Marion Siéfert Le Grand Sommeil[Theatre]
The second show from the young director Marion Siéfert delves into the shadowy zones of childhood. It looks at the importance of dreams and fantasy in their world, as well as the penchant for the obscene and the monstrous. We are confronted with their radical insolence, sense of pleasure and play, and their needs or expectations in relation to the world of adults.
Le Grand Sommeil is the deep sleep during which Jeanne, the main character in Marion Siéfert’s piece, experiences wild and frightening dreams. Jeanne, an 11 years old pre-adolescent, began taking part in rehearsals, but her collaboration with the show came to a halt for reasons linked to work legislation for children. The show was then reconfigured in order to make this absence its nerve centre. It went from being a duo, featuring a child and an adult, to an all-embracing solo work, carried off single-handed by the dancer, performance artist and choreographer, Helena de Laurens. Her explosive presence gives body to a hybrid, monster-like character: Jeanne-Helena. Neither child nor adult, this “big child” takes no notice of age, manners, or received ideas of what little girls should be like. As a director, Marion Siéfert gives the body and voice different partitions to play, in such a way that these different elements answer one another, either by echoing or by counter-balancing each other. The effect never ceases to surprise. Making full use of the performer’s long-limbed body, the choreography weaves its way joyfully between grimace, excess and fragmentation of the body. During the course of a performance of the utmost intensity, the show reveals all that can be both brutal and worrying in childhood, and reiterates the demands of all children to be taken seriously by the adults around them.
Running time: 1h