Cie Non Nova (F): Afternoon of a Foehn (L'Apres-midi d'un Foehn)

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This is a piece of choreography for puppets and their puppeteer, a ventilation system and a few props; plastic bags, a coat, a pair of scissors, a roll of sticky tape, a walking stick and an umbrella.
Accompanied by the notes of Claude Debussy’s three musical works: « Afternoon of a Faune », « Nocturnes » and « Dialogue of the Wind and the Sea », a ballet mistress creates a piece of choreography performed by plastic dancers, propelled into currents of air. Without needing to touch them, or barely even brush against them, the freedom of their movement makes the puppets seem more and more human by the second, the air streaming through them like blood flow. Through the manipulation of the plastic bags, their evolution and their transformation, a relationship develops between progenitor and puppet. This is where the adventure starts. We witness fortuitous encounters dictated by thermal phenomena, an « étoile » ballet dancer is born before our very eyes, there’s a « pas de deux » here, a burst of fireworks there, and further down the track a monster may be lurking …
It was whilst working on a commissioned piece on the theme of « movement » for the Natural History Museum of Nantes in October 2008, that I had the idea of exploring the element air and its tremendous potential on our imaginative world. Wandering through the museum alone in the middle of the night, I spent hours and hours trying to work out what it was that troubled me in this space, surrounded by wild, inanimate mammals. In the end I realised that is was the absence of any air current which made things feel so strange. So I installed a series of silent ventilators in the evolution gallery. Listening to the sound of rustling fur I became aware that the gallery is actually a place which exhibits death. The museum suddenly became a graveyard into which I decided to reintroduce life in an unexpected form. A pink plastic bag, ballasted very slightly, began to circulate from frozen animal to frozen animal, like an odd, unexpected visitor! This gave me the urge to create a piece of choreography for transfigured plastic bags.

Performed by Cécile BRIAND and alternately by Silvano NOGUEIRA
Dramaturgy assistant: Jean-Luc BEAUJAULT
Artistic direction, choreography and scenography : Phia MÉNARD
Soundtrack composition: Ivan ROUSSEL using Claude DEBUSSY’s music.
Wind design: Pierre BLANCHET
Stage manager and wind manager: Manuel MENES
Lighting design and lighting technician: Alice RUEST
Scenography design: Phia MÉNARD
Set construction : Philippe RAGOT assisted by Rodolphe THIBAUD and Samuel DANILO.
Costumes and accessories : Fabrice Ilia LEROY
Production assistants : Honorine MEUNIER és Clarisse MEROT
Public relations: Adrien POULARD

Coproductions and residencies with Le Centre Dramatique National de Normandie (National Dramatic Centre of Normandy), and with « La Brèche » – (Circus Arts Center for Basse-Normandie) in Cherbourg. Coproduction with « Le Quai » in Angers (« EPCC-Le Quai, Angers et le réseau européen IMAGINE 2020 – Art et Changement Climatique »), with the multi-sited structure « Scènes du Jura » (« Jura Scenes »), with « La Halle aux Grains » - the national theatre of Blois, with the Jules Verne Circus - Regional Centre for Circus Arts in Amiens, with « le Grand T » the Loire-Atlantique subsidised performance space in Nantes, with the Théâtre Universitaire of Nantes, with « l’Arc » the subsidised performance space of Rezé, with Parc de la Villette in Paris, and with « La Verrerie » in Alès in the Cévennes/Pôle National des Arts du Cirque (National Center for Circus Arts) in Languedoc-Roussillon. Residency with « Les Subsistances » 2010/2011, in Lyon, France.
With the support of the Théâtre de Thouars, a subsidised performance space in collaboration with the Cultural Services of Montreuil-Bellay, with « le Grand R » national theatre of La Roche-sur-Yon and with « Le Fanal », national theatre of Saint-Nazaire.
The Non Nova Company is subsidised by a number of bodies : by the Ministry of Culture and Communication / DRAC des Pays de la Loire, le Conseil Régional des Pays de la Loire (Regional Council for the Pays de la Loire) and le Conseil Général de Loire-Atlantique (General Council for the region Loire-Atlantique).

The company is also subsidised by the city of Nantes and by l’Institut Français (France’s international cultural relations body) and by la Fondation BNP Paribas (Foundation BNP Paribas).

Photo: Jean-Luc Beaujault

Box Office opening hours:
  • Main hall performance days: 16h-22h
  • studio and club performance days: 16h-20h30
  • other days: 16h-20h
Trafó Gallery opening hours:
  • Performance days: 4-10pm.
  • Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 4pm-7pm.
  • Closed on Mondays.
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