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Biennale de la danse 2023 - Director : Plasson, Fabien

Choreographer(s) : Ménard, Phia (France)

Present in collection(s): Biennale de la danse , Biennale de la danse - 2023

en fr


Biennale de la danse 2023 - Director : Plasson, Fabien

Choreographer(s) : Ménard, Phia (France)

Present in collection(s): Biennale de la danse , Biennale de la danse - 2023

en fr


Article 13

Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948

The  notion of frontiers struck me whilst listening to the stories of those  who have braved them. The young, isolated migrants that my partner and I  welcomed into our home particularly moved me with their stories. We  heard how they had no alternative but to embark on an uncertain journey  towards an equally uncertain future. The facts are there for all to see:  the difference is dramatic and immorally unjust. Your skin colour, your  religion and your passport make a huge difference when it comes to  en-tering Europe.

It  has to be said, Schengen Europe is a castle protected by walls and  moats, and we choose to remain deaf to the screams of those drowning in  its waters. Every now and again we lower the drawbridge, as we have done  with total solidarity for the Ukrainian migrants, rushing to help the  victims of Putin’s Rus-sian invasion. This sudden show of benevolent  solidarity makes us question why it is so absent when it comes to  migrant war-victims from Africa and the Middle East, who for years have  been turned back and locked away, victims of police violence and deadly  migrant pushbacks by coastal guards. This un-welcome attitude to  coloured migrants is a choice and also a protective reflex, and both of  these vio-lent reactions are proof of many people’s self-interested  selective empathy. Those of us who have watched Raoul Peck’s film  “Exterminer toutes ces brutes” (“Exterminate all these brutes”) or who  are brave enough to look back at history, understand that global  inequality derives from the disturbing legacy of colonisation. The  West’s accumulation of wealth is based on the slave trade, the stolen  land, the exploitation of resources and the spilt blood of the first  indigenous peoples. It can’t be denied: frontiers and borders are a  matter of money and nationalism. Unfortunately, this story continues  to-day…

As  I write these words I feel very white, privileged and guilty. I was  born in the right place at the right time. I’m not standing in front of  barbed wire, trying to find a way through, I’m not on a tiny raft trying  to cross the sea. I can’t speak for those who are trying to flee,  escape, cross borders, those who will never give up when someone says  no, or because someone hurts them, or because they are faced with a  wall. I believe the victims’ stories and I listen to them when they talk  of those physical, despica-ble frontiers!

This angle of focus is the starting point for ART.13,  whose title comes from an article in the Universal Declaration of Human  Rights. This article strikes me as the one that acknowledges the fact  that humani-ty lives on a sphere, on a planet named Earth, whose only  clear frontier is infinite space! This is also the one article which  defines the difference between left-wing thought and right-wing thought,  as Gilles Deleuze explains in his “Abécédaire” (alphabet book). These  are the words that spin in my mind with fascination: “deconstruct”,  “transform”, “live”. Our way of considering humanity by dissociating the  concepts “nature” and “culture” seems
questionable to me. It is yet  another frontier, an ontological one this time, making me contemplate  our fear and uneasiness just “To Be”, to evolve, the possible and the  impossible, how long things last and how long things take.
ART.13  is an act of theatre which tells the tale of an arrogant world on the  point of collapse, refusing to fall silent. The starting point is a  bucolic scene set in a domestic garden, where, on a perfectly mown lawn,  the statue of a man sits high above the ground, raised on its stand  (its “socle”). A symbol of Cul-ture. Nature breaks into this scene when  an animal digs itself out of a hole with an axe. Should the statue be  knocked off its stand, or should the stand be destroyed? Is this an  attempt at revolution or is it the dawn of a new way of functioning?  Destroy or Deconstruct could be the subheading of the piece. Maybe there  are other ways of transforming ourselves. Ways described by Joseph  Beuys, Davi Kopenawa, Charles Stepanoff, Val Plumwood and many others.  Ways which engage our capacity for dreaming of other worlds, of  something different, something better. Ways which would allow me to no  longer be defined as a white, blond, European woman, and to break  through spaces with frontiers, since they would no longer exist. To no  longer dread hardships and ordeals, because it would be an-other world:  an “other” world.
ART.13 is a fairytale, calling forth new paths forward, as yet to be imagined….

Phia Ménard, 25th Janvier 2023

Ménard, Phia

Phia Ménard is an author, performer, scenographer, director and juggler. It was in 1991 that she began to train to the Arts and especially to the juggling and the actor’s movement. She became a student with Jérôme Thomas, learning the techniques of juggling and composition. She integrates the company on the creation « Hic Hoc ». With this team she traveled to several continents, learning to be an interpreter, improviser and creator of several shows of the company until 2003: « Le socle » (The base) choreography by Cécile Bornes, « Le banquet » (The banquet), "Hioc", « 4 », « qu'on en finisse une bonne fois pour toutes… » (Let's finish it once and for all…).

