L’après-midi d‘un Foehn – Version 1 @ The Place Dance Studio Review

Beautifully presented for The Place Dance Studio stage, Company Non Nova devises, enchants and engages in a wonderfully magical production of L’après-midi d‘un Foehn – Version 1. This production denotes an essence of the fantastical, alluding to a set of carrier bags, one very intense creator and several static ‘blowing’ fans.

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Jean-Louis Ouvrard, otherwise titled the performer inspires and amuses with his intense sense of creativity, engaging audience members to withhold creative agency whilst developing their own stories of action. He tricks audience members into believing that he has created a beautiful living creature, that breathes and dances, but later destroys their very existence, literally ripping them to shreds. This production is entirely immersive with each audience member engaging with the carrier bag creature/creatures in varied dimensions, but each developing a sense of story and attachment. A dramatic device employed by Company Non Nova, is the use of sound effects which are used as an enhancement towards the action, entrancing the audience into different modes of both emotion and intensity. Jean-Louis Ouvrard, performs a persuasive character which acts as a model for development, often denoting the creator from ‘Frankenstein’.

As L’après-midi d‘un Foehn – Version 1 is a show about creation, interaction and destruction, the atmosphere at first is fun and upbeat, however this later develops into a sense of emergency, frustration and violence. Within the production there is a connotation of a multitude of themes which include love, war, regression, and freedom. These are all explored within just 25 minutes of action (can you believe it?) Whilst watching the production it is evident there is a definite sense of ownership played out by the audience, as there is no dialogue, the action is inherently interpretive, which could appear as a barrier for various members of the audience.

With just simply one performer and twenty or more carrier bag creations, this production is self defined, unique and independent from any assumptions. It is a production of colour, awe striking imagery and universality for all ages. It began with me questioning whether I could really believe the identity of a carrier bag being, but ended with me on the verge of tears after the mass destruction of life. All of the detailing is sublime enhancing an audience’s enjoyment, with a shadowed story and a temperament of change, individuality and self absorption. I leave the production inspired, awe-struck and presenting a real urge to create my very own carrier bag being. 5/5

Review written by Megan Mattravers.

L’après-midi d‘un Foehn – Version 1 was shown at The Place from Friday 29th May until Saturday 30th May. For more information on  Company Non Nova, visit here…

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