Isadora Duncan “A Living Sculpture”

I_duncan Musée Bourdelle presents an ambitious exposition devoted to Isadora Duncan, one of the sources of inspiration for Antoine Bourdelle. The exposition is divided into five parts recreating the intellectual and artistic context of an epoch and celebrating this pioneer dancer. It traces the tumultuous life and career of Isadora Duncan through photographs, works of art and documents. The first part introduces us to the salon of Madame de Saint-Marceaux where Duncan took her first steps as a dancer. In the second, works by her contemporaries Antoine Bourdelle, Auguste Rodin, José Clarà, Rik Wouters, Jules Grandjouan, André Dunoyer de Segonzac and Abraham Walkowitz illustrate Isadora’s revolutionary art. The third part explores the fascination with Greece that Duncan shared with her brother Raymond, while the fourth is devoted to photographs of Duncan. Finally, the exhibition concludes with an examination of the relationship between Isadora Duncan and Antoine Bourdelle and the works of art that it inspired.

Musée Bourdelle
18, rue Antoine Bourdelle
75015 Paris
Métro : Montparnasse - Bienvenüe / Falguière
Phone: 01 49 54 73 73

Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm until March 14, 2010. 

Cerveau Collectif at Le Laboratoire

6a00d8341c90c353ef0120a5f59a5d970b-300wiText Araceli Salgado Pintor - Photo: Smoking the "Whaf"

An exhibition of innovations and a synthesis of  Le Laboratoire’s creations is what is presented at “Cerveau Collectif”.  In a showroom layout composed by different tables with multiple objects where the spectator is invited to guess which is the invention issued helped by the objects around in each table. With Mustrek, the interactive application for iphone, the visitor can follow the inventors’ steps by reading, hearing or watching the anecdotes attached to each object, also he can try to “puzzle” all  objects at the video table.

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Théâtre de l'Odéon

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Photo: Richard Schroeder

Until the end of this year, Théâtre de l'Odéon is showing La Petite Catherine de Heilbron by Heinrich von Kleist, a 19th-century German playwright. Just like the Petite Catherine herself, the play seems to be driven by supernatural hypnotic and animal forces. The stage direction by Andre Engel is excellent - after two hours in a pitch-black room filled with smoke with a set composed of colossal rocks, one is induced to follow the dream-like logic of the play. Often considered as a precursor to Ibsen, Kleist changed modern drama by exposing his characters in the moments of an emotional crisis, seen as caused by irrational and mysterious forces. 

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Two Ibsen plays at Théâtre National de la Colline

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Text: Matthew Spellberg Photo: Elisabeth Carecchio

What secrets lurk behind the prim facades of Parisian apartment buildings?  An outsider is hard-pressed to know. Their massive wooden doors are shut tight like pursed lips, their shutters drawn closed in a gesture of perpetual discretion.  But their silence speaks volumes, and their outward respectability seems to trumpet hidden scandal. Walking along the streets at night, a passerby can’t help but look up at the faintly illuminated windows of one of these cut-stone palaces and wonder who’s having an affair with which servant, and in which closet the skeletons are hidden.

For those who want to have a look inside this discrete world without risking a charge of breaking and entering, a cycle of two plays by Henrik Ibsen at Théâtre de la Colline offers a good point of departure.  Director Stéphane Braunschweig has taken two masterworks of Scandinavian angst – "Rosmersholm" and "A Doll’s House" – and set them in what resembles a sinister upper-class Parisian apartment. His characters live in a birdcage of gray walls, cream-colored duvet covers and white floor-to-ceiling bookshelves – a world where families might disintegrate or be ruined, but no one would even think about spilling a glass of red wine on the spotless couch.  A simple wooden table here or a single white chair there completes Braunschweig’s caricature of every posh living room this side of the Faubourg Saint-Honoré: his aesthetic is one of sparse elegance and French froideur, occasionally enlivened by a little Christmas tree or a few flower vases (full of all-white flowers, naturally).  The actors, meanwhile, all look like they’d be perfectly at home ordering a 6-euro espresso at a café in the 8th arrondissement. The men wear black suits with chic lapels and loose shirts, the women are in understated capris and short pea coats.  Hairdos are artfully disheveled all around.

