At the Théâtre de la Ville, Alice crosses the virtual mirror

As if we were, or almost. On one side of the screen, an audience that sits comfortably and waits for the curtain to rise. On the other, artists who adjust their costumes, remember their text and sharpen their concentration, as before any entry on stage. Between them, the meeting will only take place through the impenetrable mystery of digital connections, but what does it matter, isn’t the main thing to vibrate together in a common time that abolishes distance?

→ THE FACTS. Covid-19: the world of culture still tossed about in the unknown

This is the meaning of these live shows regularly offered by the Théâtre de la Ville during this period when cultural venues are closed to the public. These days, two shows are playing. To see as a family: Alice crosses the mirror, a zany sequel to the adventures of Lewis Carroll’s heroine, written by Fabrice Melquiot and directed by Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota in 2020. This theatrical tale follows the show by the same tandem, Alice and other wonders, created in 2018, also included in this series.

Games with reality

Carried by a language that happily juggles between English and French, this new show plunges Alice into a lush imagination where flowers philosophize and fate is played out like a game of chess. The staging handles with effective malice technological palettes – sound, video – which multiply the dimensions of reality. The screen, through which the spectacle is shown, adds an additional potion to this superposition of levels of reality.

The live capture, through several cameras, makes it possible to understand the piece in its overall aesthetic – the video effects in particular and above all, the enchantment of the costumes – but also, through close-ups, to know a form of intimacy with the acting. If we sometimes lose the thread of Alice’s wanderings – sparkling Isis Ravel – to the borders of paradoxes, we have fun with his unexpected encounters, with a certain Zazie, an explorer of the metro, or even Dorothy, escaped from another tale, the Wizard of Oz.

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This week, the Théâtre de la Ville invites the public to discover another universe, a world in itself: that of the Israeli choreographer Hofesh Schechter. With Political Mother unplugged, he deploys a dance of spectacular ardor, an interrupted wave that draws the strength of his movement as close as possible to an earthly energy. Will this radical and singular power manage to penetrate the crystals of the screens? An experience to try.

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