Après Z

Repertoire of renewal, After Z begins a new period in the life of the orchestra. With the arrival of new musicians / composers, the music, always very orchestral, records this turning point of the desire for voices, taken from the making of the show Tall Man. Songs and choirs trace their furrows in the heart of this recent repertoire which advances without nostalgia. The after is always a before.


Léa Ciechelski (flute, alto flute, piccolo), Clea Torales (flute, alto sax), Camille Secheppet (alto sax, clarinet), Basile Naudet (alto sax), Jeannot Salvatori (alto sax, cavaquinho), Guillaume Christophel (tenor sax , clarinet), Nicolas Stephan (tenor sax, voice), Fabrice Theuillon (baritone sax, effects), Pierre Millet (trumpet, flugelhorn), Julien Rousseau (trumpet, flugelhorn, euphonium), Antoine Berjeaut (trumpet, flugelhorn), François Roche -Juarez (trombone), Hanno Baumfelder (trombone), Judith Wekstein (bass trombone), Boris Boublil (keyboards, guitar), Fabien Debellefontaine (sousaphone), Ianik Tallet (drums), Sven Clerx (percussion)

Zak Cammoun and Rose Bruneau (sound), Anne Palomeres (lights), Jérôme Bertin (general management)

Tall man

concert (set) design by Surnatural Orchestra

Created at the Nouveau Théâtre de Montreuil (93) between November 16-22, 2018

“He says nothing, doesn’t flinch. Our breath pulls him in, our balsa puppet. He swings back and forth, like a pendulum, says nothing, doesn’t flinch. Have you lost your way, beacon of bones, beacon of bricks and baubles? Where are you going, with that static gait? Eyes closed, to avoid seeing the red earth paths under our feet. We are here, hanging off your every breath. With a bat of your lashes, you’ll let us know. Train tracks, rust powder. But if everything falls apart, don’t tell anyone what you see…

A collective creation by the Surnatural Orchestra, Tall Man blends lyrics and texts with new compositions. All the while indulging the group’s narrative inclinations, it marks a merger with the universe of visual artist Elizabeth Saint-Jalmes.

Tall Man, ambiguous and emblematic figure of Authority, is the connecting thread for this show. If his presence seems as ineluctable as his vertiginous absence, it nevertheless causes much trouble. It opens an opportunity to ask: from what domination should we free ourselves? What pains do we suffer from? Are we still on the right track when this society of abundance, entertainment, security and control seems to immobilize us—physically, mentally? What new world(s) can we build together?

At the heart of the show is the pop-suffused repertoire, sweeping across a wide spectrum of sounds—from ellingtonnian ballads to African grooves, from the sonorities of Kurt Weill to the flights of a tarantella. Sung, spoken or recited, written or improvised, words take centre stage with conviction and humour, distilling visions and making provocations… before inviting an escape to Utopia, immediate and collective.

Invited to support the concept and explore it in tandem, visual artist Elizabeth Saint-Jalmes has created costumes for the story… and a mastodont of a set. It is a matter of before and after, of paths to reinvent, of codes, of holding back and letting go. A moment together to share immediate joys and mischievous tricks, doubts and questions. A place to try creating a taste of that After, for everyone to see—in confidence, abandon, play, dance; in a moment of show, ball, carnival; in a court of miracles. Photos: Valérie Frossard and Stephen Bedrossian.


A circus and music show

by Surnatural Orchestra, Inextremiste and Basinga

created at Grainerie (Fabrique des arts du cirque et de l’itinérance), Balma (31), between April 18 and 28, 2016.

They won’t go far, they’ll go there, a few steps forward, wood plank bassline cord tightening,

Gas tanks by the dozen flute theme on a bed of brass.

Rhythms travelling from bottle to bottle (the hollow steel reverberates),

If one of them trips, the whole group capsizes.

18 musicians (a real-life orchestra), uncouth acrobats, a tightrope dancer on her high-up perch, beings that fight to stay standing, in (precarious) balance over what they find at their feet, whether they believe it’s solid earth or a playing field.

An eclectic troupe, united by a certain penchant for risk,

A strange habit of diving headfirst into uncomfortable situations,

With the intuition that something alive and exciting will always surface.

Fragile and strong all at once, all together, all in time.

To buy the disk, please click here .


Fanny Menegoz (flute, piccolo), Clea Torales (flute), Adrien Amey (soprano and alto sax), Baptiste Bouquin (alto sax, clarinet), Jeannot Salvatori (alto sax, cavaquinho), Guillaume Christophel (tenor sax, clarinet), Nicolas Stephan (tenor sax, vocals), Fabrice Theuillon (barytone sax, effects), Guillaume Dutrieux (trumpet, bugle, mellophone), Julien Rousseau (trumpet, bugle, euphonium), Antoine Berjeaut (trumpet, bugle), François Roche-Juarez (trombone), Hanno Baumfelder (trombone), Judith Wekstein (bass trombone), Boris Boublil (keyboards, guitar), Laurent Géhant (sousaphone), Emmanuel Penfeunten (drums), Arthur Alard or Sven Clerx (percussions)

Yann Ecauvre & Rémy Bezacier (acrobats, Cirque Inextremiste), Tatiana-Mosio Bongonga (funambule, Compagnie Basinga)

Zak Cammoun, Guillaume de la Villéon, Rose Bruneau and François-Xavier Delaby – alternating (sound), Jacques-Benoît Dardant (lights), Nicolas Legendre (technical director)

Coproduced by

La Grainerie – Fabrique des Arts du cirque et de l’Itinérence-Balma, Cirque théâtre d’Elbeuf, Pôle National des Arts du cirque, L’Agora scène nationale d’Evry, Les 2 Scènes scène nationale de Besançon, Nouveau Théâtre de Montreuil, 2R2C Coopérative de Rue de Cirque and Théâtre du Vellein with the support of L’Académie Fratellini.

ESQUIF was supported by the Région Île de France (production support for circus arts) and the ADAMI (dispositif ADAMI 365). The music for this show was partly created during a composition residency at the Théâtre les deux Scènes – Scène nationale de Besançon, supported by the Ministry of Culture and communication, the SACEM, ONDA and the Groupe Caisse des dépôts. Seasons 14/15 and 15/16.