Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Royal de Luxe, French Street Theatre -- Giant Girl Puppet

I linked this story a year and a half ago, but forgot about it until 3Quarks posted an extensive commentary about the company and its work. Now, thanks to the magic of You Tube, seeing their work is much easier. The best word I can come up with is enchanting. Enjoy the video, then go to the link to read all about it. And get ready to find out what they have in mind for the next event, scheduled to appear in Iceland in May.

Royal de Luxe is both renowned and secretive. Based in Nantes, it has no Web site, doesn’t go in for ordinary PR, and if for artistic reasons the whole company needs to move to Cameroon or to China for many months at a time, then it does so, appearing there as in the West with permission but without fanfare. Gathering outdoors to make the small marionettes that have been their acting partners since long before the Giants, the actors casually attract local interest, which can at first be skeptical. By the time of leave-taking, however, the village is ensorcelled, the months-long interlude most often likened by everyone to dream.

Except in the United States, the fame of Royal de Luxe now outpaces its stealth. So precautions are taken that, despite high anticipation of an appearance, an audience remains in a condition to be startled by it. Jean-Luc Courcoult is far too much the man of the theatre ever to lose the advantage of surprise.

When Royal de Luxe next appears, at the Reykjavik Arts Festival later this spring, no one there but the functionaries who must know them shall have all the details in advance. The venue is simply the streets and open spaces of the city -- by the lake, by the harbor and in the city center. Admission is not only free, but accidental, since the show may begin anywhere, even in two places at once, and will overtake its audience bit by bit, for they shall not have known where to assemble and wait for
it. Once it begins, it will keep moving, and people will follow it or even try to run a little ahead of it en route to the next corner it seems bound for, where others shall have started to hear things and look up. No member of that audience, not even the most avid, will see the show in its entirety – like the London event, it will be structured to make that impossible. Courcoult has said only that a special story for Icelanders will be enacted, by Little Girl Giant and other familiar figures, that, on the morning of May 10, “something unexpected will happen in Rekjavik.”

Update May 12, 2007

The Little Girl Giant appeared yesterday at the arts festival in Rekjavik, Iceland. You Tube already has this video. It's not as impressive as the other one, but I'm adding it to keep up to date. Every time I watch one of these clips I have a fantasy that one day the group will appear close enough that I can go see them in person.

One of the comments is from someone in Iceland who took this picture.

Updated, May 23

What happened in Iceland is described in another new article by Elatia Harris at 3Quarks.

There is no way I can snip anything here that will do justice to the epic description and numerous pictures you will find there.

Jost go. Later, if you're pressed for time, becuase it will engage you longer than you planned to spend. Or go now, if time permits...


Abbas said...

Thanks for the link. Your saying "The best word I can come up with is enchanting," made me immediately think of Elatia's word "ensorcelled," which I, at least, had to look up. :-)

joated said...

Absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing.

j said...

hi it was absolutley amazing i see this show and film and took pic . hope u gonna see it one day greatings johanna

Hoots said...

Hi, Johanna! Thanks for visiting anc leaving a comment. I posted your snapshot of the Little Girl Giant to my collection above.
I tried to get you page translated but Icelandic is apparently not in the software. But the pictures are nice!