While the stream of spectators gently filled in the docks, the insolent drums of Transe Express’s “Tambours de la Muerte” cut short people’s chattering. As the amused audience fell for the rhythm created by the masked musicians, a reddening cloud suddenly led to the dramatic atmosphere of the Underworld. Catrina – a curvy-Mexican version of traditional Brittany character Ankou - appears on stilts. By her side, two huge skeletons, like two smirking Mafioso, smoking cigars and towering above the crowd. But if you want to dance the evil tango with Catrina, you’ve got to be perfect. Victims fall, one after the other, failing to reach Lady Death’s high expectations, and are pushed back into the mortal world. What a joyful funeral ceremony !
A few streets ahead, the drums guide us to the final bivouac : there, where the time has come for a potential last victim… The audience is there, waiting and impatient… let’s the fatal though festive end of the evening start ! On stage the skeleton-drummers from after-life walk out from their coffins and start a macabre rock’n roll. Catrina scans the audience until her eyes fall on the one who will be invited to join her to “the other side”. Before being allowed in, the victim will have to prove he is worth it. He will have to go through her flaming scythe, drum in rhythm without being distracted by the gloomy mocking musicians, bravely forget his fear of heights jumping on a Chinese pole, and lead the Death orchestra for the finale : fireworks, fire-spitting-skulls-shaped-drums, electric guitars and audience’s exclamations…
If the designated young man manages to get through, he will be lucky enough to join the after-life world and the Tambours de la Muerte band for an ultimate walkabout in the streets, joyfully escorted by the audience, obviously pleased !
Pictures of the preview on Thursday 24 March, on the docks of Brest Trade Harbour :
Pictures of the world premiere in Carhaix on Saturday 26th March 2011, as part of the 2nd edition of Les Charrues dans la Rue :