small

In Time’s Journey Through a Room, Toshiki Okada favors the five senses over words.

The act is minimalistic, the set is stern, the actors barely move an eyelid.

The sound frames an intangible yet boiling interior -they literally put a glass fizzing with bubbles on stage.

The dead spouse comes back home. She recalls life before and after Fukushima, as she speaks to her husband. The new girlfriend is about to join the scene.

A china doll, death is the perfect figure of the icy powerful mistress. Only the dance of her phalanxes betrays the calm of her voice and body.

A table, two chairs, a glass of water and two carnations seemingly attempting to escape are a cry out loud in this stuffy atmosphere.

The curtain marks out the space where everything and nothing happens, like a window on a hypothetical life outdoor.

The infinitely subtle wakes up the sleepiest sense. The infinitely small is infinitely powerful when it’s well orchestrated. It tells tales forever remembered.

Illustrations © Araso

Izumi Aoyagi and Mari Ando are life and death in Okada's play Time's Journey Through a Room
Izumi Aoyagi and Mari Ando are life and death in Okada’s play Time’s Journey Through a Room

Time’s Journey Through a Room at T2G Théâtre de Gennevilliers with the Festival d’Automne à Paris
From Septembre 24th to 27th 2016.

René Magritte, illustration Araso

Magritte, imagination and the construction of images

What would Magritte do nowadays? Now that images proliferate, a reflection of our egos rather than of our imagination and constantly begging for attention?

Magritte the adman, the illustrator, the poet, the sculptor of a Swan Lake, the great master ès building images nurtured inside his very own brain, would probably gaze upon our world with a teasing eye and a grin.

He would teach us how to turn imagination into phrases, digging into it first. He would show us how to put a key into a lock and a girafe into a glass.

A custodian of a Sleeper’s dreams and those of the unsettling People from the River (1926), he has also built his own codes of beauty (The Six Elements, 1929). He would lecture on the Principle of Incertitude in the Instagram era and go for drinks with a revived Raymond Hains and Bertrand Lavier.

He would give us lessons on how to play and have fun, how to exist without craving the look of others. Because images we make betray us in spite of appearances anyway.

Illustration © Araso

"This is not René Magritte", by Araso in Paris Pompidou Museum
“This is not René Magritte”, by Araso in Paris Pompidou Museum

René Magritte, The Betrayal of Images
Until January 23rd 2017
Centre Pompidou Paris, access here
Every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (except Tuesdays)

Manufacture de Sèvres - Illustration Araso

A regular Thursday morning towards the end of August: inside of Sèvres national ceramic manufacture, the artisans get busy in an astonishingly monastic silence.

Valérie is head of production and creation. Like many, she came to ceramic by accident and stayed out of passion. Since her very early years, she’d had «the taste for things well made, with this exact combination of academic accuracy and sensitivity ». Like Valérie the next generations of craftsmen have taken the path of physical endurance, extreme concentration and resistance to elements. In other words: it’s a extraordinarily sensual job.

Of course Valérie knows the manufacturing process inside out. She first joined Sèvres as a painter and continues to fight for the transmission of this unique knowledge of how to make things by the book. She is also a fervent advocate of the «print of the hand», an undeniable mark of uniqueness, authenticity and rarity which also gives a piece its character.

Nowadays she barely paints anymore to focus on production and the sourcing of raw materials, a burning issue. Her day starts at 7 in the morning and is punctuated by several visits to the workshops, to make sure all needs are covered.

No wonder she wouldn’t return my emails.

Visuals and illustration © Araso

Sèvres is open for the European Heritage Days on September 17th and 18th.

Valérie Jonca and her team will guide visitors through the workshop with exclusive insight. A tailor-made experience not to be missed on French heritage and craftsmanship.

Sèvres – Cité de la céramique
2 Place de la Manufacture
92310 Sèvres (France)
Tél. : +33(0)1 46 29 22 00

Noémie Gantier is Liz Norton in 2666, by Julien Gosselin at Odeon in Paris

Our take from 2666, the 12-hour play by Julien Gosselin

An obscure writer disappears somewhere in Mexico where women are savagely assassinated: this is 2666, a novel by Bolaño that Julien Gosselin (Les Particules Elémentaires, 2013) has turned into a 12h-long theatre play.

It is true that M. Gosselin isn’t the only one to have a penchant for interminable plays (Lidell, Jolly, Fabre, Warlikowski, Lupa). But why make us go through 5 hours of excruciating boredom for 3 hours’ worth watching and a few sparks of genius?

At just 29 years old, Mr Gosselin is a master of the art of story-telling. The kind that makes you cling to your seat and forget about everything else. The scene with the critics and the Pakistani taxi driver as narrated by Liz is unforgettable.

Video, one of the hottest trends on stage for years (van Hove, Castorf, re-Warlikowski, Cassiers) benefits from unprecedented grace, is used cinematographically with a high contrast and sublime granularity. It embodies madness and makes mutilated bodies emerged from a set when they were already there -genius work by Nicolas Joubert.

The tailor-made sound creation by Rémi Alexandre and Guillaume Bachelé is staggering.

The scenography by Hubert Colas re-uses the concept of moving boxes in a way which isn’t new, yet totally unique.

Illustration © Araso

Until Octobre 16th at the Berthier Ateliers, Odéon Theatre, Paris 17th
Text by Roberto Bolaño adaptation and stage direction by Julien Gosselin / Company Si vous pouviez lécher mon cœur
with Rémi Alexandre, Guillaume Bachelé, Adama Diop, Joseph Drouet, Denis Eyriey, Antoine Ferron, Noémie Gantier, Carine Goron, Alexandre Lecroc-Lecerf, Frédéric Leidgens, Caroline Mounier, Victoria Quesnel, Tiphaine Raffier

Book your tickets here.

Pina Bausch, Viktor, Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, Septembre 2016

Viktor at the Châtelet Theater in Paris: Why Pina Bausch is eternal

Wupperthal has worshipped Pina Bausch for the past ten years. The original dancers pass on a legacy to the newcomers without the company creating any single piece. And yet season after season crowds continue to flock.

And here comes Viktor. A vault-set to slowly bury the performers alive. This ground so dear to Pina, a perpetual building site. Julie Shanahan always sublime hypnotises as a woman with no arms and a hysterical Cristiana Morganti offers a surprisingly dark exit. Dominique Mercy takes up the part of Viktor again and the new generation is sparklingly led by Breanna O’Mara, unsettling as a widow screaming under the ruins, so bewitching in her crawling dance she eclipses the rest of the cast.

At Viktor’s, weddings are funerals, women are fountains, couples and beggars form a ballet in a happy Roman Bohemia, swirling to unlikely music.

Maybe this is the recipe for success: this sum of strong interpretations, of exaggerated details compiled in living pictures. One goes to a show by Pina Bausch like one goes to an exhibition where anything can happen anytime. No wonder some just don’t get tired of it.

Illustration © Araso

Viktor, 1986, a piece by Pina Bausch

Théâtre de la Ville, location at Théâtre du Châtelet, from September 3rd to 12th 2016