At the crossroad between traditional world and cultural space, a site for practices and artistic encounters

The Site for theatre practices, located in France, Limousin region, on the commune of Janaillat (Creuse), is not a theatre, but a place for creative residencies, work and pedagogics, a resource-place for theatre and the related arts, settled in the Limousinenvironment. It was born before all from the necessity of Jean-François Favreau and Marie-Geneviève L’Her to have a place dedicated to their work and their ensemble’s the Théâtre de l’homme ivre [Drunken man theatre]. This project is based on a theatrical and anthropological European stream, which the founders of the Site met during six years of work abroad (mainly inPoland,Austria, theUkraine and theUSA.). This theatre gives the work of body and voice, as well as the intimate processes of the actor, a central place. It is fed by practices situated in the margins of theatre: singing, corporeal mime, martial arts, dance, and the study on traditional practices (carrying, according to us, a fundamental witnessing on human experience).

This project, supported from the beginning by the Grotowski Institute (Wroclaw,Poland), intends to become both the link of a European network, a mark and a resource pole for practices underrepresented inFrance, and a local centre of gravity, settled in its environment.

Why Janaillat ?

In Lavauzelle, we found a place for our work, remote form the stress of the regular rehearsal rooms and the sterile race for originality. We were looking for a place favourable for the focussing and welcoming for our work on traditional practices: we found as well a site and an history, to which we wish from now on to dedicate a part of our searches. This place is not only a tool, but a partner, we learn to know.

Investigating on the territory of Creuse (on memory, rural sociability, traditional way of work, migrations, childhood, the specific flow of time…), checking our work in front of its inhabitants (adults, children, during pedagogical programmes in schools, high schools, libraries, town halls…), basing our work on exchange and the participation of the spectator (during events and encounters), we aim to anchor our path in reality and question the practice of theatre. Creating a simple and concrete work environment, we intend to exit a logic where theatre is bound either to a society of cultural initiates, either to the commercial spectacle built on the patterns of television. We aim to stand on this territory Eugenio Barba called third theatre.

The site

The site for theatrical practices, before being a pole of immaterial activities (a label, a resource centre, a website), is first a physical place. It is a traditional farm made of three buildings and a land, on the border of the forest – a partner to dialogue with.