Report on Magdalena Montpellier by Henriette Beyer
This late summer I went for the first time to a Magdalena festival; it happened in Montpellier, based at La Bulle Bleu, a warmhearted welcoming place where handicapped and people without handicap share common spaces, work and live together, also artistically. The organisation was "fantastique", mille mercis!
From the first moment on I felt myself in the right place with the right people, mainly women but also men around. The energy was light, égalitaire full of air/spirit and breath, also stillness.
For me it was a return to the begin of the seventies and a long lasting love to "le Midi et un méridional du coin". We also met after more than 25 years and it was a light, peaceful encounter. Lovely too.
Within these 10 days I felt completly free, open, welcome, loved, supported, at ease with everybody even if after some shows, lectures etc. or during the day I talked with someone who looked at things in a different way to me. There was space for all of us!! for all thoughts, discussions ... underneath was flowing a basic focus and trust.
I try to find the words for what this focus is:
First of all: it is flowing, alive!! breathing; it is absolutly there/present.
Being aware of women speaking, creating, writing, acting, performing, singing, directing ... knowing, feeling sensing la necessité to do it, express it in that alive focused way. Trusting that/the/their spring underneath.
Dare to do it, dare also to fail!
Magdalena allows us to support each other, to become égalitaire, to exchange, to question what we do, what we are busy with, to speak out loud the situations we are busy with, we create!! To show all that to the world, all over the places.
Magdalena is a fountain!
It teaches us to trust our chemin/camino.
We have the mothers still nourishing, supporting, questioning, provoking; yes.
Thank you for your vision and all the support, input, work, flow, trust, challenge ... thank you beeing still there! And here with us!
We speak with each other, we listen, we hear each other, we give space to each other, we find each other, find a subject to work on; share it, look at it, does it make sense?
Is the fountain, the underneath flow still there, the aliveness?
I can imagine too that a festival might also grow like this, structure and flow at the same time, Trust.
It is a tremendous work and needs absolute alive flowing focus,
Also letting go? Of what? Concepts?
Needs openness, talks, no shame or hiding, being free to say what is to say; also to leave, I guess ... mamamia! A whole life process!
I saw so many performances, work in progress, listened to readings, looked at exhibitions and installations, solo and group work.
Every evening one or two of these works. Having lovely prepared supper in between, outside in the gardens; did I breath? I felt more or less like in a common breath or wave on/in which I was taken or I surfed on; I have to admit that I'm not sure about the surfing; I did not master it!
I did appreciate the different places the performances took place, outside in the gardens, inside loveley spaces or theatres ...
What did I see? particurlarly touched me?
Mama Prassinos; a beautiful actress who performed "la peau d'Elisa", a story which I did not care about; but as Mama Prassinos did speak so well, so clear in that garden, that I got every word speaken out by her. Her whole body-soul-mind was there and in connection with that specific space too, also the mirror, where we could see ourselves! I have to admit, that french actors speak very well by comparison to german ones, specially the young ones who talk so quickly and unarticulated like that generation apparently does. In school, also université once a young women told me, that they have to speak very quickly to be heard and to get attention!!
It is the opposite of what Heinrich von Kleist says about „über das langsame/allmähliche Verfertigen der Gedanken beim Reden“ which means that our thoughts become shaped and structured via talking, ….les pensées se structurent en parlant“)
I loved "si le silence savait" by Christina Castrillo, théatre de les radice. Solo, magique et simple! Hors du temps contemporain, de nos horaires! Wunderbar!
Also "detras del telòn" d' Ana Woolf; pas de lumière specifique, pas d'effect!! Famosa actrice obstinata, pleine d'humeur, d'amour, de vie, creátivité inépuisable...pour moi. Elle raconte son chemin théatral, son "focus" à travers son corps. Maintenant en ecrivant je ne me rappelle plus de sa voix..
Reve-réalité, "la jeune femme à la Licorne" dirigée par Marion Coutarel et performée par la compagnie de la Bulle Bleue. Je ne me suis pas rendue compte que tous les acteurs etaient handicapés!J'ai suivi la pièce et les protagoniste du début jusqu'à la fin! J'étais avec eux!
Aussi "fou“ était „Ark Teatr", polish group avec "la nef des fous".
My first thought was "Tadeusz Kantor" and when I talked to Renata, the director, she told me, that she studied with him. I loved and was completly touched by their work, boulversante/overwhel-ming?. "Toute la scène etait mise dans une lumière de l'enfer", un rouge rayonnant delicatement! Et les textes sur un ecran etaient preuve de la folie quotidienne; ces textes avaient une cruauté incro-yable, insupportable prèsque et vraie!!
A bout de souffle, j'étais ...
Puis Teatr Halopa de la Belorussie with "Chernobyl"; moderne, précis, sans pitié, not at all "politically correct".They looked at the devasted landscape, investigated there with a videocamera in their hand, we could follow them... hear them talk, see the abondoned and devasted houses, see the trees, the grass, nature recovering!! hear the left alone population, the political lies which the goverment or the potentats or the democratic goverments wants us make to believe. No, Non!
Mille merci et tant de respect pour ces deux spectacles de l'est!
I'm thankful having passed time with these two companies who also stayed at Palavas Les Flots.
What else: the exhibition and installation work of Kordula Lobeck and Sylvie Marchand; strong, clear testimony about the actors de la Cie Bulle Bleue and of prisoners looking at their life and dreams in Wuppertal/Germany.
The last day was a day of ongoing performances; I started to faint; yes; I was overtired, so I was lying a lot on earth, on the grass, listening, eyes closed. Missed quite a lot...Yes.
I enjoyed singing with Helen Chadwick and was deeply touched by the "Book of Space", by it's quiet beauty!! beeing part of the eternal female tradition, standing in the female line! Beauty and power by itself, nothing to proove, just be!
Thank you Magdalena , Marion et tout l'equipe! Thank you all having been there and shared that time and space together.