Afternoon Of Foehnshare
Compagnie Non Nova
What is the life expectancy of a plastic bag? From crude oil polyethylene to the moment it is thrown away? For how long is it actually in use? Not long at all, compared to the length of time it will then stray across the planet, blown and buffeted by the wind. This is where its real life begins; its autonomous life. Little anonymous plastic bag amongst the world’s countless little plastic bags, on its way to a rot-proof eternity. Let’s hope there’s a strong wind to help it overcome any obstacles, to carry it across oceans and mountains, to encounter new possibilities and to try out different lives.
What if we humans, so firmly anchored to the ground, what if we too could escape the pull of gravity and fly with the wind, free at last, carried along by the arbitrary waltz of the air? What if we were unconsciously feeding our thirst for the discovery of unknown territories, for fighting uncertain battles to make each one of our members part of us, autonomous and uncontrollable.
The object, manipulated by the flow of air, swirls and twirls, dancing to Claude Debussy’s most famous work, the timeless “Afternoon of a Faun”, itself inspired by Mallarmé’s poem of the same name. Upright or upside down, free up those hands, be the object of all motion and movement. Just a sound and the air’s caress.
Company Non Nova was founded in 1998 by Phia Ménard with the desire to approach juggling from a different angle, through the scenic and dramaturgical structure of each piece. “Non nova, sed nove” (“Not new things, but in a new way.”) is the company’s founding precept. The many multidisciplinary projects of the company have brought together artists, technicians, thinkers from various horizons with diverse experiences. It is not a collective but a professional team, with Phia Ménard in charge of the artistic direction.
As part of her artistic project “I.C.E.”, Phia Ménard began experimenting with air and wind. She had the idea of using ventilators to blow air on stuffed animals, fanning their fur, as if breathing life back into them. The next step was the addition of an everyday object; an object void of humanity and also a major source of pollution when not recycled properly: a plastic bag. Transforming a simple plastic bag into a charming, graceful little character affirms the intervention of humans. A human being creates the puppet and then also takes its life away.
The Afternoon of Foehn made me gasp and brought tears to my eyes from the very beginning. The captivating visual and plastic bag dancers had me throughout the performance, because the show is created with ingeniously simple means, making the soul shiver from joy as well as sorrow. – Getter Meresmaa, actress of Theatre NUKU