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Residence, workshop and artistic action around the arts of Voodoo, in Creuse,
orchestrated by the Lavauzelle Theater Practices Site (Janaillat)
and the Constance Social Club (Faux-la-Montagne)
From June 24 to July 5, 2021
Holiday: vacancy, but also “holy day”, for the director Jerzy Grotowski, means a suspended, exceptional time that escapes from productivity. By abandoning the social game, a group of participants makes themselves available to new extra-daily relationships, as well as to a work of self-revelation – what Grotowski calls “act” – including the relationship to the other and to nature.
Holy is also whole, holistic, a way of perceiving that something occurs when the whole being is engaged, in relation to his environment, which invites redoubled attention to the seemingly most mundane processes.
Vaudou_Holidays is, thus, the organization of a vacation time by meeting and sharing life with a community of Haitian voodoo practitioners. This community, formed in 2015 by the director Fabrice Nicot and his team, around the artistic and ritual form named Crossing the Barrier, is made of six practitioners: priestesses (mambos), singers and percussionists, originating from Jacmel and Cap-Haitien communities.
There is an urgent need for a place where we do not hide ourselves and simply are as we are… Does it mean that we are in a vicious circle, that life is different here, and different there ? No, I think that this will come out outside the place I have been talking about, will come out through a small opening, gap, window, door, penetrate outside.
Jerzy Grotowski, the day that is holy
June 24-30th : A six-day integration of the group of voodoo practitioners into the environment of the village of Faux-La-Montagne under the holistic sign of vacancy. Artistic and / or ritual practices, will be woven into elementary actions of human and collective life, in a way so that they communicate together. In voodoo culture, cooking, sleeping, dreaming, caring, sharing, celebrating, relating to places… form a continuum.
This canvas will be irrigated by the proposals and participation of inhabitants, doctors and healers, cooks, farmers and herbalists, funeral workers, artists, fireworks, citizens…
The celebration emerges from the fabric of everyday life, from what we have shared together, from what we have prepared, eaten, assembled, woven into the material and among ourselves. In return, the prosaic is ceaselessly irrigated by the incursion of the sacred into the space of practice.
This six-day common life is open to everyone, without prior registration, and will take place in Faux-la-Montagne and its surroundings, around the Constance Social Club where updated information will always be available.
The following days (July 1 to 4), an artistic practice workshop will be organized with the Haitian group, inviting to question through personal and collective experience the ritual forms of voodoo.
To build this workshop programme, the Haitian group and repertoire will be accompanied by 2 other proposals : the choreographer of Beninese origin Vincent Harisdo, together with the team of the “Accordée” project (dir. Nadège Ametogbe), will offer an opening on the Vodù sources of the movement in the traditions of Africa of the west.
The workshop will also make room for the perception of the performing arts of Voodoo by European theater, with the presence of a director close to the work of Jerzy Grotowski’s Workcenter (under confirmation).
The evenings, finally, will allow participants, but also guest artists, to cross their own practice with that of Haitian artists. It will take place at the Lavauzelle Theater Practices Site, in the town of Janaillat.
On July 1st will take place an improvisation session, together with the haïtian group and the percussionist Lê Quan Ninh
On July 2nd, an open stage will take place.
On July 3rd will be presented the danced conference of Vincent Harisdo on Benineese Voodoo
On July 4th will be presented the artistic action/ritual “Crossing the border” with the Haïtian group.
A scenic / ritual action will also be presented there in the evening, July 4.
- Price of the worksession : 180 / 120 e (reduced fee)
- accommodation : 15 e/night
- food : 12 e/day
- events : participation up to the audience
applications for the worksession to be sent to spt (at) lavauzelle.org
The traditional practice of performing arts and ritual Voodoo, or Vodou, or Võdù, has its origins in West Africa. Transposed on its arrival in the Caribbean, due to the slave trade, it becomes in Haiti a resource for the people, making it possible to preserve a space outside of society where the relationship to the world of ancestors can be lived, a space in which to regenerate their community life. It is a space where individuals fulfill themselves. Paradoxically, put “outside of themselves” by the famous possession of the spirits, the celebrants at the same time manifest their own, deep singularity, in very intense connection with the community.
Haitian voodoo plays an economic, social, political and subversive role. Syncretism of African, Amerindian and European cultures, which has become a fully-fledged tradition, Haitian voodoo and its warlike references served as an ideological base for the revolt of the slaves deported to the Island of Hispaniola – today the Dominican Republic and Haiti . Vodou works for social transformation because it is subversive.
