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Friday evening on the ’Promenade des Anglais…’

vendredi 3 février 2012 , par auteur Antoine Boyer (traduction Marie Bertel)

trad article traduction [English] [français]

Surreal McCoy - Seagulls

The phlegm, it is ’so British’. We knew that the Royal Guards were trained to keep their « stiff upper lip » even if somebody tickles them or makes them a true declaration of love ; the two seagulls of Surreal McCoy will remain seagull and will carry out their role in full.
’So, you are seagulls ?’
’Kwaaak’
’How much do you earn ?’
’Kwek’
’No ! That’s my camera !’

Intriguing the babies, blocking the path to the hungry people who are trying to join the Codfather looking for victuals, putting their beaks in the purses…Here is a real interaction which works and consigns the relation performers/audience to oblivion. The two hijackers led the way from 6pm prefiguring the pièce de résistance of an eventful evening. ’Useless beak, flightless bird, I am sliding down your transparent face’, would have say Senghor in the circumstances – before leaving covered by guano and without his watch.

Wet Picnic - Time for tea

No, in fact, what is so British, it is to invent as useless disciplines as possible in the field of manners, to attack anyone who doesn’t respect them even in case of hurricane or invasion of Bengal tigers… and in making fun of it with the same brilliance. Proof provided with this lecture gave by the Wet Picnic company, sabotage of a tea ceremony, which is however the backbone of an Empire. Three Mary Poppins with the finger rose. Maid skirts, big smile and determined (but protective) glance of the housewife who knows where she is going : here is the terrible arsenal of this 100% Earl Grey commando. Throwing tea bags to the surprised crowd as a wafer’s distribution in Rome, they are ready, between two choreographies, to tell the story of their ancestors, who gave back to England the love for this beverage, only cure against ’the sagging breasts of your wives, your boring jobs, and your ugly kids’. An ’ejaculatory’ final and a tea tasting won over an audience, very happy of being so pampered.

Titan - The Next Generation

The problem with monsters is that they are often more humans than the humans. Titan the robot could be, in its own, the post-modern focal point of the humanity which is in Frankenstein, Terminator, Dracula or perhaps Chuck Norris. What is touching about this flesh and iron duo, beyond the obvious technical prowess that represents the manipulation of a golem of scraps, pistons and of 3 meters cables, is the cinema and music preferences of the humanoid. ’Banished in 65 international communities, declared as public nuisance in 23 British cities…’, Titan loves nothing more than Sinatra, Louis Armstromg or telling replicas of Hollywood blockbusters depending in the audience reactions. Of the humanity, the monster only kept the entertainment : message ? In any case, this walkabout, feat of synchronisation and interactivity signed by ’The next generation’, brought the ever-increasing number of young and old people on the way of the 2.0 ventriloquism’s new era.

Entre Terre et Ciel - Balade de feu

An interlude full of energy and enthusiasm which announces the final of the evening, this walk led by Lara Castiglioni looks like more to a procession than a wandering. No matter where we are going, as long as we feel warm and our feet follow the rhythm of the torches which are spinning, going up and coming down. We had followed the procession until the exhaustion without realising it… But there was even better to come ! ’This sparkling appetizer’ marked the welcomed arrival of the flames in this winter night.

Thor McIntyre - Boiling Point

Because we will also deal with fire. Additional chapter in these outdoor proposals, the installation of the multimedia artist Thor McIntyre also uses the flames. In a less instinctive way, because the flames are an integral part of a real process of historical relation. Here, no more fascination, but a creation of a link between men and the times…by the words. A series of luminous loudspeakers repeating continuously translations of ’tweets’ launched by the direct witness of the Egyptian spring, steam jets, hearth… Echoing with the Atelier 231 atmosphere (where the locomotives were set up) and with news, the device is retro-modern, but certainly not timeless. The bridge is built between the good old days and the global virtual network. The installation is questioning the role of the technology and the universe’s perception that comes with it. Does Internet bring the human beings together as the railway does ? Everyone was able to find his own answer, by seating below the loudspeakers, around the smoking coal-fire stoves to drink hot sugary mint water – as in Egypt or in England, who knows…