Meanwhile, she meets Hervé Diasnas and Valérie Lamielle, follows the teachings of her dance practice and interprets two pieces: "The tattooed page" and "Badaboum".

She founded the Non Nova Company in 1998 and began to write her own plays. It was with the solo, «Ascenseur, fantasmagorie pour élever les gens et les fardeaux », created in 2001, that she will be recognized as an author and supported for her singular and personal approach. His company became associate artist for three seasons at the National Scene Le Carré at Château Gontier (2003/2006). She develops with the teams of Non Nova and the Scène Nationale, a work on the visibility of the artist's approach and various experiments. The « Zapptime, the awakened dream of a zapper », will take place during this period, the "Jongleur pas confondre" show with Jean-Michel Guy (sociologist), "Fresque et sketches 2nd round", and off-piste events: « Est-il vraiment sérieux de jongler ? » (Is it really serious to juggle?), « Ursulines Dance Floor », « Ursulines Mushroom Power ». In 2005, she was invited by Jean Blaise to the Lieu Unique, Scène Nationale de Nantes for « Zapptime # remix ». Follow « Touch It » and « Doggy Bag ». From 2008, it develops the concept of I.C.E. (Complementary Tangibility of Elements) with the creation of "P.P.P. "At the Subsistances de Lyon and « L’après-midi d’un foehn Version 1 » at the Museum of Natural History in Nantes. She collaborates and performs the "Iceman" performance with Collectif La Valise for the film « Coyote pizza ». In response to the invitation of the SACD and the Festival d'Avignon 2010, she wrote « Black Monodie » with the sound poet Anne James Chaton. In 2011, she creates the wind parts, « L’après-midi d’un foehn » and « VORTEX ».

Source: Biennale de la danse de Lyon

En savoir plus

Plasson, Fabien

Born in 1977, Fabien Plasson is a video director specialized in the field of performing arts (dance , music, etc).

During his studies at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon (joined in 1995) Fabien discovered video art. He was trained by various video artists (Joel Bartoloméo Pascal Nottoli , Eric Duyckaerts , etc).
He first experimented with the creation of installations and cinematic objects.

From 2001 to 2011, he was in charge of Ginger & Fred video Bar’s programming at La Maison de la Danse in Lyon. He discovered the choreographic field and the importance of this medium in the dissemination, mediation and pedagogical approach to dance alongside Charles Picq, who was a brilliant video director and the director of the video department at that time.

Today, Fabien Plasson is the video director at La Maison de la Danse and in charge of the video section of, an online international  video library, and continues his creative activities, making videos of concerts, performances and also creating video sets for live performances.

Sources: Maison de la Danse ; Fabien Plasson website

More information:

Cie Non nova

Founded in 1998 by Phia Ménard with the founding precept that we don't invent anything, we just see it differently: Non nova, sed nove.

The company has been based in Nantes since it was founded. Its head office is a creative space that includes a rehearsal studio, construction workshop, costume workshop, set storage and offices. The aim of this space is to enable the Company to carry out preparatory research and create its work.

The Company's multidisciplinary projects bring together artists, technicians and thinkers from a wide range of backgrounds and experience. It is not a collective but a professional team led by Phia Ménard and Claire Massonnet.

Source: Cie Non Nova


Artistic direction / Conception : Phia Ménard

Artistic direction assistance / Conception : Assistante à la mise en scène : Clarisse Delile

Choreography : Marion Blondeau

Interpretation : Marion Blondeau

Artistic consultancy / Dramaturgy : Camille Louis

Set design : Phia Ménard, Clarisse Delile et Éric Soyer. Réalisation scénographie : Rodolphe Thibaud, Ludovic Losquin, David Leblanc, Nicolas Marchand

Original music : Création sonore : Ivan Roussel

Lights : Eric Soyer assisté de Gwendal Malard

Costumes : Fabrice Ilia Leroy assisté de Yolène Guais

Other collaborations : Régie plateau : David Leblanc, Nicolas Marchand

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Production : Compagnie Non Nova – Phia Ménard // Coproduction : Biennale de la danse de Lyon 2023 / TANDEM, Scène nationale, Hippodrome de Douai / Le TNB, Centre Européen Théâtral et Chorégraphique de Rennes / Les Quinconces–L’Espal, Scène nationale du Mans / Malraux Scène nationale Chambéry–Savoie / Les 2 Scènes scène nationale de Besançon / La Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand scène nationale / Le Volcan, Scène Nationale du Havre / Les Halles de Schaerbeek – Bruxelles / La Comédie de Valence, CND Drôme-Ardèche / le Lieu Unique, centre de cultures contemporaines de Nantes / DE SINGEL, Centre Artistique International – Antwerpen / MC93 – maison de la culture de Seine-Saint-Denis à Bobigny / Le Centre chorégraphique national d’Orléans.

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Biennale de la danse 2023, réal. Fabien Plasson, (filmé au Théâtre des Célestins)

Duration : 60'

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