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Point Ephémère on Canal St Martin

-2Text and image by Will Best

If you allow yourself to meander down the Canal St Martin, you’ll stumble upon the industrial outer body of artistic haven Point Ephémère.  Once a factory, Point Ephémère now buzzes to a bohemian vibe thanks to the foresight and community based initiative from Usines Ephémère, the non-profit organisation overseeing the goings-on. The space includes 5 music studios, one dance studio, a fabric workshop, a multimedia platform and four visual art studios for artistic residence activities.  Professional and amateur artists, dancers, musicians or even large installation specialists are invited to apply for in-house residencies of up to six months, where hard to acquire materials and specialist tools are at hand to render the careful process of developing an oeuvre

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ARBOR 2 - Conférences electronic music, abstract video, poetry and science

Images Text by David Britain

This week a group of artists will be coming together to celebrate the double anniversary of the illustrious scientists Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Charles Darwin. Arbor 2-Conférences is a remarkable melange of electronic music, abstract video, poetry and interviews with scientists. All of this is rolled into two holistic 40-minute spectacles, the first being dedicated to Lamarck and the second to Darwin.


VINGT paris spoke with two of the contributors to the project Gino Favotti, responsible for the music and video, and Patrice Cazelles, a poet. They explained that Arbor as an idea arose eight years ago partly as a reaction to the homogenisation of work in their fields and partly as a result of conversations Favotti had had with scientists. Conceived with the intention of being innovative and experimental, the project aims to present a dialogue between art and science in the form of a socially relevant multi-disciplinary work.

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Africolor music festival until 20th December

Aff2009-web Will Best writing for VINGT paris

Glancing over the welcome page of the Africolor website the festival’s ethic, one of resisting the “current musical trend of cloned entertainment”, becomes more tangible and urgent.  Isn’t it disconcerting, then, that on reflection there always seems to be a set ‘mode’; a ‘scene’; a faceless, consumer driven, image into which innovation must find a snug fit if it doesn’t want to be cast aside? The organizers of Africolor certainly think so and for over 20 years they’ve been taking these identikits, ripping them apart, then fusing them all together again without even looking at the manual.

More on: Africolor music festival until 20th December

We Want Miles Cité de la Musique

David Britain writing for VINGT Paris

Hunched over his trumpet, eyes shut reclusively or hidden behind sunglasses, dead to everything other than the music. It is certainly an iconic image that has come to represent one of the greatest jazz musicians in history. Miles Davis himself hated being referred to as a ‘living legend’ as he believed it contradicted his tireless drive toward the new. However there is little doubt that he was one of the greatest jazz musicians in history.

If you have been on the Parisian metro in the last few days you can’t have missed the adverts for ‘We Want Miles’, a long overdue celebration and retrospective. The Cité de la Musique is devoting two large halls and a special website to the exhaustive exhibition, which traces his fascinating life and work from beginning to end.

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Festival d'Automne

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The 38th edition of Paris' Contemporary Arts' festival kicks off with two exhibitions from Ugo Rondione: How does it feel? and Sunrise East. There is a huge amount going on each day, check their aujourd'hui page for last minute picks.

Split into six categories: Arts Plastiques, Théâtre, Dance, Musique, Cinéma and Colloques, Rondione's two exhibitions are the focus of the festival's visual arts for the first month.

In Sunrise East, a series of figurines each represent a month of the yearHow does it feel? attempts to create various atmospheric spaces, combining "architecture, voices and neon lighting to create a kind of sanctuary, both intimate and monumental".

On the theatre front, the visuals look stunning for William Kentridge and the Handspring Puppet Company's collaborative production of Woyzeck on the Highveld adapted from Georg Büchner's unfinished play. Catch it before it ends, this Sunday 27th September.

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Betrayal at the Essaïon Théâtre


Betrayal_ad_50x85final Behind the giant form of the Centre Pompidou, at the end of a narrow side-street are the doors to the Essaïon Théâtre. The 100 seater theatre is located in the cave of the building, hosting Tiresies Productions' rendering of Harold Pinter's Betrayal.

VINGT is offering two pairs of free tickets courtesy of Tiresies' Productions.  Email us at news (at) vingtparis.com if you'd like to attend.

Betrayal is probably Pinter's most accessible work, but it offers plenty of opportunity for this London based production company to re-interpret the structure and form of the play. 

The plot's chronology runs backwards and as the affair between the three characters is revealed, Pinter captures, with delicacy and precision, the shifting perception of betrayal, and the nature of love and friendship turned cold. 

More on: Betrayal at the Essaïon Théâtre

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