Post M

The Entangled Storytelling of a Question

Tag: outdoors

Paris, 12th arrondissement

Dear reader,

one of our rehearsal spots is at Quai St Bernard, which is right in front of le Jardin des Plantes, in the 5th arrondissement. Right before the small amphitheatres along the Seine (coming from Gare d’Austerlitz), there are two staircases which are just perfect. And so, tonight, there, against the backdrop of moving lights on the Seine’s surface and Parisian buildings shining in the night, we started blocking.

With bikes zooming across the stage, people crossing it, without even realizing. Just looking half surprised half unknowingly to Alena’s choreography, and her “agir” and “changer” that pop up every once in a while.

A living stage. A living piece. What is most wonderful is to draw connections across the city. Connecting a choreography imagined and created on the other side of the river, right there on that spot which you eye from the other shore. That garden, which you know you could reach if only you could swim across and dry yourself on your way there, where you started building moments that you are making real for a stage as big as urban life.

How far the imagination goes. Up to the sky. Understanding really, deeply, what inherently means “Reach down into the Earth, and up to to the sky.” The sky, so high up there. When presence means being three times and a half as tall as you actually are. When lighting design is moving people, so as to adapt to what a city offers you: boats, light posts, gleams, shadows, contrast. That’s what I call a challenge. And one that all of these wonderful, bold, courageous artists I’m working with are taking on, seriously, with passion, and with that, oh so!, necessary edge of insanity.

In those gleaming lights, I think of another actor I’ve worked with. And I realize that, actually, that sky is the same that looked over our bridge in Swaziland. Time and space, they are indeed much more connected than you’d ever think.

Nerina

Paris, 12th arrondissement

Dear reader,

outdoors rehearsals and close research are producing their effect: ideas are starting to float in me. Images, feelings, sensations, shapes, relationships. I feel like a sponge taking in whatever comes my way. I haven’t experienced this sensation in almost two years, and it feels like myself again. I don’t think an artist can experience a greater pleasure.

Today was a gorgeous, tasty experience. With Alena and Andrea we were in a garden right next to the Promenade plantée right along rue de Bercy. We had been there for about 1h15, with Alena exploring the space and slowly building a maze of yarn and bamboo branches, with some sparse newspaper pages afloat in the midst of it all. At that point, as I had just walked to her and asked her to stop building and just playing with the space she had created, we heard voices. Children. Many of them.

There were probably 30 of them. An after school group, coming to eat their goûter in the park. Well, they saw the maze. And they didn’t stop. They started asking questions: “what is it? what is it for? is it a sculpture? can we touch it?” I asked them what it was: “It’s for Christmas!” “It’s a spiderweb!” “it’s to jump!” So many answers. “Can we play with the yarn?”

Oh yeah. And they did.

What a pleasure to see free spirits playing with the legumi, as Andrea calls them. Yarn balls flying across tree branches. Legs jumping over yarn strings. Walking underneath. Running. Screaming. Excitement. Free flow.

“Madame, je crois que vous n’aurez plus de pelotes…” We did, at the end. God knows how.

Thank you kids for playing with my universe. Thank you for looking at it with the honesty of your heart. And thank you for showing me that 5 minutes is more than enough time for play. And that all it takes is an energy.

Thank you for being there today and liberating whatever was there waiting to be liberated. Shapes, colors, ideas, interventions, Lego spirit.

With the greatest smile,

Nerina

Paris, 12ème arrondissement

Cher lecteur,

après un retour calme sur Paris et un petit temps de repos, nous revoilà au travail.

Une grosse partie de POST•M est l’exploration de lieux publics, ouverts, de passage, présents et construits depuis peu ou depuis des siècles et s’imprégner de leurs atmosphères, de leurs vibrations. Nous avons donc commencé ce travail avec Alena, qui  est allée jeudi au cimetière du Père Lachaise et a improvisé physiquement avec la technique du “frameworking”, c’est à dire l’utilisation du corps comme cadre d’observation de ce qui nous entoure, mais aussi comme filtre d’observation de nous-même pour l’extérieur. Donc, par exemple, j’utilise mes bras croisés comme “framework” et je vois le monde à travers ce cadre. En un second temps, je laisse que ce que je vois à travers ce “framework” m’observe à son tour à travers mes bras croisés. Que voit-il de moi ? Quelle image, fragmentée et entière, peut-il se former de moi et de mon expérience de ce moment ? Alena, à travers ce travail, a commencé à observer les tombes et les épitaphes qui l’entouraient. Elle a reconnu les “chemins” de tellements de personnes…

Ce soir, nous nous sommes retrouvées et nous avons continué cette exploration. En marchant tout le long de l’Avenue Ledru-Rollin, passant la Seine et arrivant au Quai Saint Bernard, nous nous sommes concentrées sur tous les chemins de vie que nous rencontrions : la souris qui traversait la rue de Charenton, les deux chiots qui jouaient au coin avec l’Avenue, les rollerbladers sur la rue de Bercy, les cyclistes le long du Quai de la Rapée, l’eau de la Seine, les lignes du métros qui s’intersectaient sous nos pieds, les avions qui passaient au dessus de nos têtes… Avec cette conscience, nous sommes arrivées à l’embarcadère du Vogéo (Gare d’Austerlitz) et nous nous sommes lancées en une improvisation sur les marches.

Entre les centaines de mouvements exquissés et les dizaines de thèmes abordés, la question centrale que je pose ce soir est la suivante : qu’est-ce que la connection entre générations ? Comment est-ce que les savoirs, les comportements, les réactions, les habitudes se passent de l’une à l’autre ? Qu’apprend-t’on de nos parents ? De nos grandparents ? Quoi de tout cela est conscient ? Qu’est-ce qui est social ? Qu’est-ce qui est familial ?

Pensez aux petites choses, plutôt qu’au général. Pensez à l’expression sur le visage de votre mère ou de votre père qui est “familaire”. Pensez à la façon d’aborder une idée, la connaissance du nouveau. Pensez à la façon de faire les choses (le rangement, la vaisselle, le pliage de vêtements). Pensez aux métiers de la famille : ont-ils quelque chose en commun ? Ne serait-ce que l’envie et l’énergie derrière eux. Pensez à vous-même comme individu au sein d’un passage, et non pas en isolation.

En interrogation,

Nerina