Here in Lille, France, a gang of youths including myself are here experiencing the artistic wonders of the Next Festival. Getting the opportunity to attend and watch these many live performances and to reflect on them through methods of journalism, in which we are learning about, as a part of the TeeNEXTers project for young people around Europe. Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Italy and France. We are connecting and sharing our passion for theatre, filmmaking and more in this intimate week long experience.
In this article, I will be discussing an outstanding performance I attended in Valenciennes the previous night. To begin, I must inform you that it is impossible to explain this performance in words. I left the theatre, speechless and unable to process what I had just experienced.
The show was called Mirlitons. An encounter between two bodies. And two voices. And with the use of various objects including bells, sticks, tap shoes and embroidered metal armour. These two performers were capable of creating a beat and melody through just about anything they touched. It was original. And I was in awe from the moment it began.
The beat boxer, Aymeric Hainaux and choreographer, dancer and performer François Chaignaud created a mediaeval and tribal-like performance. With themes of battle, ritual and obsession, the two exhausted themselves, littering the floor with drips of their sweat and heaving to regain their breaths. It was difficult to fully comprehend the meaning of this show, but that did not take away from the immense grasp it had on me for the 60 minutes. The two performers pushed each other to their limits. At times it was almost uncomfortable to watch due to how physically draining it appeared. Nonetheless, they excelled to the very last moment, not missing a beat. The sounds vibrated throughout the room and under our feet. I really loved how they interacted with the audience, breaking the fourth wall and compelling me to follow them into this world. From dancing right at our feet to laying down on two of my friends, the audience was a mixture of laughter and horror.
Mirlitons was a show that broke rules and regulations. It was a playground for these insanely talented individuals and it was truly an honour to have watched it.
Each and every one of us walked out of the theatre with a changed perception of performing arts. I am extremely grateful for this experience that the TeeNEXTers project was able to provide me with!