photo: Michal Hančovský
The new première of Lenka Vagnerová & Company Avant tout is an original work of the French director, mime and pedagogue Lionel Ménard.
Mimodrame Avant tout is the synthesis of acting, pantomime, dance, puppetry, and magical visual.
The première has been prepared in coproduction with MDP (Prague City Theatres) on 24.11.2018 in Divadlo Komedie.
Avant tout / Mimodrame
The diary of the nine-month voyage
Let us now imagine that our first memories would go as far as the time we arrived in the world or before ... Everything that we have forgotten or to which we did not give any weight, in other words, the experience of countless millennia could become a source of unconscious wisdom and instinctive energy.
Let's become the children for the time of one performance, let us ask ourselves the following questions: "Is a train coming to Prague's railway station or is it a Prague train station that is coming to the train?"
I ask that all adults forgive me for giving this performance to a child. I have a good reason, this girl is the bravest and most bold of all. I have another reason, this girl is constantly thinking about everything and understands everything, even a performance for adults. I have another good reason, this girl lives in the south of France and needs comfort.
If all these reasons are not enough, then I would like to dedicate this performance to the adult woman, which she will become later. All the children will one day be grown up, but not all of them will remember that they were children.
I therefore correct my dedication: to the future, adult Manon.
I will tell you a very old story, so old that I do not even remember whether it is about me or about you.
This story is composed of small fragments that are like a glacier's tip protruding above the surface, the rest of which remains forever hidden from our eyes, a place where the visible and invisible of each of us meet.
In the middle of the universe there is a deserted, broad plain of cotton where life is full of unforeseen events. Its inhabitants are together on a nine-month journey, but no one can be sure he can handle it.
The inhabitants are a total of four, a future baby to be born once, a dad, a mum and a guide usually referred to as the little prince.
The child who is going to the world is not sure if he will survive his little death, his parents are not sure if they are prepared for this event in their life, and whether the little prince will be able to pass on all his messages in time to his parents.
Direction, concept, dramaturgy: Lionel Ménard
Music: Tomáš Vychytil
Movement cooperation / choreography: Lenka Vagnerová
Performed by: Fanny Barrouquére, Andrea Opavská, Barbora Nechanická, Michal Heriban
Set and constumes design: Lionel Ménard
Light design: Michal Kříž
Projection: Erik Bartoš
Sound: Eva Hamouzová
Video trailer: Michal Heriban
Graphic design: Michal Heriban
Photo: Michal Hančovský
Production: Andrea Vagnerová
Producer: Lenka Vagnerová & Company
Coproduction: MDP Městská divadla pražská (Prague City Theatres)
Rehearsed at: Studio of Městská divadla pražská (Prague City Theatres)
Project supported by: Capital City of Prague, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic,
It all begins in 1987: Lionel decides to stop with one-night-stands. He discovers Marcel Marceau that year and spends ten years working together with his company. Within the context of a filmscript, he listens to Alexandro Jodorowski, after a good meal he becomes Ticky Holgado’s coach. After several auditions, he finally joins Philippe Genty’s company. Chancing on a disc of contemporary music, he brings the Arditi Quartet to the stage. He spends a week with Michael Jackson and Marcel Marceau preparing "Childhood" for HBO and writes a small outline for a Philippe Glass evening at the Carnegie Hall. Claude Lelouch offers him the part of Jesus in a trilogy and he works as a choreographer for Jean Paul Goude and Lea Seydoux. He loves the Gymnopédies and goes on to create "Bonjour Monsieur Satie" at the Konzerthaus Berlin and to stage Bodecker & Neander. He is invited to write and set up a "show for the little ones" at the Luxembourg Philharmonic, he stages The Snark at the Sydney Festival with Scott Kohler and Out of the Blue with Alexander and Wolfram at the Valencia Festival in Venezuela, He manipulates a bird for François Morel and tries to make François dance, he then meets Bartek Ostapczuk in Dresden, which is the prelude to several works in Poland...
The point common to all these meetings is that they make Lionel travel to all four corners of the earth. The piece of which he is most proud, however, was performed only once and did not depart its four walls – this was the directing of "La Volière" at the Fresnes Penitentiary Centre for long-term prisoners.