Carte Blanche

Wednesday 7 November 20.00 hr, Ole Olsensalen, Arctic Culture Centre

A musical journey through centuries.

In Soufflette, Paris-based choreographer François Chaignaud asks: “What if a medieval breath blew through our lips?”

In twilight, shapes dressed in large woolen costumes appear. These characters throw themselves into rhythmic rituals and songs of praise. The dancers sing polyphonically as they stumble, stand on their heads, dance together and alone before finding each other and becoming their own cult, creating the foundation for a flourishing final. 

In Soufflette we participate in a musical journey that breathes life into the medieval traditions. The performance unfolds like an intoxicating midsummer party celebration full of life, singing and dancing delight. 

Inspired by the fantastic oversized knitted costumes used in Soufflette, we invite you all to take part in a special post-performance talk series, which we call «Tåkeprat», which loosely translated into English means «Fog-talking/talking in the fog (haven´t the foggiest idea)», and after this performance we invite you to take part in "Tåkeprat & Strikk" (Fog-talk & Knitting), in collaboration with Hammerfest Husflidslag (Hammerfest Craft Association) in our «Knitting Corner», which we have created in the foyer of the Arctic Culture Centre. "Tåkeprat & Strikk" is free of charge.

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Musical archives from 12th and 13th century keep the memories of the first attempts at composing polyphony in the western world. This is a fascinating moment where we can witness how an organized community creates its own architecture, builds a way to coexist and sing together. The memory of those first polyphonies blows into our mouths, lungs and bodies. They confront with contemporary anthems to create unheard pieces.- François Chaignaud

Duration 70 min (no interval)

Concept and choreography François Chaignaud Co-produced with Festspillene i Bergen Set design Romain Brau Lighting design Abigail Fowler Costume design Romain Brau Composition and arrangement Jostein Gundersen PR photo Helge Hansen Dance Ole Martin Meland, Mathias Stoltenberg, Caroline Eckly, Dawid Lorenc, Noam Eidelman Shatil, Daniel Mariblanca, Olha Stetsyuk, Adrian Bartczak, Irene Vesterhus Theisen, Harald Beharie, Timothy Bartlett, Aslak Aune Nygård, Chihiro Araki, Anne Lise Rønne. Soufflette is a co-production with the Bergen International Festival 2018 where it premiered on 24 May 2018.

We want to change the world. Having a public voice is a privilege that we can share with others. We want to work with choreographers who possess the drive and determination to address identity, nationality, borders, gender, diversity, minority, fellowship and empathy:Fierce artists – who create nuanced physical language and are willing to lay bare their vulnerabilities.We throw ourselves into these themes with great passion and engagement. We dedicate our competence, our being and our bodies to embody these visions, to manifest these ideas and bring them to our audience. For us, the audience is vital. The audience’s interpretations and opinions breathe new and extended life into art. We take our social responsibility seriously. We are ambitious. We always take risks – and we are not scared to fail. We are not fearless, but we cannot let fear rule our lives.

François Chaignaud lives and works in Paris. He is a dancer, performance artist and singer, trained at Conservatoire National Supérieur de Danse de Paris and has collaborated with many choreographers (Charmatz, Huynh, Brun, Buffard).From “He’s One that Goes to Sea for Nothing but to Make him sick” (2004) to “Radio Vinci Park” (2016 - in collaboration with Theo Mercier), he has created performances in which dance and singing intersect, in a wide variety of environments and at the meeting points of many inspirations. From this tension the possibility of a body takes shape, inhabiting the space between the sensual rigour of movement, the evocative power of singing, and the convergence of heterogeneous historical references - from erotic literature (Aussi Bien Que Ton Cœur Ouvre Moi Les Genoux, 2008) to sacred art (Dumy Moyi, 2013). His last collaborations include works with visual artist Théo Mercier, Sophia Al Maria, with writer Anne james Chaton, artists Phia Ménard— Nosfell, Marie Caroline Hominal, Jérôme Marin and video maker César Vayssié. His work is shown worldwide.

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