The unrelenting erosion of the sandcastle at the base of our lives is not bad in and of itself. It forces us to stay mobilized. The fragility of what is being built can call for ironic and absurd responses, and that is the direction we want to take… Our answers (even if they remain questions) are in our artistic content as well as in the way we put it into practice. A way of being together. Of casting nothing aside…
Lightweight balsa wood planes move in circles under the tent, endlessly propelled by firefly wings. A tall chap bounces up and down, elastic, on a net in the centre. Like swarms of bees suspended from the sky, clusters of musicians play, huddling close together and eyes interlocking with the audience. The music is loud and heavy—yet the musicians fly, levitate, escape… while the instruments fall like rain, collecting dents along the way. Somebody has to save them. But here come twenty more players hurtling into the space, snatching him, from the trampoline where the other is still bouncing. Someone grabs the large circus prop from him, gives it back, and still he hangs on, like a bewildered cat. Propelled by the twenty-strong team, the trampoline master takes flight. Spins and swirls through the air. They let him go (the trampoline collapses), they strike up a new song, the cat has disappeared.
This opus is a big tent production born of the reunion between the orchestra and Yann Ecauvre/Cirque Inextrémiste. Vast and intimate, scenic… charged, made alive all at once. We’ll play a show in three dimensions and 360 degrees, right at the audience’s fingertips. Communing rather than representing. Like life in society, celebrating the subjectivity of all. No one is ever mere spectator, all are participants.
Pic aims to suspend our perceptions as much as our certainties. To fashion marvel with exposed seams and threads. The ultimate surprise is that this magic is the stuff of handicraft—which is another way of saying that we’re searching elsewhere… to give the impression that we are of a world where every logic is elsewhere, different, and difficult to discern.
A farce on weightlessness and all that weighs on us, the show plays with contrasts. The levity of the trampolinist counters the weight of the apparatus propelling him. And the twenty humans transporting him are there to tell the story. From a heavy and unctuous solo, to a soft and vaporous tutti, the music is not there in service of the circus scenes—it shapes their sense and emotion. The choreographies of bodies and movements make light of every constraint. Let everyone be free, or bound to their neighbour with string pulling the counterweights… or see how the individual makes the group waver. With their whimsical softness, the flying “ultralights” by Fabrice Dominici (airplanes made of balsa wood, twisted high-tech materials and a jumble of feathers….) inspire a meditative silence. They serve as a counterweight to, at times simultaneous with, scenes evoking the power of the collective (orchestral sounds or human crowds), the immoderate effort of physical resistance (suspensions, pyramids, chains of acrobats hanging by a single arm), or the trifling lucidity of a clown.
Designing and performing such a show may seem out of place these days. We wish it as a poetic-utopian window open to our common future. A welcome overflow, a carnival in the rain. Our large group of people not only on stage, but in motion, like a parable of the social human. Window to the imagination, and to encounter.
2 – The Team
artistic direction : Yann Ecauvre
artistic coordination / outside consultation : Camille Secheppet and Delphine Dupin
stage manager and associate scenographer : Nicolas Legendre
lighting design: Jacques-Benoît Dardant
audio device design : Zak Cammoun
rigging design : Hervé Banache
costume design : Solenne Capmas
administration : Christine Nissim & Béatrice Brociner
booking : Zoé Jarry : firstname.lastname@example.org / +33 (0)7 67 79 14 85
On and off the circus ring :
Antoine Berjeaut (trumpet), Basile Naudet (alto and sopranino saxes), Bertrand Landhauser (trombone, keyboards), Boris Boublil (keyboards, guitar), Camille Secheppet (alto sax, clarinet), Clea Torales (flute, voice), Fabien Debellefontaine (sousaphone), Fabrice Dominici (juggling and burlesque), Fabrice Theuillon (baritone sax), François Roche-Juarez (trombone, voice), Guillaume Christophel (tenor sax, clarinet), Hanno Baumfelder (trombone), Ianik Tallet (drums), Jeannot Salvatori (alto sax, cavaquinho, voice), Julien Rousseau (euphonium, soprano trombone), Léa Ciechelski (flutes, voice), Nicolas Stephan (tenor sax, voice), Pierre Millet (trumpet), Rémi Bezacier (trampoline), Sven Clerx (percussion), Viivi Roiha (rope and suspension), Yann Ecauvre or Delphine Dupin (burlesque acrobat)
Bernard Molinier , Max Héraud, Laurent Mulowsky, Benjamin Leroy (Builders and tent erectors) / Hervé Banache , Julien Favreuil (rope access technicians) / Jacques-Benoît Dardant, Anne Palomeres (lighting engineer) / Zakariya Cammoun, Rose Bruneau, Geoffrey Durcak, François-Xavier Delaby, Manu Martin (sound engineer)
3 – Production
This show is hosted in residence and co-produced by : The Agora – PNC of Boulazac Aquitaine ; CIRCa Pôle National Cirque, Auch Gers Occitanie ; L’Azimut – National Circus Pole in Ile-de-France – Antony/Chatenay-Malabry (residence at the Smallest Circus in the World – center for circus arts and emerging cultures); the 2-pole Circus Platform in Normandy, La Brèche – National Center for Circus Arts in Normandy and the Cirque-théâtre of Elbeuf; the Fratellini Academy (Saint-Denis) as part of a residence of the Departmental Council of Seine-Saint-Denis; The Jean Moulin-Les Guilands departmental park (Bagnolet-Montreuil).
Its creation is also co-produced by the Théâtre de Cornouaille – national scene of Quimper, center of musical creation; The 2 scènes – SN of Besançon ; the MSM-Normandy urban community ; le Parvis – SN of Tarbes Pyrenees ; La Coursive – SN of La Rochelle ; The Street and Circus Cooperative (2r2c) ; Cirque Jules Verne – National Circus and Street Arts Center – Amiens.
It receives National Circus Aid from the DGCA, aid for creation from the CNM, the Ile-de-France Region and Spedidam, as well as aid for the Onda tour.
Collectif Surnatural is supported by the DGCA/DRAC Ile-de-France (contracted entity and 2021 recovery fund), the Ile de France Region (PAC – investment aid), the Conseil Départemental 93 (departmental company – aid for investment), the CNM (investment aid), the SACEM (aid for large housing estates) and occasionally by Spedidam.
He is a member of the federation of artists for music in large formats and of the FSICPA (federation of independent structures of creation and artistic production).