Désirs Parade


"Désirs parade: Mistaking our desires for reality, being convinced that desires are real.

We go back to a wordless show, the exploration of a field where expression though movement, relationships with objects, dance, and puppets express the indescribable through a plurality of senses. Plunging the audience into a succession of rebuses and enigmas that cause introspection, questioning and interpretations.

Our last sketch show and the beginning of a long collaboration with the composer René Aubry. We had just discovered his work in the creations of Carolyn Carlson.
He is one of the rare composers whose music generates movement more than illustrating it. He composes a beautiful piece for Chrysalide.

Using a simple repetitive structure, René manages to progressively develop parallel spaces, thereby creating a superposition of levels. These levels fill the different senses with images while making the space bigger. I use the principle of the bunraku, sculpting puppets with heads that are disproportionally small compared to their bodies. I extend the rear of the head, thereby reinforcing the face's traits while creating a dynamic and a direction for the head.

Young recruit Catherine Goffinet loves joking with Mary [Underwood].
During my long explanations with the other actor-puppeteers, Mary messes around with some fishnet fabric to make her laugh. Making grotesque shapes and funny dances, they unwind by fooling around. These scenes of pure tomfoolery sometimes seem more inspiring to me than the detailed scenarios that I am struggling to create. I end up using their games in a new act called
Twilight, which leads me to rethink my relationship with puppets.

Sometimes, thanks to its simplicity, a raw material's greater potential for the abstract seems better suited to awaking the imagination than a character/puppet, which makes it necessarily anecdotal. Animating an inert material, giving shape to something that has none, breathing life into an inanimate object – isn't that the main objective of an any puppeteer. Shouldn't we go back to that - to go beyond the puppet - to widen the possibilities of animation theatre?

Exploration of materials and objects: from fishnet stockings to plastic film, kraft paper, deck chairs, ladders, and halyard. How can we control them, master them, include them in the synopsis? I find that they resist me. I stubbornly persist, but they lose their vitality and fade. I try to learn how to listen to them. It is complicated and frustrating. Sketches that have been written, which sometimes seem very promising, fall by the wayside… Every object and every material has its own temperament, its own dynamic; an intrinsic and unique way of existing, moving, floating, changing, resisting, and deforming. By listening to it, the unexpected suddenly appears and bursts out, revealing things that are hidden away inside us, intuitions and moments of euphoria and happiness! When not being used for their usual purpose, they create physical obstacles that the dancers and actors must be confronted with, like so many metaphors for their internal conflicts..."

 Paysages intérieurs, pp. 127-130 © Actes Sud