Dead trees give no shelter l 2022

Show | 2022

A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,

And the dry stone no sound of water.
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

‘Dead trees give no shelter’ is perhaps best imagined in visual terms : surface, pigments, coarseness and roughness, oxidisation and fusion.

The public comes into a disintegrating set where choreographic, musical, architectural and lighting elements combine. They are invited to observe an apparently static tableau and sense the imperceptible vibration ; to ‘Live in the ruin’ as Anna Tsing and her anthropology of damaged worlds puts it.

In this musical and choreographed production, decay appears symbolically in the form of three vertical structures, each six metres high, which evoke Palmyra or the Pompeian baths, Anselm Kiefer’s Sternenfall and the ravages of our more recent history.

Performers and musicians emerge from these structures, becoming a kind of diorama ; their bodies constrained and held back by a space whose boundaries gradually disintegrate leaving only the oxidised remains.

Space carries us, then space overwhelms us. Humanity exists in this period of time’ (Aurélien Bory)

I invited Helge Sten, icon of the Norwegian electro-ambient scene, and the choreographer Soa Ratsifandrihana to experience this space. The electric vibration created by the density of Sten’s music creates an almost physical experience which, combined with the tension of Ratsifandrihana’s choreography, takes the audience on a 75-minute journey through this world. The performance is suitable for a traditional forward-facing audience, or in the round with the possibility of a promenading audience. I will play the double bass alongside Sten. We create music responding to the acoustics of the space so each evening is unique.

The three dancers, with their transforming, changeable bodies, will produce scenes of pulsating, energetic and syncopated dance which will create a counterpoint to the sonic immersion of Sten’s ‘AudioVirus’ (a mixture of homemade electronics, old tape echo machines, ring modulators, filters, theremins, Buchla synthesiser and samples.) The dance will gradually intensify to an out of body state of rapture and ecstasy.



Artistic direction • Florentin Ginot

Music • Helge Sten

Choreography • Soa Ratsifandrihana

Dramaturgy advices • Michael Bölter

Scenic design • Olivier Defrocourt

Light design • Marie-Hélène Pinon

Sound direction • Martin Antiphon

Stage manager • Sylvaine Nicolas