Paka - Rusty The Horse

Here is a moment that exudes a ’steampunk’ atmosphere – a retro-futurist fiction which considers the Jules Verne’s Novels as a gospel message. However here, Cervantès is a source of inspiration. The set : a wandering mad, coming from an episode of Mad Max, arrives in a street arts festival. He stops allowing the crowd to enjoy the facetious character of his mechanical Rossinante. The animal neighs, rears up, wants to touch the audience. Paka -it is the name of the mid-clown mid-Quichotte post-apocalyptic performer- snubs and pats the mount…before mounting the horse and starting a real pyrotechnics festival ! Here is the fire, hidden and beating heart of the evening.The fire comes from everywhere : from the mount’s nostrils (remote controlled by a very discreet accomplice that we will let you find the next time you will see Rusty), from the hands of its unpredictable rider…then the magic happens and the two inseparables, messengers of end of times where the clowns would be prophets, went for a back and forth on the ’promenade des Anglais’. If the last Messiah really looks like Tom Waits galloping and perched on a flamethrower, pray that 2012 really is the end of the world !

The Wrong Size - Lightwalkers

Sometimes, what is needed is some magic. With simplicity. A bit of magic that things can get back to normal. That’s what the five fairies of The Wrong Sive do. Perched on stilts, dressed in endless umbrella dresses whose colors change in an imperceptibly way, they smile, they hold out their hands. And God (or who you want) knows that what many of us lack, especially after having participated in a tea lesson, being trampled by 30 tonnes of scrap metal which sings Elton John, being robbed by unscrupulous seagulls and being scalded in a thousand different ways. Phew, a mute walk in the dream garden led by a fluorescent sylphs group, here is a journey that we would like it to be endless. A 100 % natural detox trip where the grace is queen, where the serenity that seized you against your will and made you forget your French fries with the mayonnaise sliding on your hand, as your worries about loan repurchases are now sliding on your brain, cleared of any stress. When the technicality gives way to the beauty of an atmosphere…

Entre Terre et Ciel - Neige de Feu

In spite of the cold, the rain, the fire always won. Back after a fire walk which aroused the audience curiosity, here is the Entre Terre et Ciel company for a performance based on the most fascinated and dangerous element that the human civilizations ever found and tried to control. Something prehistoric, universal, comes out of this tribal dance, filled with symbols. Not quite in solo –we should pay tribute to the musician-sound effects engineer-singer who will finish the performance literally entranced- but alone in the center of a fire circle, Lara dances the primal impulse of the humanity. The heat gathers despite the fear, and the drawings she made with soft or violent gestures remind that all the symbols have the same goal : to gather. The cross, pentacle, rosette, circle, crescent…the lines are drawn with few breaths punctuated by invocations and percussions. Quick ! Seized them before time takes them. Then, after creating volcanoes, called on the earth to spew out its entrails through the asphalt, the dance recentres in circle. As a dervish who defied his mind’s limits, the choreography moves in a continuous whirling. Sparks appear from the dancer’s sides : it snows fire, the miracle happened. A real elemental alchemy has been created ; to outclass the magic, as a reminder, how far should we go ? We must water the smoking live embers with petrol to create a kind of yin and yang in three dimensions. At the edge of the madness, the performance stops, leaving behind the panting performers and the chilled-to-the-bone-audience…but warmed for years.

Le Codfather

In all the empires, Rome ahead, we thought, rightly, that with the games, bread was needed. By our British neighbours, the bread remains a mystery. As a consequence, the Atelier 231’s cooks distributed in two days 400 kgs of French fries, 80 kgs of fish, 40 L of hot win and 100 L of vegetable soup, which replaced easily any gallo-roman ciabatta.

L’Affaire Foraine - Space Fish

Next to the hungry queue which leaned on the wall until the Codfather, official sponsor of the tenacious hunger and of the insatiable thirst, the breton company ’L’Affaire Foraine’ set up a part of their performance. By diverting, in an exulting way, the ’burst all the balloons’ attraction, a master of ceremonies is asking the curious to ’burst everything, because it feels so good to be the master of the world during 5 minutes !’, and is showing this innocent blue balloon filled with helium, which was waiting its destruction by a propulsion of a weight, perched at the top of a fairground ladder of several meters high. PAF ! A way to let off steam !

Photos : Caroline Lelong et Sylvain Marchand

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