Gisèle Vienne: "L’Étang" Program

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New York 19 Oct. — 14 Dec. 2023


NEW YORK LIVE ARTS 21 & 23 OCTOBER 7.30 pm 22 OCTOBER 4 pm


©Estelle Hanania


An adaptation of a story by Swiss writer Robert Walser (1878-1956), L’Étang unmasks the elusive recesses of a tale of filial devotion, performed by Adèle Haenel and Julie Shanahan. L’Étang is a family drama that stands out from Robert Walser’s other works, as it is a private text that the young author penned for his sister, as well as his only work written in the Swiss German dialect. It is the story of a child who feels forsaken by his mother. In the darkness of despair, he fakes his suicide to verify her love for him. What are the real issues behind this desperate act? What plays out between the lines and on stage? What are the different layers of language, from words to narrations, utterable or not, that compose our understanding and our communication? These questions are echoed over and over through the writer’s text and on stage. Adèle Haenel and Julie Shanahan play one and two parts, respectively, while also lending their voices to the other characters. Many levels of perception of reality and time, of inwardness and outwardness coexist in this work. Probing theatrical and family conventions, L’Étang pointedly asks the question of what is seen – the shared representation of reality and social norms. This performance is created in memory of Kerstin Daley Baradel, a longtime collaborator of Gisèle Vienne who passed away in July 2019, and with whom the director and her team worked in intimate fellowship. VINCENT THÉVAL FOR THE FESTIVAL D’AUTOMNE IN PARIS

Production DACM | Compagnie Gisèle Vienne Coproduction Nanterre-Amandiers CDN | Théâtre National de Bretagne | Maillon, Théâtre de Strasbourg – Scène européenne | Holland Festival, Amsterdam | Fonds Transfabrik – Fonds franco-allemand pour le spectacle vivant | Centre Culturel André Malraux (Vandœuvrelès-Nancy) | Comédie de Genève | La Filature – Scène nationale de Mulhouse | Le Manège – Scène nationale de Reims | MC2 : Grenoble | Ruhrtriennale | Tandem Scène nationale | Kaserne Basel | International Summer Festival Kampnagel Hamburg | Festival d’Automne à Paris | Théâtre Garonne | CCN2 – Centre chorégraphique national de Grenoble | BIT Teatergarasjen, Bergen | Black Box Teater, Oslo.

With the support of CN D Centre national de la danse, La Colline – théâtre national and Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne. Thanks to Point Ephémère (Paris) for providing space and to Playroom, SMEM, Fribourg for providing sound studios. Performance created in collaboration with KERSTIN DALEY-BARADEL AND RUTH VEGA FERNANDEZ Special thanks ETIENNE BIDEAU-REY, NELSON CANART, ZAC FARLEY, ETIENNE HUNSINGER, PAULINE JAKOBIAK, TRISTAN LAHOZ, RICHARD PIERRE, CÉSAR VAN LOOY AND JEAN-PAUL VIENNE

Conception, direction, scenography, dramaturgy GISÈLE VIENNE Based on the original work Der Teich by ROBERT WALSER

Creation of puppets RAPHAËL RUBBENS, DOROTHÉA VIENNE-POLLAK, GISÈLE VIENNE in collaboration with Théâtre National de Bretagne (Rennes)




Set, costumes and accessories GISÈLE VIENNE, CAMILLE QUEVAL, GUILLAUME DUMONT Wigs and make-up Artist MÉLANIE GERBEAUX Sound Manager ADRIEN MICHEL Light Manager SAMUEL DOSIÈRE Stage Manager ANTOINE HORDÉ Technical Manager ERIK HOULLIER

Outside eye DENNIS COOPER, ANJA RÖTTGERKAMP Collaboration to scenography MAROUSSIA VAES

Production and distribution Alma Office: ANNE-LISE GOBIN, CAMILLE QUEVAL AND ANDREA KERR Administration CLOÉ HAAS AND GIOVANNA RUA Tour Assistant SOPHIE DEMEYER The Company Gisèle Vienne is supported by Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication – DRAC Grand Est, the Région Grand Est and Ville de Strasbourg. The company is supported by the Institut Français for international touring and by Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels. Gisèle Vienne is an associated artist at Chaillot – Théâtre national de la Danse, the MC2 Grenoble; at the Volcan - Scène nationale du Havre and the Théâtre National de Bretagne.

