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Cie Philippe Saire
Av. de Sévelin 36
1004 Lausanne
Suisse

in permanent residency at Théâtre Sévelin 36

+41 21 620 00 12 info@philippesaire.ch

Newsletter

×

Cie Philippe Saire
Av. de Sévelin 36
1004 Lausanne
Suisse

in permanent residency at Théâtre Sévelin 36

+41 21 620 00 12 info@philippesaire.ch

Newsletter

Salle des Fêtes (Party Room) spectacle ×

Duration: 50 min approx.

The fifth part in a series that borders on visual arts, Philippe Saire’s new creation takes balloons as its starting point. After the choreographic drawings seen from above of Black Out, the luminous devices of NEONS and Vacuum, and the fumes of Ether, this project is based on a fascination for street vendors’ huge bunches of balloons. Dancing in the wind, the balloons gain some sort of worrying independence, tormenting the body they are attached to, which looks almost fragile under this multitude. Joyful and colourful, often branded with Disney characters, they look strangely threatening, like a reversal of function with the world of entertainment turning against us.
Conversely, balloons also echo a desire for escape, elevation and lightness. Stronger than air, they trap it. They are both frail and powerful.
On a circular stage, two dancers interact with balloons floating at different heights, rising and descending, supported by a mobile structure. The show can be performed in two versions: either the audience is seated on chairs placed on the stage, in a circle around the performing space (they are like guests at the party), or the play is performed in front of the audience.

“The worrying, even nightmarish aspect of these figurative, apparently joyful, child-oriented and Disney-themed balloons… this threatening aspect disturbed me then, without me knowing why.
It was, I think, the reversal of function, the feeling that the world of entertainment could turn against us.”


To begin with
The starting point for this research is the images of balloon vendors I have been collecting for years in different cities I have visited. A distant part of childhood probably motivated this attraction. I filmed several of them, quietly waiting for customers or trying to control their bunches of balloons swaying in the wind – this wind that seems to lend the balloons a disturbing sense of light autonomy. The sellers then start to look almost fragile, tormented as they are by this swirling mass that seems so much more powerful than themselves.
Delving deeper, beyond the apparent magic, I realised that the vendors were often migrants who had travelled a long way to a world they hoped would be better, only to end up themselves selling normative and mercantile dreams to children. And I thought more broadly of entertainment, and of Pascal for whom entertainment is a perpetual flight from oneself. I also thought of Bachelard who, in L’Air et les Songes wrote: “We are heavy, falling beings, nostalgic for lightness”.
All of a sudden, these balloons strangely materialised these existential aspects of flight, of the need for lightness and elevation. They combined power with fragility in the inflated object. They trapped air, breath, the symbol of life. They were both fascinating and repulsive. As I like to say of a show that touched me: they went beyond what one can see. And it is this richness that drove me to work with these objects.
The above-mentioned dimensions are those that the show aims to address or evoke.
Image and perception
The principle of this “Dispositifs” series focuses on the image as an essential aspect that plays a significant role in both the process and the final form. Here, because of the mass effect and amalgamation of the balloons and the compression of all their shapes and colours, the link to images seemed obvious to me, as well as the potential to turn that into a show. The idea was further confirmed with technical tests and with the dancers. I also like the idea of such tacky objects brought together and referenced on a contemporary dance stage, as if they were an “excerpt” of one world re-appropriated by another, with all the interest and difficulty of the ensuing confrontation. Finally, there is a relationship to the body, its fragility when faced with a multitude – a multitude that is itself fragile, filled with air and explosive.
In the tests, I very quickly came to the conclusion that we had to find a way to contain the balloons, and gradually the idea of a circular “lid” arose, which could surround the balloons at the bottom and then rise with them to the ceiling.
I was, and still am, torn between recreating my first street sensations, where this mass of balloons came closer to me, and the purity of the image of this disc of balloons in a bare space.

Philippe Saire


The creative process is in line with the rest of the series. The first step is to define the right spatial configuration and the image potential. Then the physicality of the use of balloons is explored in collaboration with the two dancers, to find a relationship with the body, with nature and the balloons’ own movement.
Once the form of the performance has been defined, work begins on the relationship between the dancers and on the characters (echoing the figurative balloons). The aim is to determine what the scenography imposes on the structure of the creation.


“The objective profile of the United States, then, may be traced throughout Disneyland […]. Digest of the American way of life, panegyric to American values, idealised transposition of a contradictory reality, to be sure, but this conceals something else, and that ‘ideological’ blanket serves precisely to cover over a third-order simulation: Disneyland is there to conceal the fact that it is the ‘real’ country, all of ‘real’ America, which is Disneyland (just as prisons are there to conceal the fact that it is the social in its entirety, in its banal omnipresence, which is carceral).”

Jean Baudrillard, Simulacre et simulation


Concept and choreography
Philippe Saire


Choreography in collaboration with the dancers
Neal Maxwell, David Zagari


Lights
Philippe Saire, Vincent Scalbert


Sound design
Philippe de Rham


Costumes
Isa Boucharlat


Supports and partners
Cie Philippe Saire is governed by a joint support agreement between the City of Lausanne, Canton of Vaud and Pro Helvetia - Swiss Arts Council; and is supported by Fondation Philanthropique Famille Sandoz, Loterie Romande, Ernst Göhner Stiftung, CORODIS, Fondation Françoise Champoud and Migros Culture Pourcentage. Cie Philippe Saire is in permanent residence at Théâtre Sévelin 36, Lausanne.


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Dates to come

Lausanne (CH)
15.09.2021
26.09.2021
Paris (FR)
23.11.2021
26.11.2021