with Alexandre Archenoult, Fausto Bernardinello and Silvia Mercuriali

Theatre de Fortune, Rue de l'Hermitage, Paris

July 2000

<photo- gaëlle bona

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An anonymous, hard, thin man stands in a big, empty room and shouts "NEXT!"

Following this simple order, a dancer and a tramp together perform a series of actions for his... pleasure? benefit? Ranging from comic violence to sudden intimacy, from long unending games with unclear rules to simple surprises and tricks, the pair deal him out nothing but Blessings in Disguise and Necessary Evils. The hard, thin man is for the most part under their control; yet the moment he shouts NEXT! they know they have to start again with something else.

Humans often issue demands without being fully aware of what they want.

Like in [BLOKE], the motives are unclear and leave us guessing - what's he really looking for? (The piece explores how an order can sometimes seem more like a cry for help, or a desperate question.) Why does he keep cracking? What do the dancer / tramp duo want to get out of him? It seems they're digging for some kind of delicate sensitivity, moments of singing tension, breathlessness, wonder. As though these things have become a delicacy to him in their scarcity, and painful too like an acute pleasure. Maybe that's why he cracks.

It was possibly Peter Handke (or Luc Bondy?) who once said something about the wonderful moment when the lights first come up in a performance space, how no-one knows who the first person is who walks on stage, how no-one knows what he will say... or what he wants to say. And how perhaps it is best to keep this moment for as long as possible. To take nothing for granted, no matter what is said or done; to respect tension and mystery to the end.