Press releases | Culture 29.06.2011

SCHAUPLÄTZE / SETTINGS: Start of a three-part series of performances featuring the premiere of “enfant” (child) by French artist Boris Charmatz at the Festival d‘Avignon

Twenty-six children aged six to twelve and nine performers from six nations will inhabit the stage on July 7th 2011 for the premiere of the first coproduction in the SCHAUPLÄTZE series to be held at the Cour d'honneur of the Papal Palace in Avignon. In “enfant” Boris Charmatz, one of the most innovative choreographers of the present day, turns the familiar relationship between children and adults, man and machine, power and powerlessness right on its head.

For this Charmatz selects a radical approach: he combines his interest in sociological processes with his fascination for machines thereby creating a diffuse point of friction between man and machine, between child-like naïve joy and the calculating, manipulative behavior of adults. Amongst other things the play is inspired by a collection of letters published by the NGO network RESF Réseau Education Sans Frontières. These letters contain appeals from simple citizens to the authorities impressively drawing attention to the plight of children whose parents are threatened with deportation. This means the play can be understood not only as a choreographic event but also very much as a political statement.

“We dance on the stage but we do not forget the reality upon which the stage is built,” comments the 38 year old Frenchman. Charmatz’ biography reads like a unique success story: after training at the ballet school of the Paris Opera he already caused a stir internationally with his first play – at the age of only 19. Since then he has relentlessly driven dance forward and has been in charge of Musée de la danse in Rennes since 2009.

“enfant” opens this year’s festival in Avignon and at the same time kicks off the SCHAUPLÄTZE / SETTINGS series of coproductions initiated by the Siemens Stiftung and realized in collaboration with the Internationales Sommerfestival Hamburg. A “Schauplatz” (setting, venue) is literally a place attracting everyone’s glances. At culturally significant locations in three countries the series draws attention to remarkable artists who highlight the hidden paradoxes of these places thereby making a key contribution to sociologically relevant themes. Further dates are planned for the series in 2012 in Argentina and Germany.

SCHAUPLÄTZE / SETTINGS is a cooperation between the Siemens Stiftung and Internationales Sommerfestival Hamburg where the “enfant” production will see its German debut from August 23rd-24th 2011 following the premiere in Avignon.

Choreography for 9 dancers and 26 children

Choreographie: Boris Charmatz
Yves Godin
Olivier Renouf
Artefact, Frédéric Vannieuwenhuyse
Laure Fonvieille
Erwan Keravec
Eleanor Bauer, Nuno Bizarro, Matthieu Burner, Olga Dukhovnaya, Julien Gallée-Ferré, Lénio Kaklea, Maud Le Pladec, Thierry Micouin, Mani A. Mungai
Children (at the Festival d’Avignon):
Perle Béchu-Quaiser, Eliott Bourseau, Théotim Bourseau, Léon Cassin, Lisa Cazoulat, Rémi Cazoulat, Abel Charmatz, Marguerite Chassé, Tikal Contant-Ricard, Noé Couderc, Zaccharie Dor, Elio Fouilleul, Mathieu Guidoni, Cédric Lamotte-Lenoir, Sasha Goasduff-Langlois, Salomé Lebreton, Emma Lecoq-Vinagre, Youenn Louédec, Joseph Michard, Louane Mogis, Lou-Andréa Paulet, Emma Perreau, Raphaëlle Piechaczyk, Adèle Richard, Mathilde Richard, Hypolite Tanguy
Production: Musée de la danse / Centre chorégraphique national de Rennes et de Bretagne. Coproduction: Festival d’Avignon, Théâtre de la Ville-Paris, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Internationales Sommerfestival Hamburg and Siemens Stiftung within the projects SCHAUPLÄTZE, Théâtre national de Bretagne (Rennes), La Bâtie-Festival de Genève, Kunstenfestivaldesarts Brüssel.
Supported by: Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication-DRAC Bretagne, la Ville de Rennes, le Conseil régional de Bretagne, le Conseil général d’Ille-et-Vilaine, Rennes Métropole


Performance dates
July 7 – 8, 10 – 12, 2011 Festival d’Avignon, France
August 23 – 24, 2011: Internationales Sommerfestival Hamburg, Germany
September 2 – 3, 2011: La Bâtie-Festival de Genève, Switzerland
September 23 – 24, 2011: Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos – Culturgest Lisbon, Portugal
October 12 – 16, 2011: Théâtre de la Ville / Festival d’Automne, Paris, France
May 11 – 13,  2012: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels, Belgium
May 23 – 24, 2012: Théâtre National de Bretagne, Rennes, France

The Siemens Stiftung, a non-profit foundation under German civil law, was founded in 2008 by Siemens AG. The foundation works on projects designed to strengthen civil society, particularly in Africa, Latin America and Germany / Europe. Its aim is to make a long-term contribution to reducing poverty and improving education. The foundation operates in three areas: It supports expanding basic services and improving social structure; initiates educational projects; and helps reflect cultural identities and arts. Within the framework of this holistic approach, the support offered by Siemens helps lay the foundations for active cultural scenes and intense exchange between artists from experimental fields while exploring the present day.