I am delighted to be able to share the Cultural Utopias project with directors we have followed since my arrival here in Nice: they all have exceptional creativity and, each in their own unique way, are attached to the spirit of freedom and openness which I hold so dear. Irina Brook
The living puppets of Sylvie Osman
Following her training at the International Puppet Institute, Sylvie Osman set up the Cannes-based company, Arketal, in 1984 together with the stage designer and puppet maker, Greta Bruggeman. Fascinated by bunraku, she uses the techniques of Japanese performers to endow her silent effigies with a soul. The actors become precious go-betweens, providing breath, a voice and a body. For Sylvie Osman, the puppet has something immortal about it that lends itself to incredible storytelling.
The watchful eye of Cyril Cotinaut
For this lover of the ancient dramatic arts, theatre is a collective quest to understand the world and its workings to get to grips with Man and his paradoxes. The director of the TAC Theatre uses his craft to urge his actors to express themselves on stage as individuals, bridging the gap between the role and the performers.
The moving little theatre of Ézéquiel Garcia-Romeu
When a whole family of characters comes knocking at the door of his small theatre demanding a slice of life, the director and puppeteer creates a world for them, a physique and an existence made up of simple, yet deeply moving gestures. His exploration is first and foremost a humanistic one, taking on the world with all its contradictions armed with poetry, Art and the imagination.
Along the seams of History with Linda Blanchet
Trained in California and at the University of Nanterre, this director has directed the Hanna R theatre company for ten years now and enjoys intertwining documentary and music into her performances. Identity, memory, transference and our very relation to History are at the heart of her productions. Together with her performers, Linda Blanchet explores self-narration and testimony within theatre. She seeks a new connection with the audience and her writing is both funny and questioning, blurring the borders between fiction and reality.
The iconoclast, Dan Jemmett
With his theatre company Eat a crocodile, this British director always ventures where we least expect him to go. He puts his money on the stature of Éric Cantona in his version of Ubu Roi; takes Paris by storm with his Grande Magie; on the stage of the Comédie-Française, he relocates Hamlet to a ‘70s club house; goes to town with Twelfth Night in his irresistible Shake and parachutes Clytemnestra into a kitsch and cinematic America... In his brand of theatre, tragedy and comedy draw together with delicious irreverence. His plays elicit priceless laughter. For it is always the human side we see on this mysterious journey along the threads woven by life and death.
Exploring the body with Éric Oberdorff
Introduced to movement through the martial arts, Éric Oberdorff travelled the world as a dancer-performer before coming to Nice to start la Compagnie Humaine in 2002. This choreographer explores our relationship with each other and compares the contradictory energies that drive us. The human being is at the very core of his productions, where he incorporates images, films, contemporary music, voices, and plastic art installations into the choreographic script.