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Il n'est pas encore minuit... - creation 2014

XY company

In 2009, the XY company set up a collective of 17 acrobats to create a piece, « Le Grand C », under the guidance of Loïc Touzé.  This artistic and human adventure, which took them to the four corners of the world, continues and extends today with a new creation for 24 acrobats.  But what have they got to tell us now again ?

With «Le Grand C», we elaborated the basis for a physical language specific to acrobatic takes and developed new modes of corporal expression around a group research.
The next collective creation applies and prolongs the original method by working on the physical material around the concepts of crowd, mass and island,  « carrying » and « being carried », taking off and falling down.
A game of construction and deconstruction, composing and recomposing forms like a living painting.
We want to question the notions of work, of solidarity, of effort, of lightness, of rigor and play in all senses of the terms.  It is also eminently a question of the relationship between an individual and the group, revealing the strengths and weaknesses of the collective.
Obviously, this creation is a way of asserting our creative processes and our way of functioning as a collective. Obviously, the circus is an art of action, and in the XY the method is collective.

24 acrobats and Loïc Touzé as accomplice
The collective dimension of the piece is not a presupposition, it is acquired through the work process, through the interactions between individuals, through what is played or dreamed in a moment of conversation, through a laugh or a look.
It's the story of an encounter.
In this sense, our way of doing things is both concrete (a physical group work to form improbable and unexpected images, to push the limits of acrobatic practice) and totally abstract, as it is from the action and interaction of the individuals that the deep meaning of the piece emerges.
The acquisition of an acrobatic language throughout the intense years of the tour gives us a feeling of greater artistic freedom for this creation.
It has become easier for us to express a wish or an idea, to share it with the group and to put it to work physically.  Above all, it's now possible to play with it, to manipulate it, to twist it in all directions, whereas before we would have followed and respected it.
This is what motivates us to work with Loïc Touzé once again, who has a subtle grasp of collective work, of the idea of mass, and whose guidance and precision brings out that which makes sense and feels right for the group.
With « Le Grand C », he accompanied the emergence of this acrobatic language and expressed his desire to continue with the project.
Going from 17 to 24 acrobats multiplies our possibilities and allows us to work differently.  We can now occupy the space by evolving in island shapes in different parts of the stage, whereas before we needed to stay close to each other for protection and mutual support.

10m x10m. Bare.
A bare performance space, be it a theatre or a natural decor.  This stripped down space responds to our desire to bring the body forward without tricks and effects and in a particular relationship to reality, to the audience, and to the rules of the game.  For us, it's a way to put everyone in connivance with the actions of circus.
In this spirit, the show will be created in a frontal version and in a circular version for the circus tent, for outside venues or for any space that could host it.  There is great pleasure in experimenting different relationships to the audience but also in being able to reveal everything, from all sides.
The light creation follows this same principal of simplicity and will make space for the work of the artists, with the idea of emphasizing the virtuosity and the poetry of bodies in movement.  We will try to create different zones of light on the stage and up high in the ceiling in order to use techniques of « appearing-disappearing » .  Certain laboratories and residencies will be used specifically to get used to difficult lighting (single-source light or low intensity light for example).
This creation will see the emergence of certain objects that have taken on importance in our acrobatic research.
First of all, the shift impulsed by the artists who have joined the collective and who follow a line of artistic freedom through which they express their desire to explore the relationships between « taking off and falling », and « lightness and mass ».
From the idea of taking off, we have conceived a system of « jumping boards », squares of wood of different dimensions manipulated by the carriers in order to propel the acrobat.  A different way to fly and to go from one point to another.
New conditions and above all a new, almost virgin field of experimentation.
From the first tests, the boards showed us that they would also play a role in the scenography.  By assembling, leaning, and turning them, by playing with the different heights, it's possible to compose and reorganize the space quickly and to invent new spaces, like a second stage on a higher level, carried by the male acrobats.

Spirit of celebration, of freedom, of resistance
This new project is impulsed by the excitement and desires of individuals, but it is more a question of paths to be taken collectively than to execute a particular idea.
In parallel to the acrobatic work, we will be using a dance, the Lindy Hop, which is a point of convergence between individuals and between generations.
Invented in the 20's in Harlem, on a swing tempo, it's a great collective space for interaction which leaves room for improvisation.
And even though it isn't a main goal of the show, it represents its intentions : to affirm collective work, prowess, listening, and confident bodies as an joyous and poetic act of freedom.

Concept and performance: Abdeliazide Senhadji, Adrià Cordoncillo Mitjavila, Airelle Caen, Alice Noël, Amaia Valle, Andres Somoza, Ann-Katrin Jornot, Antoine Thirion, Aurore Liotard, Chloé Tribollet, David Badia, David Coll Povedano, Denis Dulon, Emmanuel Dariès, Evertjan Mercier, Guillaume Sendron, Gwendal Beylier, Jérôme Hugo, Romain Guimard, Thibaut Berthias, Thomas Samacoïts, Tomàs Cardus, Xavier Ortega-Lavabre, Zinzi Oegema
Artistic collaboration
: Loïc Touzé
Light creation
: Vincent Millet
Costumes: Nadia Léon
Stage manager
: Vincent Millet
Acrobatic guidance
: Nordine Allal