Fabrice Nicot and Stéphane Poliakov, Paris 8 University
Invitation to join : Faux-la-Montagne
The stay at Faux-la-Montagne will be inaugurated with a welcome party, around the lake, and oriented towards a concluding time of joint celebration, a feast / ritual, in the vicinity of the village. To feed the thread of these days and lead to these highlights, we have chosen the channel of a few verbs: eat, care, celebrate, die, sleep.
The inhabitants of the Millevaches plateau and its surroundings prepared proposals to share, initiatives, experiences, questions, skills, or even recipes, in relation to these verbs. This can take the form of a workshop, a collective achievement, a guided discussion time, a walk, a musical moment …
This process will be activated by the inhabitants of the Plateau together with the haïtians. It will be a pretext to suspend the progress of the daily imperatives, allowing to reinvent the relationship, the sharing, and the relationship to time.
That is why, people are welcome on the site of Faux-la-Montagne, and invited to reserve an accommodation, if necessary, at the camping of the village.
A framework articulating the various proposals will be announced everyday at the Constance Social Club of Faux-la-Montagne.
This program is supported from the DRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the Creuse Sud-Ouest community of municipalities, Pairs 8 university, the ArTeC university Labex, the Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw, Poland, with the support of the french embassy in Haïti, and the Constance Social Club association (Faux-la-Montagne).
The art of Võdù dance is a language, and this language is based on the concept of transformation and metamorphosis, which are the keys to understanding Võdù. Võdù dance can cross the barrier of consciousness to allow us to reach our pre-cognitive being, deeply buried in ourselves. He sees the body as a “time vessel” that transports the souls of our ancestors from the past to the future, and he encourages us to invite them to participate in our present dance. The Võdù dance is characterized by the erasure of character, the differentiation between the natural and the neutral. The passage through the neutral is the basis of the artist’s transformation process, which will then allow him to bring out all kinds of creatures hidden inside.
Vincent Harisdo, choreographer
Immersive Summer Workshop 2020 (August 2-14)
In spite of the actual health crisis, and as announced in our previous post, we took the decision to maintain the August part of our 10th Summer Workshop, so that we can all step by step resume our social and harmonic lives. We will take some time together to clarify the way the workshop and the living together are working, and we well take the necessary precautions to ensure that everyone feels safe and relaxed.
LAVAUZELLE IMMERSIVE SUMMER WORKSHOP – 10th edition!
August 2-14 2020
Lavauzelle, 23250 Janaillat, France
The workshops, labs and residencies, that have been held in Lavauzelle for the past 10 years are aimed at people interested in performative practices: theatre, singing, dance, circus, martial arts, ritual arts… They aim to, on the one hand, feed and broaden the individual stage experience, as well as, on the other hand, offer a space and time dedicated to working on oneself and to a collective experience.
The 2020 program combines actor training (work on physical, vocal and creative abilities) with the use of orally transmitted practices, whether they come from traditional world (kalaripayatt, traditional polyphony, singing and dancing from Occitania) or from more contemporary techniques transmitted from person to person (the theatrical and vocal approach of Zygmunt Molik/Jorge Parente, Moshe Feldenkrais’ somatic approach).
In this landscape, we are seeking to balance transmission and creation, “exotic” fields and closer resources, memory and creation.
The workshop lasts 13 days and includes 6 distinct sessions.
August 2-7 : Theatrical/vocal workshop “Body and voice” with Jorge Parente and Zoé Ogeret (in accordance with Zygmunt Molik’s pratice – actor of J. Grotowski’s Teatr Laboratorium)
The technique of Zygmunt Molik (who designated Jorge Parente as the continuator of his practice) is based on a “Body Alphabet”, in which each letter is structured to serve the voice, on precise physical actions, mobilizing the whole being and inviting everyone to explore and discover his/her own voice. Each voice, then, releases a richer and more subtle creative energy. Using these principles, participants will then work on personal materials, songs or texts, improvisations and collective structures. Jorge Parente and Zoé Ogeret have followed Zygmunt Molik’s teaching for over 20 years.
August 7 (6 pm): public sharing of the work done during the workshop and festive evening
August 8-11: Indian martial art Kalaripayatt with Sankar Lal S. Nair and Justyna Rodzinska-Nair (Studio Kalari, Wroclaw, PL) + traditional occitan singing with Clément Gauthier (La Nòvia, Polifonic System, Tornamaï / Cévennes) – Beware : the singing session will end on the 10th, with a singing barter’s evening.
