Noémie Goudal in Toute La Culture

'The Avignon Festival seen from Belgium – Suite n°1: Is the end (still) our beginning?' by Sylvia Botella
26 July 2022 Anima / Noemie Goudal-Maëlle Poésy … all this, in 60 minutes, it's possible

There are no words to describe what one feels in front of the installation/performance Anima by Noémie Goudal and Maëlle Poésy, if not a deep sadness, difficult to contain in front of the silent images of the three films in sequence shot broadcast on 3 screens in which the spectators are immersed, supported by the heady music of Chloé Thévenin.

The first screening retraces the creative process of the work Phoenixby Noémie Goudal presented at the Rencontres de la photographie in Arles. During the night, a palm grove is photographed then drawn on large strips of paper that technicians juxtapose. The images are constantly being recomposed. The frame is within the frame. The dramaturgy acts by addition and/or sedimentation. It is not only plastic, it signifies: the story flows into another story. It is the gesture of the full-frame human, which exceeds the geophysical forces and alters the earth. The anthropocene takes all the screens.

Suddenly, on the garden side, the landscape literally drips into the screen. The layers of paper tear and lift before our eyes, representing in a certain way all the layers that veil our gaze. “Watch here” is laid bare before the radical realism of the decaying landscapes! Anima makes invisible things visible. It is the anthropologist Michel Descola that we hear implicitly in Anima . The piece questions, in a literal way, the culture-nature opposition that contributes to the environmental catastrophe. Nope ! Humans are not outside nature.

If we can't forget Anima, it's because we can't forget Chloé Moglia's striking gesture which creates a moving pause in the story through a kind of dance of infinite grace. She catches herself very gently in the void, catches herself constantly seeking support in what remains of the landscape. “Is the end still our beginning? she seems to be asking us.

If we can't forget Anima, it's because she provokes a tragic inversion and a strong emotion. If we can't forget Anima , it's because we can't clap. If we can't forget Anima, it's because we can't forget our shame in the face of the burning earth, in the face of the rains of fire, steel, ashes. All this in 60 minutes, it's possible!


The Black Monk / Kirill Serebrennikov


Since Outside (2019), we have been waiting for Kirill Serebrennikov for a long time at the Festival d'Avignon. The play Le Moine noir , from a short story – too much! – unknown by Anton Chekov surprises, both tragic and fantastic, energetic and poignant. How does this play in 4 acts fascinate? Through Kirill Serebrennikov's ability to impose an abstract logic that goes beyond a narrative logic, in deliberately floating landscapes (notably the barracks are rickety). The breadth of the piece is in the vis-à-vis theatre/filmed image and in the assemblage of stories: the intimate drama of the tragic Chekhovian figure and the (self)portrait (?) of the artist in crisis.

There is first, in three acts, the elaborate rise of the tragedy, that of Andrei Kovrin, a brilliant Russian intellectual who stays in the countryside with Pessotski and his daughter Tania. They have a wonderful garden. The mind-blowing performance of actresses Viktoria Mirosnichenko and Gabriela Maria Schmeide, and actors Mirco Kreibich, Odin Biron and Filipp Avdeev tears up the set. By interpreting in turn the roles of Kovrine and Katia, they have the same textual breath, but one is the reverse of the other. In a complex relational web, they become inner ghosts that haunt all layers of the story. Serebrennikov manages, through the (re)composition between several states, several emotions, to say everything there is to say about the story of The Black Monk . History is laid bare.

Then, the play changes register little by little, it slides more and more into the fantastic. We are in the unprecedented peak of high tragedy in the fourth act. It slips into the non-verbal, the body. The dance reveals. She abandons Kovrin more and more in madness. As such, we can regret the fragility of the dance which is precisely the reconciling climax, pulling the threads between tragedy and fantasy in the piece. However, the piece turns out to be an astonishing catabase: it is the descent into hell of Kovrin populated by black monks. Facing the specter of the black monk lurking all around is simultaneously confronting oneself, even a possible becoming disturbing of oneself and alterity. What does Le Moine noir
ultimately tell us?Except for the artist's terror of being locked inside a death in the making and having it constantly before him. It is the story of Kirill Serebrennikov that we hear.

One Song / Stories from the Theater IV by Miet Werlop! – We even see her move in live music


At the edge of the connection that brings together performance art, installation, concert, sport, the images of One song spring up in a space that is both performative and ritualized. After Milo Rau, Faustin Linyekula and Angelica Liddell, Miet Warlop pursues the ambitious project of the Histoire(s) du théâtre series imagined by Milo Rau: giving his personal history of theater a visible form. What does the Belgian artist say? Otherwise the permanent impression of running inside an endless loop, in the process of becoming and having it constantly in front of you!

