For a long time, Jérôme Bel wanted to do a show on the memory of a theatre, on the memory of shows that would have been presented at it. We know that shows, stage performance properly speaking, leave nothing behind them except in the memory of the spectators who attended the performances. Because it is in fact the very nature of the live show to die, to disappear. Which is what creates both its grandeur and its weakness. It was in thinking of the Cour d'honneur of the Palais des papes, unquestionably one of the most symbolic theatre venues in France, that he imagined a solution: a show staging spectators who themselves relate their memories of this place and the shows they saw there. The spectators invited to take part in this project are theatre buffs or not. They are between 11 and 70 years old; they are students, teachers, graphic artists or nurses; they live in Vichy, Avignon, Paris or Clermont-Ferrand. Each in his or her own way, they offer an account of their experiences as spectators, good or bad. The challenges of this creation are therefore to attempt to quantify how shows are received by the spectators and to measure the influence of art on their life, thus in the Cour d'honneur. Because the spectator had to be given the place he or she deserved: the place of honour.
Conception and direction : Jérôme Bel
Assisted by : Maxime Kurvers
With spectators : Virginie Andreu, Elena Borghese, Vassia Chavaroche, Pascal Hamant, Daniel Le Beuan, Yves Leopold, Bernard Lescure, Adrien Mariani, Anna Mazzia, Jacqueline Micoud, Alix Nelva, Jérôme Piron, Monique Rivoli, Marie Zicari
And performers : Isabelle Huppert, Samuel Lefeuvre, Antoine Le Ménestrel, Agnès Sourdillon, Maciej Stuhr, Oscar Van Rompay
Texts extract : Médée by Euripide, French translation by Myrto Gondicas and Pierre Judet de la Combe, Le Prince de Hombourg by Heinrich von Kleist, French translation by Jean Curtis, Les Bienveillantes by Jonathan Littell, Polish translation by Katarzyna Kaminska-Maurugeon, L'École des femmes by Molière
Music : Philipoctus De Caserta (Codex Chantilly), Scott Gibbons, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Richard Wagner
Thanks to : Didier Bezace / Théâtre de la Commune, Reinout Bussemaker, Romeo Castellucci, Cidalia da Costa, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Pierre Fontes, Jean-Louis Mailles, Maison Jean Vilar, Christoph Marthaler, Marie-Josée Mas, Benoît Minvielle, Jean-Noël Obert, Colm O'Callaghan, Alice Pialoux, Alain Platel, Rosas, Björn Schmelzer – Graindelavoix, Johan Simons / NT Gent, Malgorzata Szczesniak, Nara Trochel, Lies van Assche, Anna Viebrock, Nina von Mechow, Krzysztof Warlikowski, Christophe Wavelet, Lina Zohair
Production : Festival d'Avignon
Coproduction : France Télévisions, Association R.B. Jérôme Bel (Paris)
Jérôme Bel lives in Paris and works worldwide. "nom donné par l'auteur" (1994) is a choreography of objects. Jérôme Bel (1995) is based on the total nudity of the performers. "Shirtology" (1997) presents an actor wearing many T-shirts. The last performance (1998) quotes a solo by the choreographer Susanne Linke, as well as Hamlet and André Agassi. "Xavier Le Roy" (2000) was claimed by Jérôme Bel as his own, but was actually choreographed by Xavier Le Roy. "The show must go on" (2001) brings toghether twenty performers, nineteen pop songs and one DJ. Véronique Doisneau (2004) is a solo on the work of the dancer Véronique Doisneau, from the Paris Opera. "Isabel Torres" (2005), for the ballet of the Teatro Municipal of Rio de Janeiro, is its Brazilian version. "Pichet Klunchun and myself" (2005) was created in Bangkok with the Thai traditional dancer Pichet Klunchun. Follows "Cédric Andrieux" (2009), dancer of Merce Cunningham. "3Abschied" (2010) is a collaboration between Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Jérôme Bel based on "The Song of the Earth" by Gustav Malher. "Disabled Theater" (2012) is a piece with a Zurich-based company, Theater Hora, consisting of professional actors with learning disabilities. "Cour d'honneur" (2013) stages fourteen spectators of the Cour d'honneur of the Palais des Papes in Avignon. In "Gala" (2015), the choreographer stages together professional people from the dance field and amateurs coming from different backgrounds. In "Tombe" (2016), performance created at the invitation of Opéra National de Paris, Jérôme Bel proposed to some dancers of the ballet to invite, for a duet, the person with who they would never share the stage.
Source : Jérôme Bel 's website
More information : jeromebel.fr
Artistic direction / Conception : Jérôme Bel
Artistic direction assistance / Conception : Maxime Kurvers
Interpretation : Isabelle Huppert, Samuel Lefeuvre, Antoine Le Ménestrel, Agnès Sourdillon, Maciej Stuhr, Oscar Van Rompay (Acteurs (+rôles)) / Virginie Andreu, Elena Borghese, Vassia Chavaroche, Pascal Hamant, Daniel Le Beuan, Yves Leopold, Bernard Lescure, Adrien Mariani, Anna Mazzia, Jacqueline Micoud, Alix Nelva, Jérôme Piron, Monique Rivoli, Marie Zicari (spectateurs)
Stage direction : Jérôme Bel assisté de Maxime Kurvers
Text : Paul Claudel, Euripide, Ödön von Horváth, Heinrich von Kleist, Jonathan Littell, Molière
Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Festival d'Avignon, France Télévisions et Association R.B. (Jérôme Bel)-Paris
Production / Coproduction of the video work : Don Kent / La Compagnie des Indes
Duration : 120'