Post M

The Entangled Storytelling of a Question

Tag: rehearsal

Paris, 16e arrondissement

Cher lecteur,

voici un aperçu d’une de nos répétitions de la part d’un spectateur !

Photo by ©Ennio Petitdemange/inoutput

Merci Ennio et à bientôt !



Paris, 12ème arrondissement

Cher lecteur,

hier s’est tenue une répétition ouverte à laquelle ont participé 9 personnes entre famille et amis. Je tiens à les remercier toutes et tous pour leur participation, qui nous est bien précieuse à ce moment d’évolution de POST•M. Leur présence nous a permis de nous rendre compte des moments à re-étudier, à re-travailler, et surtout elle m’a permis de comprendre le manque de continuité dans la présentation des différentes aspects dramaturgiques de la pièce.

Je suis donc prête à me relancer dans un travail de création de fond, d’articulation des différents éléments théâtraux et conceptuels. Voilà donc mon travail pour les trois prochains jours : m’assoir et écrire, noter, débattre sur papier quelle est la structure de la pièce en sont entièreté, quels sont les points à l’intérieur de celle-ci à élargir, agrandir, remesurer, et quels sont les moments à créer tout court.

Le tout avec un peu de répétitions pour ne pas perdre le goût.

Bon weekend !


Parigi, 12esimo arrondissement

Caro lettore,

in qualsiasi esperienza, che sia performativa, artistica, interattiva, di vita quotidiana, l’integrazione del proprio corpo è fondamentale. Senza corpo, non c’è presenza. E senza presenza, non può esistere lo scambio alla base di quella che considero l’esperienza umana. La presenza ruota tanto intorno a sé stessi, che alla relazione con gli altri. In yoga, Tadasana è l’esemplificazione di questo concetto: la posizione della montagna, in cui uno sta in piedi con i piedi radicati al suolo, la testa ben protesa verso il cielo e tutto il corpo tra testa e piedi in ascolto e respiro, permette di equilibrare tutto il corpo, di annichilire i pensieri, di creare spazio attraverso l’entrata di ossigeno e sentire se’ stessi e quello che ci circonda in onestà.

Con POST•M, stiamo imparando che cos’è Tadasana. Come si può costruire questa base di presenza per andare al di là di dove abbiamo cominciato. Quali sono le basi tecniche e fisiche per noi stessi, per la compagnia, per il nostro lavoro, per la nostra esplorazione. Stiamo andando al di là della fiducia gli uni verso gli altri: stiamo costruendo insieme qualcosa di unico, speciale, un viaggio unico.

Oggi, nel parco Hector Malot lungo la Promenade plantée, abbiamo fatto molte Tadasana e qualche salutazione al sole, in un certo senso. Continuando la costruzione della coreografia con Alena, abbiamo cercato l’origine e la motivazione di ogni gesto e di ogni frase. Viviane e Heather hanno esplorato la musicalità di Olympia, Maria ha cominciato a maneggiare la macchina fotografica. Abbiamo fatto l’introduzione alla costruzione del labirinto, capendo le necessità ingegneristiche necessarie per sviluppare l’estetica e la resistenza della nostra scenografia. Abbiamo incuriosito passanti e i senzatetto rumeni che avevano eletto il parco a residenza del pomeriggio, e che hanno cominciato a ripetere le parole che hanno letto sui testi battuti da Viviane e che hanno raccolto il coraggio a quattro mani per chiedere che tipo di danza faceva Alena. Perché a loro parlava. Raccontava una storia.

Tadasana, appunto. Scendere più profondamente nella sensazione di sé per connettersi a tutto quello che ci circonda e che fa parte di noi. Continuare a cercare quella sensazione finché non arriva. Avere la pazienza necessaria perché arrivi. E la fede, anche. Sapere dove cercare. E cercare.




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.


Paris, 12th arrondissement

Dear reader,

with our last company member, Heather Pynne, our lighting designer, having arrived this morning, the POST•M’s company is now all present and participating! Tomorrow is our first encounter as a full company, and I am excited. To see everyone together. To feel everybody’s creative energy all physically connected. To witness in person and in visceral body the meeting of boundaries and their change and development. Finally. It’s taken one year, but here it is, happening.

And it is at moments like these that I feel how lucky I have been so far. I would like to share this feeling with you, and also channel this energy to touch a core theme of POST•M’s: the connection between family history and responsibility. With Alena and Viviane reading Art Spiegelman’s Maus, which I consider a cornerstone of transgenerational digestion of History and personal history, myself continuing my research on scholars discussing transgenerational traumas and elaboration of Memory, the entire company drawing genogram family trees and discussing “group”, “collectivity”, “community” and “society”, we are dealing with the heart of POST•M’s matter.

