Le refuge

We worked on the question "what is a refuge?". 3 dancers including a Finn who is a fan of extreme conditions + 1 actor + 1 musician who is also mountain guide. We drove from Lyon to Helsinki, all together in an old car, in the middle of winter. Our Finn dropped the project as soon as we arrived there. We suddenly became 4 foreigners, lost in the polar night.

We came across "The world is round" by Gertrude Stein. This children’s book is an existential quest, it talks about how to find a shelter, a home, in the middle of the unknown, about how to materialize a place to feel safe and happy. We created a choral dance by drawing words of the text randomly. It was made of raw, spontaneous and expressive gestures. In this story, Rose, the main character, sings because it is her only way to express her feelings and her thoughts. We brought drums and electric guitars in the rehearsals, and started to make songs. Then, we built huts in the forest; thus, we progressively understood the needs of the scenography: the spaces represented on stage had to be fragile and malleable. Everything made sense, but there was a lack of counterpoint. We added a text by Thomas Bernhard, very rough, and the music of "Peer Gynt" by Grieg, very lyrical. In the end, the audience navigates from the endless speech of a man who cannot find his place in the world, to a slow transhumance through immense and unknown landscapes, from a dance made of flashes of energy, to wanderings towards lost childhood.

"...and one mountain two mountains three mountains or four when there are mountains there always are more.
 Even from the door." Gertrude Stein, The world is round

Summary of the choreographic material:

By and with: Y. Lheureux et B. Pinon / Cie les 7 soeurs; with also: S. Ferlay et L. Helmstädter; music: S. Ferlay; scenography: A. Fonfrède; light design: F. Besson; created @ CCN Rillieux-la-Pape / Cie Maguy Marin (2009); with the support of Villa Lill Kallvik / Helsinki, Le point éphémère / Paris, Ramdam / Sainte-Foy-Lès-Lyon, Dispositif Envie d'Agir, Région Rhône Alpes Auvergne.

(photos : A. Fonfrède)