“Providing Meaning Before Entertaining”

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The director of The Théâtre de la Cité explains the main directions of the program. Ariane Mnouchkine arrived as the season opened for the Biennale, taking a look at the classics, contemporary writing, and the important place dedicated to dance.

Do next season’s programs have a certain color or tone?

Yes! In the sense that it is full of everything that has been taken away from us in recent years: the impossibility of meetings, exchanges, discoveries. And not because it was created to have different disciplines and performances every year: theatre, dance, puppetry, music… Always following this guiding idea of ​​meaning before entertainment. There is enough media for entertainment – ​​TV, Netflix… – and our mission as the National Center for Dramatic Arts, I think, is different. We exist to provide and share space for questions, reflections, and feelings. We are here to surprise people to discover. And that’s by trying to speak to all audiences without being elitist. To ask questions, but not to incite chaos, but to understand a little more what is happening, how it affects us, and thus to remove the necessary distance from any reflection.

Autumn will begin with the second edition of the biennale…

It will take place from September 29 to October 15 and will offer more than 30 projects in 22 locations of the metropolis, with artists from all over the world… We try to discover forms that illuminate the world from the frame. from a different angle, especially street performances that cannot be presented on stage and that invite you to look at your gestures and daily habits from a different perspective. With a Swiss accent and several shows by actor François Gremaud. The Swiss do a different job. They have their own sense of humor, a different way of talking about things. So we will be entitled to a somewhat special visit to the Blagnac shopping center… In fact, the Biennale shows offer a constant mise en abymes. Also about revisiting classics like Pais e Filhos, Pedro Penino’s Père et fils based on Turgenev’s novel about gender, GPA and fatherhood…

Dance and puppetry are “related disciplines” at The Théâtre de la Cité. Explain to us…

So far we have had associate artists and imagined we have associate disciplines. In previous years, based on the success of our programmed dance performances, we have been able to see the Toulouse audience’s love for contemporary dance. We also noticed that if there is an audience, it is not a real, big stage dedicated to it. So we decided to join forces with La Place de la Danse to bring dance officially to Théâtre de la Cité. Also speaking of puppet and Marionnetissimo. Our goal is to make dance and puppetry an integral part of The Théâtre de La Cité after our tenure.

The second highlight was the arrival of Théâtre du Soleil and Ariane Mnouchkine in November…

After the wilderness of the past few years, we wanted to be collective. What could be better than the 35 members of the Théâtre du Soleil and this holy monster, Ariane Mnouchkine? So, in November we give her the keys to the theater… She will present her play “Golden Gold”. We are surprised: it is already finished. As soon as reservations opened, there were eight days left. There are still a few spots left with Odyssud, Mnouchkine’s arrival partner.

In January we will be able to see your work Uncle Vania. Why this piece?

After Toulouse, the performance will travel to the Odéon in Paris. “Uncle Vania” is about a different group of people and what they have in common is that they all feel like they’ve lost their lives and don’t know where to go. These two elements make us think about our time and, like in “Uncle Vanya”, today there is a general sense in our society that everything has failed: the ecology, the economy, the ongoing wars. With nostalgia for a world that has ended, it will not return. And the fact that it is difficult to project oneself into the future in this or another world has become a danger in itself. A world where we have lost our sense of personal excellence, our sense of initiative, which means we lose our ability to improve. But we all have to realize ourselves, connect with others, surpass ourselves.

Interview by Nicole Clodi

2022/23 season

After the arrival of the Biennale and the Théâtre du Soleil in November, the program will line up until June 27: theater, dance, puppets, film-concert… So, the classics are back in the theater department: “Uncle Vanya in January of Edward II from Marlowe’s Fire Smoke Brimstone” , (March) One Less Hamlet (April) and Othello (May) both by Shakespeare. Works with contemporary writing: Catarina and the Beauty of Killing Fascists by Tiago Rodrigues (December), Delphine and Carole and with Caroline Arrouas and Marie Rémond, (December), The Roar of the Milky Way (March ), Corinne A Simple Passion by Mariott based on Annie Ernaux. Trouble, a musical show about Andy Warhol directed by Gus Van Sant (May). Dance is very relevant: Christos Papadopoulos’ Larsen C (February), Noé Soulier’s First Memory (February), Internal Landscapes bringing together Carolyn Carlson and Thierry Malandain, Ballet du Capitole’s Hasard (February). Pierre Rigal (April). Dolls with “The New Tour” (March), a revision of Arthur Schnitzler’s play, which caused a scandal when it was released because it talked about sexuality. Rounding out the month of June is a 13-hour theater experience with The Nest of Ashes, bringing together two worlds that have never met… Full program and reservations at theatre-cite.com, phone 0534450505 or at the Cité theatre. Attention, from June 21 to July 15 due to theater work, the ticket office will be moved to the Floury Frères bookstore (36 rue de la Colombette)

Hubert Gildon

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