Miet Warlop signs here a luminous work, responding in a certain way to his first piece De Sportband / Afgetrainde Klanken (2005) – requiem for his brother who died too soon – but in a more peaceful way, shrouded in humor and grace. Here, in the same (impossible?) quest, the artists/athletes must fix everything at the same time - the song, the music and the physical effort -, playing on two parallel lines which extend one another: the life and work of the artist. A magical contact is established between the singing performer and the treadmill. Same, between the cellist and the beam. In the gymnasium, we live more intensely!

In One Song, it is not so much a question of highlighting the biographical elements as of revealing the points of contact between the life and the work of the artist in front of a commentator and supporters who are often very dubious. Life and creation merge less than they respond to similar logics. Human relations are thought of as artistic relations, seems to tell us Miet Warlop. How does the artist work? What is the artist looking for? Miet Warlop does a magnificent performance of this One Song : At this very moment / When others are on mute / The grape will burst / Yet grief remains a fruit / Yet grief remains a fruit . We even see her move to live music.

All over Nympheas by Emmanuel Eggermont – One, two, three, blue. We risk being in love.


The All Over Nympheas piece continues to amaze us. So much, it is both tragic and poetic, geometric and poignant. Emmanuel Eggermont offers sensitive intelligence and contemplation deliberately abstract choreographic motifs that surprisingly immerse us in the profound truths of life.

The scale of the piece is in line with the work of Raymund Hoghe – we recognize, among other things, the motifs of his piece 36 Avenue Georges Mandel,a splendid tribute paid to the Callas presented at the Church of the Célestins at the Festival d'Avignon –; the gesture of Pina Bausch's playwright - as well as the assembly of stories: the intimate drama and the future of the artist. Several places, several times, several stories intertwine in the same choreographic phrase. Presence and absence come into play simultaneously.
It is the secret song of Monet's water lilies that the dancers and magnificent dancers! – reveal in their individual trajectories, leaving aside all the superfluous to open our eyes wider! Our tears flow, and our whole body is covered with shivers. An unknown happiness envelops us.

This is perhaps what is most upsetting. In All Over Water Lilies, the vision is broader, a whole world of possibilities opens up… just look at the dancers “(re)composing” the lines of the Water Lilies carpet to grasp the moment when a new relationship with the artist emerges. At the creation. All over Nympheas captures the metamorphosis of Emmanuel Eggermont from other horizons.


Ma jeunesse exaltée / Olivier Py – “(…) I would write in letters of fire on Harlequin's coat: something is coming! »


The greatest pleasure of the piece Ma Jeunesse exaltée by Olivier Py is the journey: we walk through the story made up of sorts of colorful sketches for 10 actors as we follow the feverish races riddled with hoaxes by Arlequino – flamboyant Bertrand de Roffignac! -, a young poet/pizza delivery man lost in a derisory and mercantile society. Every day he delivers a pizza to an old poet – extraordinary Xavier Gallais! -. Certainly, we find there the insolence of Olivier Py (in the style of La Servantecreated in 1995), its scope: in ten hours going beyond its era, interacting with other places, other times and other authors such as Rimbaud, Shakespeare, Molière or Plato. But also and above all, we find there his sincere ambition to question the future of the artist (Arlequino, Alcandre), the theater (the play is being developed before our eyes), politics (The Minister, the adviser and behind the scenes) , religion (the bishop, Sister Victoire, Jesus), love, poetry, which combined with each other, give rise to an overflowing initiatory fable on the lies and sometimes shameful little arrangements of power and ambition .

As always with Olivier Py, everything goes through the frantic pace, the mobile scenography, the colorfulness of the costume (special mention at the Costume Workshops of the Théâtre de Liège), the sense of the derisory, between monumental work and miniature cosmogony. But Ma jeunesse exaltée adds a disturbing dimension to its approach to derision: tenderness. Perhaps to better remove the simulacra. Unless it's the deep artistic mystery that binds the author and director to the characters of Arlequino and Alcandre: a strange effect of filial recognition. Choose a son and then recognize yourself as a father? No matter the effects.

It is not insignificant that Olivier Py chooses today to draw the portrait of an indomitable youth because it obliges him to put on the costume of the artist to be in a more egalitarian relationship and to welcome "something that comes ” after having been for 8 + 1 years the director of the largest festival in the world. Let him move on to what he wants!

26 July 2022
of 484