Photo © Aglaé Bory
Created in January 2003 at Théâtre Garonne in Toulouse
With Olivier Alenda, Aurélien Bory, Loïc Praud, and Olivier Boyer or Pierre Cartonnet (change of cast instead of Alexandre Rodoreda since 2004)
Conception, Scenography Aurélien Bory
Direction Phil Soltanoff
Light designer Arno Veyrat
Composer Phil Soltanoff, Olivier Alenda, Aurélien Bory
Additional musics Ryoji Ikeda, Lalo Schiffrin
Sound engineer Stéphane Ley
Stage Sylvain Lafourcade
Video installation Pierre Rigal
Costume designer Sylvie Marcucci
Technical conception of sets Christian Meurisse
Set construction Christian Meurisse, Harold Guidolin, Pierre Dequivre
Patina Isadora de Ratuld
Stage managers Arno Veyrat, Sylvain Lafourcade
Technical managers in alternation Joël Abriac, Tristan Baudoin, Carole China, François
Dareys, Sylvain Lafourcade, Stéphane Ley, Julian Richter, Frédéric Stoll, Arno Veyrat
Administration, production, booking Florence Meurisse, Sophie Schneider
Production Compagnie 111 - Aurélien Bory
Coproduction Théâtre Garonne - Toulouse, Théâtre de la Digue - Toulouse, Le Train Théâtre - Scène conventionnée de Portes-lès-Valence
With the support of Ministère de la culture - DMDTS, Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles Midi-Pyrénées, Conseil Régional Midi-Pyrénées, Conseil Général de la Haute-Garonne, Ville de Toulouse, Convention Culturesfrance / Ville de Toulouse, Adami
With the help of Dôme Théâtre - Albertville, Centre de Développement Chorégraphique de Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, Service culturel de l’Ambassade de France à New-York, TnBA - Théâtre National de Bordeaux en Aquitaine
Compagnie 111 - Aurélien Bory is under agreement with Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication - Direction Régionale Affaires Culturelles Midi-Pyrénées, Region Midi-Pyrénées, and benefits from the support from City of Toulouse and Conseil Général de la Haute-Garonne.
Compagnie 111 - Aurélien Bory benefits from the support from Fondation BNP Paribas for the development of its projects.
from January 2003 to December 2009
TOULOUSE Création Théâtre Garonne 10 > 18 janvier 2003
MAZAMET Espace Apollo 7 février 2003
ISTRES Les Elancés - Théâtre de l’Olivier 15 février 2003
NOGARO avec Circuits Auch 5 avril 2003
VILLENEUVE-DE-RIVIERE Pronomade(s) 9 avril 2003
PORTES-LEZ-VALENCE Train - Théâtre 12 avril 2003
ALBERTVILLE Le Dôme - Théâtre 16 > 17 avril 2003
CHÂLONS-EN-CHAMPAGNE Furies - Le Muselet 14 juin 2003
BRESCIA (Italie) Festival international 22 > 25 juin 2003
BARCELONE (Espagne) Festival Grec - Teatro Ovidi Montllor 4 > 6 juillet 2003
TOULOUSE Théâtre Garonne 30 septembre > 3 octobre 2003
PARIS Théâtre de la Cité Internationale 10 > 27 octobre 2003
FOIX Espace Olivier Carol - Scène Nationale 10 > 11 novembre 2003
LA ROCHELLE La Coursive - Scène nationale 18 > 19 novembre 2003
HAMBOURG (Allemagne) Kampnagel 26 novembre > 6 décembre 2003
REIMS Le Manège - Scène nationale 9 > 11 décembre 2003
TARBES Le Parvis - Scène nationale 18 > 19 décembre 2003
LONDRES (GB) London International Mime Festival 16 > 18 janvier 2004
SAINT JEAN DE VEDAS Le Chai du Terral 5 > 6 mars 2004
MONTCEAU-LES-MINES Centre d’Animation 11 > 12 mars 2004
SAINTES L’Abbaye aux Dames 15 > 16 mars 2004
LANNION Le Carré Magique 22 > 23 mars 2004
ST ETIENNE-DU-ROUVRAY Le Rive Gauche 26 > 27 mars 2004
AUBUSSON Théâtre Jean Lurçat - Scène Nationale 8 > 9 avril 2004
