Dry Season

Saison sèche

Compagnie Non Nova (France)

Concept and dramaturgy: Phia Ménard, Jean-Luc Beaujault

 

Music and sound: Ivan Roussel

Scenography: Phia Ménard

Scenography construction and props: Philippe Ragot

Light design: Lais Foulc

Lighting Engineer: Olivier Tessier

Costumes: Fabrice Ilia Leroy

Technical Manager: Olivier Gicquiaud

Technical implementation: Benoît Desnos, Mateo Provost, Rodolphe Thibaud

Management and Administration Assistant: Constance Winckler

Administration and management: Claire Massonnet

 

Pictures: Jean-Luc Beaujault

Communications: Justine Lasserrade

Cast: Marion Blondeau, Anna Gaïotti, Élise Legros, Phia Ménard, Marion Parpirolles, Marlène Rostaing, Jeanne Vallauri, Amandine Vandroth

 

Residence and co-production: Espace Malraux Scène nationale de Chambéry et de la Savoie, National Theater of Brittany

Co-procuders: Avignon Festival, Marseille National Theater La Criée,  Musician-subsidized stage Théâtre des Quatre Saisons Gradignan  

 

Duration: 1h 30 mins.

DATES: 1 October, 19:00; 2 October, 19:00

VENUE: Lithuanian National Drama Theatre (Gedimino av. 4), New Stage

When I saw this performance at the Avignon Festival in 2018, I was shocked at how persuasively  the creators enthralled me with a world where the binary concept of gender no longer prevailed

 

The scenography of the performance is a white box that symbolizes the patriarchal structure. The latter chaps and cracks when we do not behave according to the rules, when we fight and rebel. But we fight with our bodies, which are beautiful and fragile, strong and extremely vulnerable. They are able to transcend the boundaries imposed on them by society and create new poetic rituals, possible future scenarios fueling the imagination of us all.

 

Kristina Savickienė

Artistic Director of the Festival

 

Born in blood and contractions.

A light at the end of the tunnel.

Strange hands seize you.

Cross the threshold into oxygen.

Breathe! Exhale!

Forget.

 

Being yourself in our normative society is a terribly risky ordeal, as each and every fragment of our movements seems to be under control. We have broken through walls only to find ourselves confronted with new ones. We still find ourselves in roles, those of woman and man, models in the grip of their ingurgitated urges. Our bodies are permeated with taught habits. How many times have you asked yourself: where does that gesture come from? From me? Have I inherited it from my father, or my mother, or just from social mimicry

 

We don’t “un-learn”: our memory betrays us, it refuses to let us forget what we dislike about ourselves. That itching finally embraces us the day we look at our image, motionless, determined and waiting…

The creative team of the performance 

 

To create a diverse, ever-evolving art world, artist Phia Ménard borrows elements from dance, the visual arts, theater, and anthropological cinema to help viewers into an earthly experience. There, a field of struggle with norms and struggle for free choice of identity is waiting for observers. The creation of new gestures and poetic rituals fights for disregard for patriarchal power, for escaping gender restrictions. Such rituals can successfully feed our smouldering imagination.

 

 

We need to talk about the plague infecting us all, the noxious root that has been planted and fertilized by discursive power: patriarchy. I need to talk about the impact this oppressive power has on women and thus on humanity in general.

 

I was not born in a woman’s body. I built my identity upon the fact that it was impossible for me to be a man. In our society, you are either a man or a woman, therefore, a transgender person’s body does not exist. You may find this reductive, but as stated in French law, it is gender binarism. You will hear me shouting out for years to come: we don’t choose to be born, we don’t choose our colour, or our sex, or whether we’re hetero, homo, lesbian or trans, we don’t choose any of this! So give us back the freedom to live.

 

Phia Ménard

 

About creator

Phia Ménard began her studies in juggling, acting and contemporary dance in 1971. She worked for a long time with one of the celebrities of the new French circus – juggler Jérôme Thomas, who symbolically opened the first New Circus weekend in Vilnius in 2006. In 1998 she founded the creative group Non Nova.

 

Since 2008, she has been looking for what she calls “Additional Incompatibility of Elements”. This led her to study ice, water, air and their influence on human behavior. The Dry Season is a continuation of this organic cycle, following performances such as P.P.P. (2008), Vortex (2011), Belle d’Hier (2015), Les Os Noirs (2017), or Et In Arcadia Ego, directed by the artist last winter at Opéra Comique.

 

***

“When I started working, I put a lot of emphasis on gender, as if it were a kind of law. And I still think there are certain actions that, repeated over time, can create and validate gender identity. However, gender is also a category of analysis through which we can examine key policy concepts such as the difference between the public / private sphere and equality. When we say that these political concepts have a gender, we say that they were defined on the basis of certain gender hypotheses. But gender is also something we endure, part of our development. It seems obvious when we think about how gender is assigned to us more than once, but every day, on the street, in public institutions, in the center of medicine and legal institutions. ”

Judith Butler, a philosopher, theorist of feminism, queer and gender studies

 

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The “Dry Season“ is like a flower that doesn’t stop blossoming. The more I think about it, the more I see different ways of interpreting this exciting Phia Ménard performance, and that is the beauty of “Dry Season”.

Cloe Darnaud / playstosee.com

Tickets