On stage, children immersed in the world of adults

On stage, children immersed in the world of adults

“When the child was a child”, by Sylvain Groud, in November 2021, at the Ballet du Nord, in Roubaix.

Sitting head down, almost prostrate. On his chair, lost in the middle of the huge stage of the Sénart Theater (Seine-et-Marne), the choreographer Sylvain Groud seems to be waiting for something that will no longer come. Suddenly, a teenager, David Dauchy, tumbles, cavorting, vibrating like an alarm clock that immediately forces you to fall out of bed and start life on the right foot. While the violinist Laetitia Ringeval stirs up their playful appetite, the duo fully activates the transmission belt, each leading the other in gestural spirals, what a treat!

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When the child was a child. This is the title of this piece, presented on Saturday February 11. She happily and openly expresses the need and the need for dialogue. “Who learns the most from the other? asks Groud. Director of the National Choreographic Center of Roubaix (North), he leads, alongside his creations, actions in colleges and nursing homes. He met David Dauchy in 2018 – he was then 10 years old – for a participatory project. In the process, he offers her performances. “Beyond our relationship without hierarchy, I wanted to embody the conflict between adults and young people by addressing the responsibility that is ours in what we pass on to them”, he adds.

Kids at the helm? This societal angle sharpens a number of choreographic and theatrical projects. The phenomenon is not new: we remember Mamma (1983), by Jean-Claude Gallotta,Child (2011), by Boris Charmatz, without forgetting, still on tour, the Grenade company, directed by Josette Baïz, and composed of dancers from 7 to 18 years old. It now displays other issues. Reflecting the political and ecological debates in particular that are upsetting the world, it points the finger at the elders and the heritage left to new generations in a chaotic and anxiety-provoking planetary climate.

Contortionist trudge

These issues, as well as the aesthetic biases generated by the presence of children on stage, are listed on the board of the special day “Place for young people on the sets”, led by the director Marie Levavasseur, Wednesday April 12, at Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle). “They have a lot to say and their words are not taken into account enough, she comments. There is little space in the media for them. It is a question, through the creations in which they participate, of listening to them, of valuing them in order to form a society together. » She has just conceived, with Mariette Navarro, and after two years of exchanges with twelve amateurs aged 13 to 21, the show And tomorrow the sky, on the theme of belief in the future. A reading was given in the Cour d’honneur of the Palais des Papes, in Avignon, in July 2022. In the process, the play was selected by a group of young programmers set up by Gurval Reto, director of THV, in Angers.

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