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A Canadian expatriate living and exploring first France now Germany, then BACK to FRANCE (!!!) with her family; former fashion designer, turned unexpected UNLIKELY NOMAD, raising two children, writing, photographing, painting, playing piano (who knew!!) and blogging - and now... full time student at ART SCHOOL!! (I MUST be crazy!!)

Friday, March 2, 2007

Ballon Rouge


There is an international theatre festival that runs in Dijon for the two weeks of school vacation in February, called A PAS CONTE, and today we went to a play called “Ballon Rouge”. It was one of the most interesting, most amazing pieces of children’s theatre I have ever seen.

The curtain opens to a completely black stage and a man enters with a lap version of an accordion, doubtless some historical folk instrument. He begins to play softly and the machine shudders and wheezes audibly between stanzas. The music has the wafting romance of gypsy song but there is an added hint of melodrama of old talkies and their silver screen. As he plays a light from above illuminates a small red ball on an otherwise empty stage, suspended in the air above a black table, on which rest two slender oblong strips of foam, one blue and one white. To the scores of the music the oblongs of foam are skillfully animated by invisible puppeteers who soundlessly and with only the red ball, tell a story of two people who meet, fall in love and have a child. The child frolics and plays, and then hides. The parents become despondent, and melancholy. In the end the child is found and all is well in Foamville. The story is so eloquently told and the music so expressive the performers had the audience howling with laughter one moment and holding their collective breath in anticipation the next. Even the really wee wee ones seemed to completely comprehend exactly what was going on.

At the end of the show the only thing left on the stage was the small red ball…which disappears and is replaced by a larger ball, and so on and so on until the red ball left is IMMENSE, well over 15 feet in size, puffy, huge, bouncy and shiny. The ball is launched into the audience and is rolled around collectively by eager children whose hands hold it high and pass it to each other over their heads as if they are jubilantly passing the winning goal scorer at a final match.

The end.

It was FABULOUS!!!



2 comments:

oreneta said...

Oh my gosh...a stomach implant gone disasterously awry!!!!

We are clearly on the same wavelength right now. And your comments on the other blog were too kind. Thanks.

Beth said...

that is freakin awesome.

What we have been up to...