In your performance “Leche Mon Coeur” based on a play Ogres by Yann Verburgh you took a look at the violence against homosexual and trans* people around the world. Why have you decided to communicate such a difficult topic, and what was your initial motivation for each member of the theatre group?
My first desire was to talk about love and the urgency to act. I think that love is one of the most beautiful things that can happen to us in life. To know that some people are not free to love or be loved freely is for me inconceivable.
Who formed Alter Ego and what was the initial idea behind forming it?
The company ALTER EGO (X) was founded by Julie Crantelle and Théo Majcher in 2019.
We take the European cultural landscape as a key element in its development strategy and for this reason we promote the values of sharing and meeting in all their projects. We also aim at creating in and with diversity: we seek to invent theatre formats that allow everyone to express themselves. Our starting point is always linked to the urge of making citizens' voices heard in the common space all over Europe in order to be able to build a European society based on human beings.
We organize their work around three main pillars: "Transmission" (monthly workshops with non-professionals artists) — "Laboratory" (a way through European cooperation to explore the power of arts and especially theatre in tackling major current societal issues, especially by leading/taking part in projects at the crossroads between social, educational and cultural fields) — "Creation" (production of theatre performances inspired by the European context through artistic residences abroad and international touring).
As your performance is a “work-in-progress”, how complete was it prior to arriving in Slovakia and how complete is it after your 10 days residency?
Before our residency in Slovakia, we had three residencies: one in Geneva where we focused on the text; one in Turin which was our first work on the stage; one in Zurich where we continued the work on the stage and around the dramaturgy. In Slovakia, we came with the idea of working more on the text. This residency was turned upside down by a lot of questioning. We reworked a lot of scenes we had already seen and tried to refine our aesthetic. I think this allowed us to fix a lot of things. We also work with a musical composer, who is on the set with us. This was also an opportunity to refine his work, in connection with this new aesthetic.
Your play is a combination of contemporary dramatic text and documentary theatre. As to what extent is your version of the play documentary, and what is the portion of fiction or metaphor that you use as a director? How important is the border between fiction and reality?
Lèche Mon Coeur is a staging of the text Ogres by Yann Verburgh. This text is extremely well documented. The staging appeals to the dream because it allows us to approach this violent subject with more empathy. Even if I think that reality should not be minimized, quite the contrary. I try to find the place of the dream in the real world, to apply a fantastic dimension to realistic theatre.
As far as I know Vladimir was on stage with Alter Ego for the first time here in Záhrada. Is he now an organic part of your team? Has he settled well?
Vladimir joined the project at its inception in November 2020. We had an audition in August 2020 with many actors. He is now part of the ALTER EGO (X) family and we are really excited to work with him.
Záhrada has always been striving to offer the best possible space for promoting culture and arts. Have you found your stay productive and creative enough? Would you recommend it?
We can only say good things about our visit to Záhrada. The team is incredible and the place is sublime. But beyond that, it is a committed and essential place. The projects received are of high quality (we were lucky enough to attend two open air concerts). The team is really dedicated to give a real place in the Slovak cultural landscape. It is very important for us to have partners like this. We can only recommend them of course.
Rezidenčný program Záhrady 2021 podporil z verejných zdrojov Fond na podporu umenia.