Kalaripayatt is an ancient martial art from South India that trains warriors, doctors and artists. It is a dynamic, very complete system for body, energy and mind. Sankar Lal S. Nair, born in this technique, has been teaching Kalari for more than 15 years in India, Poland and all over Europe. He is also an Ayurvedic massager and healer. Justyna Rodzinska-Nair has been initiated into Kalaripayatt for 15 years, she has studied and written about this martial art, which she also teaches. In 2020, she creates an online training with the Studio Kalari which contributes to spread this teaching in the world.
Clément Gauthier is a self-taught singer and musician living in the Cévennes region. His work is built from the traditional music of the balèti, as well as the universe of experimental music, influenced for example by American minimalists.
August 10 (6 pm): singing barter evening
August 11: Kalaripayatt workshop and meeting about martial art and ayurvedic practices.
August 12-14: Traditional polyphonic singing workshop with the singers and actors Barbara Majnarić (Ojkanje / Balkan songs from Croatia and surroundings), and Jean-François Favreau (Mediterranean, Slavic and Caucasian repertoires) + physical preparation/Feldenkrais practice with Nikos Dalton-Appelquist and Betzabel Falfan
Ojkanje is a two-voice, untempered polyphony sung in the Dalmatian hinterland, which has recently been recognized by UNESCO. Barbara Majnarić is researching this tradition and is also exploring other Balkan practices, including with Svetlana Spajić.
The work of Jean-François Favreau is based on numerous encounters in villages in the Mediterranean and Slavic world, on sacred and secular repertoires. It relies on the physicality of sound to find one’s way and establishes a new relationship with one another. Jean has travelled to meet singing groups and brotherhoods, participated in and directed musical theatre projects for 15 years, notably at the Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw, Poland, where he trained and worked until 2012.
The somatic technique developed by Moshe Feldenkrais aims at self-education, based on a reconsideration of everyday movements in order to find other paths. Soft, it is particularly suitable for the preparation for singing. Nikos Dalton-Appelquist and Betzabel Falfan are young practitioners trained at the school of Aurillac (Feldenkrais Cantal).
The entire workshop is an immersive experience (including the everyday life sharing dimension) which will be punctuated by moments of meeting, relaxation, partying, or walking…
We propose moments dedicated to discussions with the various workshop leaders about their approaches, as well as about the project of the Site de pratiques théâtrales Lavauzelle.
All the sessions form a balanced and coherent whole. However, it is possible to participate on a case-by-case basis (please contact us).
The daily working time is 8 hours on average. The rest of the day will be dedicated to rest, to common tasks (cooking, taking care of the place on a rota basis…), and to moments of meeting and talking.
Full immersive workshop (13 days): 650 euros/RF 585 euros
Body and voice workshop only: 360 euros/RF 300 euros
Kalaripayatt + Occitan singing session only: 220 euros/RF 180 euros
Polyphonies+ Feldenkrais session only: 150 euros/RF 120 euros
*The reduced fee (RF) applies to jobseekers and students. If any doubt, please contact us.
ACCOMMODATION and CATERING**
Accommodation in gites nearby: 13 euros/night
Meals: 12 euros/day (fresh products of local origin, mostly vegetarian)
**For any question regarding accommodation, special diet, etc., please contact us in advance.
JOURNEY TO LAVAUZELLE
It is advisable to arrive in the afternoon/evening the day before the workshop starts, and to leave the day after the workshop ends (i.e. 14 nights on site).
We recommend carpooling and we will put in touch people who may be able and willing to carpool.
We can organize shuttles (free of charge) to pick up and drop off participants at the Guéret or La Souterraine train stations, as long as arrivals are coordinated.
By car : please have a look at http://lavauzelle.org/en/venir-a-lavauzelle/
Please let us know of your interest by email or telephone, indicating clearly what is your background and the reason why you are interested in taking part. You may add anything that you believe we should know about you.
In agreement with the leaders of the workshop, we will make a selection during the month of June. At the end of the month, if your participation is confirmed, you will be asked to pay a deposit (half of the fee + half of the accommodation costs), in order to book your place.
Should a force majeure event happen (related to the current health crisis) that would force us to cancel the workshop, we would reimburse the prepaid deposit. In case of an individual cancellation, the prepaid deposit would remain due.
This programme, run by the association SPT Lavauzelle, benefits from the support of the Communauté de communes Creuse Sud-Ouest and the Centre régional des musiques traditionnelles du Limousin (regional center of traditional music in Limousin area).
The association is supported by the Direction régionale des affaires culturelles de Nouvelle-Aquitaine (regional section of the French ministry of culture) and the local council of Janaillat.
SPT Lavauzelle, 1 La Vauzelle 23250 Janaillat / firstname.lastname@example.org / +33 555 54 91 50