FIGEAC Espace François Mitterrand 18 > 19 avril 2004
LIMOUX ATP Aude 23 > 24 avril 2004
VILLEFRANCHE-SUR-SAONE Le Théâtre 27 > 28 avril 2004
BOULAZAC Centre Culturel l’Agora 3 > 4 juin 2004
ZAGREB (Croatie) Eurokaz Festival 29 > 30 juin 2004
NEW YORK (Etats-Unis) New Victory Theater 29 septembre > 17 octobre 2004
LYON Maison de la danse 10 > 22 décembre 2004
NARBONNE Le Théâtre - Scène nationale 6 > 7 janvier 2005
LISBONNE (Portugal) Centro Belem 13 > 15 janvier 2005
SETE Théâtre - Scène nationale 20 > 22 janvier 2005
DUNKERQUE Le Bateau feu – Scène nationale 27 > 29 janvier 2005
BETHUNE La Comédie - CDN 1 > 3 février 2005
TOURNAI (Belgique) Maison de la Culture 16 > 17 février 2005
BRUXELLES (Belgique) Halles de Schaerbeek 19 > 20 février 2005
MAUBEUGE Le Manège - Scène nationale 23 > 24 février 2005
ROME (Italie) Auditorium 4 mars 2005
CHATEAU GONTIER Le Carré - Scène nationale 11 > 12 mars 2005
NANTES Théâtre Universitaire 15 > 17 mars 2005
ANNECY Bonlieu - Scène nationale 5 > 6 avril 2005
MEYLAN Hexagone – Scène nationale 8 > 9 avril 2005
SARTROUVILLE Théâtre de Sartrouville - CDN 20 > 21 mai 2005
COMBS LA VILLE La Coupole – Scène nationale 24 > 26 mai 2005
BORDEAUX TnBA 27 avril 2006
BELGRADE (Serbie) Savar Centar - CCF de Belgrade 4 > 5 mai 2006
BUDAPEST (Hongrie) Le Trafo 1er > 13 mai 2006
SARREBRUCK (Allemagne) Festival Perspectives 9 > 10 juin 2006
BANGKOK (Thaïlande) Patravadi Theater Circasia - AF de Bangkok 30 juin > 1er juillet 2006
GRONINGUEN (Pays-Bas) Noorderzon Festival 17 > 19 août 2006
DUSSELDORF (Allemagne) Altstadtherbst Kulturfestival 14 > 16 septembre 2006
CHATEAUROUX Equinoxe - Scène nationale 19 > 20 septembre 2006
BOURGES Maison de la Culture 6 > 7 octobre 2006
MILLAU Maison du peuple 12 > 14 octobre 2006
BOURG EN BRESSE Théâtre - Scène conventionnée 24 > 25 octobre 2006
BORDEAUX Festival Nov’Art – TnBA 1er > 4 novembre 2006
LAUSANNE (Suisse) Théâtre Vidy-L 6 > 10 février 2007
SAO JOSE DO RIO PRETO (Brésil) Théâtre municipal 10 > 13 juillet 2007
SAO PAULO ( Brésil) Sesc de Pinheiros 18 > 19 juillet 2007
TOULOUSE TNT - Théâtre national de Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées 3 > 7 octobre 2007
BESANÇON Scène nationale de Besançon 23 > 26 octobre 2007
COMBS LA VILLE Scène nationale de Sénart 7 > 10 février 2008
SCEAUX Les Gémeaux - Scène nationale 15 > 17 février 2008
VELIZY L’Onde Centre culturel 21 > 22 février 2008
THONON LES BAINS Maison des Arts 4 > 5 mars 2008
DOLE Scènes du Jura - La Commanderie 24 > 25 avril 2008
MOSCOU (Russie) Théâtre des Nations - Festival Drougoï 18 > 19 juin 2008
MUNICH (Allemagne) Festival Tollwood 8 > 12 juillet 2008
ZURICH (Suisse) Theater Spektakel 14 > 17 août 2008
DOUAI Hippodrome - Scène nationale 2 > 3 octobre 2008
PORTIMAO (Portugal) Ouverture Théâtre 11 > 12 décembre 2008
POITIERS Le Théâtre - Scène nationale 26 > 29 mars 2009
CACHAN Théâtre 2 > 3 avril 2009
MUMBAI (Inde) Bonjour India, The Bhaba Theatre 9 > 10 décembre 2009
CHENNAI (Inde) Bonjour India, Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall 17 > 18 décembre 2009
Interview of Aurélien Bory
by Stéphane Boitel, published in Le Journal du Théâtre Garonne, January 2003
Aurélien Bory. – An expression used mainly in whodunits and action films. You go on to plan B when plan A didn’t work. I enjoy all that enormously: building up a plan, providing a spare one, in the knowledge that if that also fails, there will be no “plan C”. The characters of Plan B are in that state of mind, action, hope, fragility. Alone with their plans…