In other words, how do you consider your family’s past (stories, myths, recollections, corroborated facts, official documents) part of your own past? What is the past? What role does your past play in determining your own present identity, and your own personal choices within your society?

These are the questions I have been asking myself for about 1 year and a half now. These and many more. I do not have universal answers for them. I just have my own answers for my own story – and that might not even be accurate. I believe we need to be aware of this, as much as we should be aware of our bodies. In order to know where we come from, and what sort of interests we will always be inherently defending. To be aware of where we stand means to possibly know which biases might be conducting us, and as such, what biased decisions we can make. Knowing this doesn’t mean not to make those decisions, but to have an inkling – with a historical and social awareness – of the long-term consequences our acts can have. And what sort of future we would like to build for ourselves and the generations to come.

We have the gift of long-term projection, as human beings, and yet we lack, in our everyday behavior, political investing, bureaucratic structure, the driving force to apply it intelligently.

The world is bigger than it feels, or seems. The world is big. And so is time. And so are decisions that travel through that time and space. It can be scary, but most importantly, it is something which as citizens, individuals, communities, we can play with in order to make this world a fairer and more balanced ecosystem.

On a thread, in balance, in breath,


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,


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,


Rome, Via Poliziano

Dear reader,

the POST•M company is heading back to Paris tomorrow, attacking a second part of rehearsals. The next three or four weeks will be dedicated to intense research, story-building, universe-bulding and choreographic research. Breaking up our time in different ways and meeting less all together as a company, this time will allow me to compartmentalize the different aspects of this production and start weaving the different threads that will make up the next part of the creative process.

After this reinvigorating Roman experience, I feel ready to bite at the material and dive head and tummy first into family history, post-traumatic theory and movement exploration of different parts of Paris and its suburbs. I look forward to share all the material I have gathered in the past years!

We will also be developing the new characters inhabited by Maria and Viviane, and start imagining a new common world, in which everybody has a space, a place and a time.

And guess what? Andrea’s almost there to physically join us at rehearsals and Heather’s arriving in 9 days, exactly!


Roma, Via Poliziano

Caro Lettore,

la compagnia di POST•M, Andrea Messana e Heather Pynne a parte, è a Roma per il Festival di regia “Fantasio Piccoli”!

Partite ieri sera da Porte Maillot a Parigi, Ryanair ci ha portate fino a destinazione. Stamani alle 10 in punto, appuntamento al Teatro dell’Orologio con Marco Scattolini, responsabile tecnico della selezione a Roma: dopo una visita della sala di rappresentazione e delle altre due sale di questo teatro d’avanguardia stupendo, ci siamo messe a provare nella sala più piccola (sala prove). Abbiamo finito di mettere a punto vari dettagli come deciso ieri dopo la nostra performance al Centquatre, e dopo in sala grande abbiamo puntato luci e filato il tutto una volta.

Una sensazione meravigliosa. È bello arrivare in una città ‘straniera’ e sentirsi subito a casa in un teatro, accolte così premurosamente e professionalmente. È un’ispirazione trovare una realtà teatrale aperta ai giovani e alla sperimentazione. È un piacere conoscere altri artisti che si mettono in gioco.

Venite numerosi! Stasera alle 21h, via dei Filippini 17/a!


Paris, 12th arrondissement

Dear reader,

when I was tired, exhausted and unable to go forward at Middlebury, Andrea Olsen always reminded me of bones. “Bones?!” If you are raising your right eyebrow and lowering your left one, you are making exactly the face I made four years ago when she told me “Bones.” for the first time.


Today, as I witnessed three completely separate worlds coming together in a rehearsal room with windows covered with bamboos in the 20th arrondissement in Paris, I reminded myself: “Bones”. It takes bones, all 206 of them, to invest all of myself in a project beyond reason. To involve five other people – that’s 5×206 = 1,030 bones – in a utopia beyond logic. And yet, as I stood amidst a pile of yarn and newspapers in front of three performers knitting and discussing in German, English and French all mixed at the same time, it felt like a dream coming true. Most assuredly, in the least sequential and most scattered way I could have ever imagined. But a dream becoming reality.

Because I have chosen to invest in human encounters, in bodies touching each other, reaching across space and barriers (intellectual and physical ones), in voices harmonizing together, in yarn becoming scarves, in words on pages being read aloud and acquiring a voice in space and time. In people wrapping their heads and bodies around the issues they see in the way the world turns nowadays. So much work lies ahead, and today was the smallest of steps, but I know I’m in good company – and I feel lucky for that.

With ground,