Gisèle Vienne: L’Etang Based on the original work Der Teich (The Pond) by Robert Walser Concept, direction, scenography and dramaturgy Gisèle Vienne Adaptation of the text Adèle Haenel, Julie Shanahan, in collaboration with Gisèle Vienne Performed by Adèle Haenel & Julie Shanahan Lights Yves Godin Sound design Adrien Michel Music direction Stephen F. O’Malley Original music Stephen F. O’Malley & François J. Bonnet Tour assistant Sophie Demeyer Outside view Dennis Cooper & Anja Röttgerkamp Collaboration to the scenography Maroussia Vaes Conception of puppets Gisèle Vienne Creation of puppets Raphaël Rubbens, Dorothéa Vienne-Pollak & Gisèle Vienne in collaboration with Théâtre National de Bretagne Stage set production Nanterre-Amandiers CDN Set and accessories Gisèle Vienne, Camille Queval & Guillaume Dumont Costumes Gisèle Vienne & Camille Queval Wig and make-up artist Mélanie Gerbeaux Technical manager Erik Houllier Sound engineer Adrien Michel Light manager Samuel Dosière Stage manager Antoine Hordé Performance created in collaboration with Kerstin Daley-Baradel Special thanks to Etienne Bideau-Rey, Nelson Canart, Zac Farley, Pauline Jakobiak, Jean-Paul Vienne, César Van Looy, Pauline Jakobiak, Tristan Lahoz, Richard Pierre & Etienne Hunsinger Production and touring Alma Office: Anne-Lise Gobin, Camille Queval & Andrea Kerr Administration Cloé Haas & Giovanna Rua Premiered on May 4th, 2021 at Théâtre de Vidy-Lausanne (Switzerland) L’Étang was created in residency at Théâtre National de Bretagne in November 2020. Presented in New York by Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels and New York Live Arts.


Gisele Vienne is a Franco-Austrian artist, choreographer, and director. After graduating in philosophy, she studied at the puppeteering Ecole Superieure Nationale des Arts de la Marionnette. Among others, she works regularly with the writer Dennis Cooper.

with Dennis Cooper, Peter Rehberg and Jonathan Capdevielle in 2011 and 40 portraits “2003-2008”, in collaboration with Dennis Cooper and Pierre Dourthe in 2012. Her work has led to various publications and the original music of her shows to several albums.

Over the past 20 years, her work has been touring in Europe and regularly performed in Asia and in America. To name but a few I Apologize (2004), Kindertotenlieder (2007), Jerk (2008), This is how you will disappear (2010), LAST SPRING: A Prequel (2011), The Ventriloquists Convention (2015) in collaboration with the puppentheater Halle, and Crowd (2017). In 2020, she created with Etienne Bideau-Rey a fourth version of Showroomdummies large-scale at the ROHM Theatre Kyoto, originally created in 2001. In 2021, she made the film Jerk and created L’Étang, a show based on Robert Walser’s short story Der Teich.

In 2006, Adèle Haenel starred in Céline Sciamma’s “Water Lilies”, for which she was nominated for the César Award for Best Female Hope.

Gisele Vienne premiered her last performance EXTRA LIFE in August 2023 at the Ruhrtriennale. Gisele Vienne has frequently been exhibiting her photographs and installations in museums among which the New York Whitney Museum of American Art, the Centre Pompidou of Paris, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes of Buenos Aires and the Musee d’Art Moderne of Paris. She published two books: JERK // Through their tears

Since 2010 more roles have followed, varying from collaboration with young film-makers in their directorial debuts to more experienced directors. She performed in L’Apollonide by Bertrand Bonnello, L’homme qu’on aimait trop by André Techiné, Les ogres by Léa Fehner, La fille inconnue by the Dardenne brothers, 120 battements par minutes by Robin Campillo, En liberté by Pierre Salvadori and Portrait de la jeune fille en feu by Céline Sciamma. Many of the films in which she has featured have been shown at the Cannes Festival. In 2014, she won the César for Best Second Female Role for her role in Suzanne by Katell Quillévéré, then in 2015 that of best actress for her part in the film Les combatants by Thomas Cailley. In addition to cinema, she made her theatre debut in 2011 in a staging of La mouette by Arthur Nauzyciel and has since alternated between theatre and cinema projects.

She began her collaboration with Gisèle Vienne with L’Étang, premiered in 2020 and continues the collaboration with Gisèle’s new piece Extra Life, which premiered in summer 2023.

Julie Shanahan was born in Adelaide, Australia in 1962. In 1981, she graduated from the Centre for the performance Arts. From 1981 to 1984, she performed with the One extra Dance Company in Sydney. In 1984, she joined Rheinhild Hoffmann’s Bremen Dance Theatre then moved with the company from 1986 – 1988 to the Schauspielhaus Bochum. In 1988, she joined Tanztheatre Wuppertal Pina Bausch as a dancer where she is currently a dancer and the rehearsal director. She also restages of Pina Bausch’s repertoire for the Pina Bausch Foundation. She has recently collaborated with Tom Etchell, Alan Lucien Øyen and Rainer Behr. In 2021, she worked as an actor for Robert Wilson in his piece I was sitting on my patio this guy appeared I thought I was hallucinating. In 2022, she performed L’Étang directed by Gisèle Vienne.

Presented with Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels Festival

Dorothée Munyaneza Mailles OCT 26-27

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