In the center of the stage, there is a low trapeze that sways right and then left, like a pendulum. On either side, two pontoons, or jetties, extend into the void that lies between them.
A small troupe arrives on one side. They squeeze together, lean over, turn around, and hesitate in the face of what appears to be a dead end. Another stray person appears on the opposite pontoon. And meanwhile, the trapeze continues to sway gently, there in the middle, out of reach.
This is where the story of Flyings begins, the spot where the beam of a lighthouse flickers on a handful of humans, a small troupe that must work together. They are at the very precipice, facing the void. This trapeze, which is running out of steam, appears to be the only way to cross. These absurd series of flights brush the ground, cling on, let go, or send the bar back to each other as everyone dashes from one pontoon to the other.
The pendular movement of the trapeze resounds like a countdown. Tick-tock... This pendulum* is an evocation of our relationship to time, to the absurdity of our limited existence. But it is also a connection to the sublime and the disproportionate brilliance of certain moments that exceed all expectations. In the end, we are just passing through, even though the crossing is a substantial undertaking!
* In German, the trapeze is also called the "unruhe" which also means "upheaval, restlessness, or anxiety". Locke uses this word to describe the continuous swarming of the soul.
Staging Mélissa Von Vépy
With Breno Caetano, Célia Casagrande-Pouchet, Sarah Devaux, Axel Minaret, Marcel Vidal-Castells
Theatrical writing Gaël Santisteva
Choreography Sumako Koseki
Writing Pascale Henry
Sound Jean-Damien Ratel, Olivier Pot
Light and general management Sabine Charreire
Scenography Neil Price, Mélissa Von Vépy
Costumes Catherine Sardi
Sound technician Olivier Pot, Julien Chérault
Production and distribution Marie Attard, Playtime
Administration, production Jean-Baptiste Clément, Juan Diaz
Production Happés – Théâtre Vertical
Coproduction Le Sirque national circus center in Nexon / Théâtre d’Arles theater for new writing / Archaos national circus center in Marseille / Théâtre Forum Meyrin in Genève / Agora national circus center in Boulazac / Carré Colonnes in Saint-Médard-en-Jalles / Théâtre Molière-Sète national theater for Thau / Théâtre Jean Lurçat national theater for Aubusson
Residencies Centquatre in Paris / La 2deuche cultural center in Lempdes
Support Ministry of Culture and Communication: DGCA and DRAC agencies in Occitanie / Regional Council for the Region Occitanie – Pyrénées-Méditerranée / Fondation Hans Wildorf
Requested support Deptartmental Council of the Gard / Fondation du Casino Meyrinois / Pro Helvetia...
The Franco-Swiss artist Mélissa Von Vépy started her circus training at the age of five at the Ateliers des Arts du Cirque in Geneva. She later joined the CNAC national circus school in France and graduated in 1999 with a specialization in the trapeze.
In 2000 she founded the company Moglice-Von Verx with Chloé Moglia, which went on to make three shows: Un Certain endroit du ventre [A Particular Place in the Belly] (2001), Temps Troubles [Troubled Times] (2003), and I Look Up, I Look Down… (2005), which won the SACD’s prize for circus arts.
Since 2007, Von Vépy has been pursuing a unique line of artistic research in which she designs unique scenographies that form a central part of each performance. Connected to theatre and dance, yet always based in aerial expression, her work deals with gravity as both a physical reality and as a concept and metaphor.
Her encounter with butoh, and particularly with the practitioner Sumako Koseki, has had a significant influence on her artistic work, as have close collaborations with composers Jean-Damien Ratel and Stéphan Oliva.
As a director, she created the performances Croc [Hook] (2007), IDans la gueule du ciel [Into the Sky’s Jaw] (2009), and Miroir, Miroir [Mirror, Mirror] (2009).
Since 2010, she has been working under a new company name, Cie Happés. This French word captures the experience of being caught up in something – of losing oneself within a universe of poetic, philosophical, and dreamlike metaphors that evoke essential feelings and questions.
Following this path, she created the performances VieLLeicht (2013), J’ai horreur du printemps [I Hate the Spring] (2015), L’Aérien [The Aerial] (2017), co-written with Pascale Henry, and Black M1 (2018).
Melissa Von Vépy is currently an associate artist at Nexon’s circus centre, Le Sirque (2019-2022), while Cie Happés is supported by the Occitanie Region.
- Tuesday 19 January 07:00pm Théatre d'ArlesArles
- Thursday 21 January 07:30pm Théâtre du Bois de l'AuneAix-en-Provence
- Friday 22 January 08:30pm Théâtre du Bois de l'AuneAix-en-Provence
- Tuesday 2 February 08:30pm La PasserelleGap
- Thursday 4 February 07:30pm Theâtre National De NiceNice
- Friday 5 February 08:00pm Theâtre National De NiceNice