30 June, 2012

A fantastical tragedy

By Sakhi Gcina

It’s a sensory sojourn in to the imaginative, complex and sometimes fatal relationship between art and the artist. Afternoon of a Foehn’s narrative swings wildly between two worlds until the boundary becomes dangerously blurred. Does art belong to its creator or is the artist held captive by his ideas and is simply a vehicle of expression?

This performance is a part of the inaugural French Season In South Africa theatre initiative which seeks to strengthen ties between the two countries through an exchange of art and performance.

France, a country with an exceptional artistic history, is known to constantly push the limits of innovative theatre, which will enrich our shores.

Surreal visuals of brightly-coloured plastic bags are transformed by performer Cécile Briand in to dance characters of her outlandish fictional realm with the aid of wind energy from various strategically placed fans. Scientific technicality merges with the haphazard process of creativity to form a delightful performance art piece.

There is an evidently tragic and allegorical element about how humans’ destructive need to consume will be the end of our world, including us along with it throughout the entire piece. It adds a poignant layer of pathos to a luminous performance. Otherworldly sounds, interplayed with the eccentric compositions of revered French composer Claude Debussy, conjure up an image of a dark, post-apocalyptic space. The whimsical and intriguing aural atmosphere provides the impetus which drives the multi-layered narrative to a deeper level.

Creative director and choreographer, Phia Ménard, has put together an ethereal and fantastical production with magical precision.

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