Attempts in the distance


It is now time to experiment with ideas and to follow the performers’ intuitions. They will have to perform and occupy the space: a vast pond on the edge of a wood, in the heights of the park of Pôle Cirque de Nexon. 


Ready to throw themselves in the fray, Jean Lambert-wild and Martin Palisse, both dressed in sky blue striped pyjamas, start by measuring the site’s dimensions. Everything takes more time here, in this outdoors space. To test and evaluate the visual dimension of each angle, each difference in height, they have to run from one point to the other. They project their voice across the pond to make sure they are heard and they are able to speak. The location is both impressive and demanding. The challenge will be to quickly tame it so we can move on and watch the fable of our dung beetle unfold.

Dressed in a white tail-coat, like a travelling show-woman, Laure Wolf is the narrator. Her voice, calm and serene, invites us to be discreetly complicit. The location becomes a biotope where the audience is, like her, on the lookout. We eagerly wait to see the specimens of this improbable, undefined, wild, instinctive and colourful species come out of their dens, to see the creature the show is about: the artist-dung beetle. 

The trunk of an oak-tree perpendicular to the pond, in the distance, is a first attempt at this game of appearance – disappearance, and we enthusiastically validate it. The pyjama-clad dung-beetle, wearing a white conical hat (Jean Lambert-wild) appears and walks around the tree. His hands behind his back, he walks nonchalantly, his gaze wandering to the top of the trees around him. This really pictorial image is surprisingly effective. A clear line is visually established, tone on tone, with the white-blue dung beetle in this verdant scenery. The character takes on a fantastical dimension and Jean Lambert-wild’s passion for Hieronymus Bosch seems crystallised in this introductory image that will open the show. 

The arrival of the second dung-beetle, in striped pyjamas, a black cone on his head (Martin Palisse), reinforces these first impressions. The scene becomes a tableau where colours create dramatic intensity and give these two characters a surreal dimension. He walks down the path that leads to the pond, drawing curves and juggling with three red balls. He joins the other artist-dung beetle who is grappling with a red steel ball, so big that he struggles to take it in his arms.


From a dip in the path, Sisyphus’s labour can start: the heavy red steel ball is hauled to the top of the embankment with great effort. It immediately rolls back down, as soon as the clown-dung beetle - because of his clumsiness, inattentiveness, tiredness or the pleasure he takes in the eternal return - lets it fall back down the slope. The juggler-dung beetle, the one with the black cone, is amused by the sight of so much effort when his own three red balls are mischievously dancing above his head. 


Labour and dexterity, visual and aural poetry are the polarities of a same action that we have to find. It consists in taming a universe in the making where play, juggling and dramaturgy combine in a new poetic geometry. 


These attempts in the distance, this first sketch, seems to stimulate the pond’s dragonflies who copulate in flight.




Calenture 277 of the Hypogeum, for one actor devoured by his clown and one juggler eaten alive by his balls.