“... a secret of the world, a secret of things which had to be revealed.” Conrad Detrez
On the occasion of « Mons 2015 » Michèle Noiret was asked to work on an interview with the Belgian writer Conrad Detrez. She was hesitant because a documentary tone was demanded, while she was looking more for a fictional one. Her project will be the production of stage short-films, for which she wishes to develop the innovative stage composition used in her previous performance Hors-champ (2013).The stage design process has already been started for this: a section of the choreographe’s rehearsal studio will be faithfully reproduced on the stage. This choice is motivated by the wish to draw inspiration from the very places where the choreographer creates and lives: the studio is located in her private home, and this situation offers shooting places, “familiar off-screen spaces”, accessible at all times, creating a kind of mise en abyme.
The « Mons 2015 » proposal revolves around the 1978 interview with writer Conrad Detrez by Jacques Chancel on the occasion of the Renaudot prize he had just received for his novel L’herbe à brûler.
Michèle Noiret has very freely drawn inspiration from certain passages of this incredible piece of autofiction, imbued with the strong ambiances and sensations she experienced while reading it. In this way, among other things there is a Brazilian atmosphere, inspired by the chapters in which the protagonist is swept along by the madness, sensuality and agonies of the Rio Carnival. She also finds resonances in extracts from the writings of Conrad Detrez: the theme of violence, due particularly to ignorance; the idea that a human being can be reduced to a label, a constant temptation in today’s media and society, and, especially, the idea that reality contains a part of unreality, that there is a secret of things, a secret of the world that we must extract — a recurring theme in the choreographic creations. Michèle Noiret will take up this last thought to lead us, throughout the piece, into “this secret of things” Detrez talks about, through the tortured maze of his subconscious, by increasingly troubling shortcuts.
In her creations, the choreographer places the human at the centre of her thoughts. The full weight of cinematographic techniques, as so many vectors of meaning, the aesthetic images and their processing is harnessed in the conception of these “choreographic characters” whose innermost self is scrutinised almost ethnographically, thanks to the discreet and efficient presence on the stage of cameraman Vincent Pinckaers.
Michèle Noiret will invent a second – double – personality who, a faint a smile on her lips, seems to taunt her; someone who knows the secrets buried in the memory of the walls that seem to resonate with the voice of Detrez; walls that hum, murmur, crack and halfopen. A double that will escape her and live her own life, and take us through a labyrinth of doorways and stairways, to meet a man rising from the shadows — and most probably a pure figment of her imagination. Carrying us along in this secret of things, Michèle Noiret opens doors that she never shuts.
Cast & credits
Script, staging and choreography Michèle Noiret
Created with and performed by Michèle Noiret, Isael Mata
Artistic collaboration Dominique Duszynski
Assistant Florence Augendre
Films / stage cameraman Vincent Pinckaers
Films / video technician Benoît Gillet
Original music composition Todor Todoroff, Pierre-Axel Izerable
Music Bartok, Music for strings, percussion and celesta - Chicago Symphony Orchestra, direction James Levine ; Martinho da Vila, Claustrofobia
Light Xavier Lauwers
Set design Sabine Theunissen
Costumes Michèle Noiret, Nazanin Fakoor
Technical direction Christian Halkin
Light technician Marc Lhommel
Sound technician Pierre-Axel Izerable
Stage technicians Christian Halkin, Christophe Blacha
Set and costumes making Ateliers du Théâtre National, Brussels
Photographies Sergine Laloux
Production and tour manager Claire Geyer
Communication and press Alexandra de Laminne
Administration and coordination Cathy Zanté
Thanks to Carlo Chapelle, Stephan Dunkelman
Duration 52 minutes
Production Compagnie Michèle Noiret / Tandem asbl
Coproduction Fondation Mons 2015, European Capital of Culture • Manège.mons • Théâtre National de la Communauté française de Belgique, Brussels • Théâtre Louis Aragon, scène conventionnée danse de Tremblay-en-France.
Produced with the support of the Ministère de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Service de la Danse.
The Compagnie Michèle Noiret is subsidised by the Ministère de la Communauté française Wallonie-Bruxelles, Service de la Danse, and receives regular support from Wallonie-Bruxelles International (WBI).
Michèle Noiret is a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium.
The Compagnie Michèle Noiret is in residence at Théâtre Louis Aragon, scène conventionnée danse de Tremblay-en-France, within the context of “Territoire(s) de la Danse 2015”, with the support of the Département de la Seine-Saint-Denis.