A. B. – Plan B is the second spectacle of a trilogy, which combines juggling and acrobatics with space constraints. In JUI, the work on the cube, the volume, had revealed the rhythm and musicality of juggling and offered a different perception of this discipline: instead of displaying it, approaching it from its visual side, we proposed listening to it. With Plan B, it’s the plan we explore. Which puts the scenography at the centre of our work. This special geometry requires a certain reference to movement and acrobatics, in a tenuous link with the laws of physics. We attempt to incorporate it in the broadest possible way, and to perceive what dreams, qualities, dangers are concealed behind this dialogue with gravity.
A. B. – Decomposition of movement reminds us of the cinema and of photography, for example the work of Muybridge or Marey – who in fact took a great interest in acrobatics. For the cinema, I would cite Méliès, who used cinematic artifices for the purposes of magic and illusion. We pay tribute to him in Plan B, except that with us, the artifice doesn’t disappear behind the illusion: on the contrary, it’s rather a question of revealing the device, underlining its simplicity, the paucity of technical resources, and only using its poetical content. Different episodes of the show are inspired by the cinema, citing Keaton for example, who remains the actor’s reference, in the sense that his work consisted in adopting several artistic practices. We are fond of this approach: bringing together on the stage music, acrobatics, juggling and dance, as means of doing our job as actors.
Plan of attack?
A. B. – Basically, my role was to design and construct Plan B, then bring together the artistic team. Light and sound are very important in our shows. The actors are acrobats, jugglers, musicians in one. They all create the entire artistic material based on the constraints of the show, in particular the scenography. Each member of the team is responsible for their own work, develops their own scenic style, while trying to connect it with their internal universe. This produces a fragmented style, which Phil Soltanoff bases himself on to develop the staging. His presence is very important, not only for the show, but also for each one of us.
Interview of Phil Soltanoff
by Stéphane Boitel, published in Le Journal du Théâtre Garonne, January 2003
Regarding your work with mad dog, you willingly describe it as experimental theatre. What do you mean by "experimentation"?
Phil Soltanoff - The work of John Cage is a powerful example of what experimentation can be, of the way space and time are jointed. His texts are also a great influence.
Our plays are built collectively and have the movement as starting point -especially the improvised/extemporized movement- rather than the text, which is added to the global structure. From these improvisations we select the elements we prefer. In the end, we collect fragments of things you can in a space and that you suddenly point your finger at saying «This is what interests me !». To define ourselves, I think that collective working-out is very important for us, as well as movement as starting point, as the fact to view work in a particular space: look at a space, see what it tells on the architectural, historical, psychologic and physic levels...
