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La forêt ébouriffée

La forêt ébouriffée

La forêt ébouriffée

One day when he awoke, Racine felt different. A forest had grown inside his head.
Panicking, he ran away.
In the street, every window looked at him. As he ran, he triggered an extraordinary phenomenon, because herever
he passed the ground became covered with earth, grasses, flowers and ferns. Trees grew on the roofs, and roots sprouted from the walls. Nature entered the houses.
They were overgrown with branches, leaves and bark.
The village was completely engulfed until it totally disappeared in the forest.

Excerpt from La forêt de Racine by Mélusine Thiry


CHRISTIAN AND FRANCOIS BEN AÏM - MÉLUSINE THIRY : A MEETING OF IMAGINATION

When they began developing the project, the choreographers invited author and illustrator Mélusine Thiry, a collaborator with the company, to write a story that would provide the central theme for the piece. The result was La forêt de Racine, written and illustrated by Mélusine Thiry. The book has since been co-published by the company and the author, and is the literary accompaniment to the piece 

Mélusine Thiry also created the video projections for this project. She began working with the company as a videographer in 2007 (You’re a bird, now!, Résistance au droit, L’Ogresse des archives et son chien), infusing the choreographers’ creations with her dreamlike style and artistic sensibility.

THEMATICS 

In La forêt ébouriffée, the heroe, Racine, is not like other little boys, no one has noticed that a forest has grown inside his head. Fleeing from a hostile grandmother and traumatic daily life, he runs into it to take refuge. It is in this encroaching forest, which changes with his emotions, that the little boy sets off on the most surprising adventures, gradually tracing a path that leads him back to himself.

The forest represents retreat and escape, danger and wonders, and as soon as night falls it feeds our imaginations. For Racine, it becomes an ambiguous place that he must discover and conquer in order to grow up and know himself better.

Through this rite of passage, the choreographers depict childhood and the pleasures and pains of growing up with charm and sensitivity. 

THE IMAGE AS A POETIC EXTENSION OF THE DANCERS' BODIES

Projected onto two screens that span the whole stage, the videos created by Mélusine Thiry play a leading role in this new project. Throughout the piece, they provide a window onto the little boy’s fervent imagination.

The scenography creates a sense of depth between the images and the bodies in motion, causing confusion between dream and reality. The viewers thus embark on a poetic journey to a strange world in which the beings imagined by the little boy, the fantasy setting, and the dancers’ bodies all belong to the same universe.

In this first piece specifically for young audiences, the choreographers develop a form of narrative while placing the sensory dimension of the dancers’ bodies at the heart of the viewers’ experience.

In this piece, the choreographers develop a form of narrative while placing the sensory dimension of the dancers’bodies at the heart of the viewers’ experience. The dance reflects the different emotional and physical statesexperienced by Racine, either embodied or transposed, and invites the young audience to identify and physically empathise with the boy so that they can take part in his epic journey.

Ben Aïm, Christian & François

For more than twenty years, Christian and François BEN AÏM have been building a work rich of poetry and high standards, fraternal bond and singularity.

At the end of a multidisciplinary training combining dance, physical theater and circus, each one follows his path as a performer, then the two brothers meet to create À l’abri du regard des hommes, avant d’aller mourir ailleurs, a hybrid dance-theater piece which marks the beginning of their collaboration in 1997. Twenty pieces will follow which anchor their fieldwork as much as they travel internationally. They draw their inspiration from literary, musical and pictorial sources, and intimately mixing artistic disciplines on the stage : En plein coeur (2006), Valse (2010), The Ogresse on archives and her dog (2011), Lightness of Storms (2014), Burn, rebellious hearts (2017), Mirages — boreal souls (2018), Arise (2019), JESTS (2021).

Marked by an uncompromising energy, summoning the performer to an intimate relationship with movement, the dance of the BEN AÏM brothers offers, beyond a speech, an experience, a "crossing" that the dancer performs in front of our eyes, that he lives each time with the sincerity of a full and entire presence.

With this demanding writing comes an art of composition which gives birth to the stage an imagination borrowing from dreams, from the marvelous of the tale and from invisible realities. Through a subtle effect of empathy, the audience enters an unstable world, where everything is the object of poetic questioning - a world to be experienced together.


 

Calendar of creations


 

2021

JESTS

2019

Snapshots - A series femal solos

Arise

2018

Mirages — Boreal souls

2017

Brûlent nos coeurs insoumis (Burn, rebellious hearts)

2016

Peuplé, dépeuplé (Inhabited, uninhabited)

2014

La légèreté des tempêtes

2013

La forêt ébouriffée (The Dense Forest)

L'orée des visages

Karma

2011

L'Ogresse des archives et son chien

2010

Valse en trois temps

Résistance au droit

2008

Louves

Amor fati fati amor

2007

You're a bird, now!

2006

En plein coeur

2004

Carcasses, un oeil pour deux

2003

Ne vous fiez pas au titre, il peut encore changer

2001

Ô my brother !

La Frontera

1999

Un homme en marche

L'enfant du miroir

1998

L'homme rapaillé

1997

A l'abri du regard des hommes, avant d'aller mourir ailleurs

La forêt ébouriffée

Artistic direction / Conception : Christian et François Ben Aïm

Choreography : Christian et François Ben Aïm

Interpretation : Grégoire Puren, Gill Viandier, Aurélie Berland

Original music : Jean-Baptiste Sabiani, sauf version instrumentale de Mourir à deux de Maël

Video conception : Mélusine Thiry

Lights : Laurent Patissier ou Patrice Pépin

Costumes : Dulcie Best

Sound : Luc Béril ou Sébastien Teulié

Other collaborations : Voix off française : Fanny Eidel – Biju-Duval, Christian Ben Aïm Voix off anglaise : Joséphine Delhermite, Lee Davern.

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