gdeo 2007-2008
  voilà ! 2005-2008
  contact 1ère étape 2004
  2 men & 1 cello 2003
  madame monsieur 2002
  project team
cathedral of basle
  2 men & 1 cello 2002
  madame monsieur 2000
  2 men & 1 cello 1999-01
  madame monsieur 1998

MADAME MONSIEUR – Cathedral of Basle 2002

Dance Music Architecture

Basle represents the sixth stage in the development of MADAME MONSIEUR, following after Rome and four of the European Cities of Culture in the Year 2000, Cracow, Bergen, Prague and Avignon. Each stop saw the integration of the respective local architecture into the universal framework, the story of "Madame" and "Monsieur", resulting in six different presentations of one and the same theme in six diverse architectures. Each choreography is therefore unique to a particular space, never a repeat performance.

Prestigious buildings are purposely selected as project locations. This is an integral part of the production enabling the dialectic of facade and interior life to be explored. The chosen architecture playfully suggests issues of surface and reality. The project is in its own way a research project aiming to elaborate on those architectural structures hitherto concealed. It is a phenomenological approach to space. The spaces comprising Basle’s Münster can be said to be sensitive. The dance project MADAME MONSIEUR focuses on this sensibility. Indeed it would like to enhance it, thereby allowing the spectators to view the space with new eyes. The performance takes place in each of the following four spaces: the cloister, the Münster chamber, the Council chamber and the high choir in the Münster itself. These four spaces can be conceived of as symbolising the various moods and narratives of MADAME MONSIEUR. Yet taken together they constitute a single ensemble. The cloister, its architecture an invitation to wander, is suited to the first stage which takes for its theme space as meeting place. Stages two and three take place in the Bishop’s court (Bischofshof). The Münster chamber, a simple, closed room illustrates the unspoken word. The theme of the third space, the Council chamber, where the Roman Curia at one time assembled, is dedicated to the body and its spatial aspect. Finally the High Choir, a particularly intimate space, embedded in the great mass of the Münster, deals with the relationship between intimacy and society. In previous performances "Madame" and "Monsieur" were played by two people. In Basle these two characters were played by two men and two women respectively. This is a development of the project in response to the architecture of the Münster and made it possible to present its inherent nuances in a more active fashion. MADAME MONSIEUR was present in the Münster for a period of 14 days. The public had the opportunity to witness rehearsals during this period.

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