Is it the first time you direct another companie?
P. S. - Yes. What is interesting is that basically it is not my idea. Of course, many ideas in Plan B come from mad dog, but in the end it is a mixture of our convergences and differences. I like it very much to discover this way of working. It is not painful, on the contrary it’s rather pleasant to be in the position not to understand everything. With Aurélien - my main collaborator- we agree on many points: space, simplicity, abstract physical language. My principal contribution and pleasure is to transform circus position into a coherent whole that be a play. Where is the frontier between theatre and circus?
Have you seen their first performance, IJK?
P. S. - Yes, in video. What first interested me very much, is the way they use the scenery: not only as a backdrop but integrating truly the bodies in the space, and thinking juggling as a drama, not to show the talent of the juggler.
How did Aurélien Bory present the project?
P. S. - He arrived in New York with a model of the stage designed, talked about his idea, and asked me if I was interested to collaborate. He talked of this inclined plane, mentioned the possibility of projecting a video by the end of the show. It was as simple as that ! We discussed about it, I proposed some ideas coming from the vision I had of bodies juggling, and slowly a logic aroused, structuring all the ideas from the beginning to the end.
How do you work with the companie?
P. S. - I start by throwing up an idea, then I let everyone grasp it and respond to it in their own way. In a way, I provoke things and set them in motion. Some parts, for example the 90° angle, were worked on by the company in my absence, which enabled me to organise everything very quickly on my return. Since I came here for the first time, a year ago, I have seen the tracks they followed, what I saw was a movement and its conclusion, then another movement and its conclusion… But how does one movement bring on the next? I really think of this piece as a musical play. Visual music, if you like. It’s the simplest way of communicating with any spectator. In the end, what the show offers is a journey, based on a simple form that’s developed gradually and made more complex, ending with the final video sequence. It seems to me that IJK didn’t make such a long journey… but that was only possible with the collaboration of each member of the companie.
Can you tell me a little about this "journey"?
P. S. - Juggling or acrobatics are simple facts. When a ball is in the air, it’s in the air, it asks no questions: it’s in the air, and that’s it. If you catch it, if you miss it, it asks no questions. Some facts engender tension, others entertainment, others mystery, others stupidity… Playing on that gives the play meaning. The actual device is a simple fact: a surface, sloping at different angles. But the succession of those slopes already gives a meaning and makes an obvious motive bound out on the stage: gravity. Gravity itself is a pure fact that everyone knows: if I jump in the air, I fall back down immediately. But on a surface that slopes at 30°, gravity doesn’t have the same effect and takes the form of an illusion. Based on that we developed the thematic motive in terms of a project: the project, the surface, are, like gravity, something which goes through us, which gives us strength and guides us in a certain direction. Throughout the show, these motives echo and answer one another. My role was to look and to reflect on the way to present them to the audience. Even though it is experimental theatre that interests me most, I am convinced that theatre must remain a means of communicating. I think a work must be generous, in the sense that it should authorise the audience to be active, to participate. This is also why I have not created anything in a real theatre for a long time: sometimes it happens in art galleries, or in artists’ squats, or even in abandoned factories. The fact that the space is not designed to stage a show interests me enormously, because that means it questions the audience, there’s a certain instability which directly rebounds on the show itself. In a way, playing Plan B in a theatre is another challenge for me. Here I cannot play on the offbeat side of the space, so it’s necessary to find other vectors of instability to prevent the audience from falling asleep.
How do you envisage the possibility of an accident in the show: a missed ball, a failed figure?
P. S. - That’s a good question, in that I have no answer at the moment. We’ll see what happens. My intuition is that if the play is working well, such an accident won’t be catastrophic. But I’ll be curious to see that. Because for me, a play should be at all times a disaster waiting to happen. I like to have the feeling that each passing second is a disaster that has been averted.