The Covid-19 Emergency has been and still is a challenge for theatre companies, institutions, and artists that had radically to re-think their own practice in terms of social distancing and using tools as the on-line and digital. In this perspective, in collaboration with the Théâtre Victor Hugo – Scène des arts du geste lead by Marie-Lise Fayet, the “Compagnie Hippocampe” – one of the main creative and pedagogical center for physical theatre worldwide directed by Luis Torreao – has developed the online project “#GestezChezVous”.

Tutorial pictures – Courtesy from the organizers

“#GestezChezVous,” from an idea of Luis Torreao and Esther Wahl, is a participative project, with artists from all over the world and divided into different phases, two of them already completed. It is at the same time a very simple and complex work, and a necessary project in a time of pandemic and emergency of the arts, that focus on the idea of movement in a moment where freedom of movement is forbidden. From this point of view, it has been thought of as a collaborative way of networking and establishing partnerships, working on common elements but with the freedom of creating also something personal. It is, in other words, a way to create alone and being at the same time parts of an ensemble.

In the first part of the project, the company has invited the participants – performer, dancers, actors, common people who want to experiment – their tutorial to compose a short movement piece – between 1  and 2 minutes – and to film it. What Hippocampe gave was the main structure – and the music, leaving the participant free to play and to investigate the chosen themes: “unproductivity” (boredom and/or contemplation) and that of “joy” (liberation and/or jubilation).

Once the videos were ready, participants were asked to upload the video on Youtube with the specific hashtag. Hippocampe would have published the material on the website and on the website and on a page dedicated to the project on Facebook.

The second phase was dedicated to live online performance. Participants were invited to meet on Saturday 9th May and on Sunday the 10th to meet personally, rehearse all together their own material and perform it in a Zoom collective and participative events at 7.30 pm. Many of the participants took part in the events with professionals and also artists in training. The professionals included: Alain Faure, Carola Urioste, Céline Pagniez, Compagnie FarfeLoup, Eric Martin, Esther Wahl, Esther Mollo, Gabriela Aranguiz, Guillaume Le Pape, Johanna Legrand, Justine et Alexis, Lola Saint-Gilles, Loula Delgado, Manel Ouldamer, Melody Maloux, Nathalie Tambutet, Séverine Altmayer, Freya Treutmann Sonia Alcaraz, Ana Bustamante, Ana Paula Marçaioli, Beci Ryan, Bernadette Chambert, Clémence Penicaut, Cosette Dubois, Diane Talon-Esmieu, Dominique Marzin, Ecaterina-Laura Laba, Elise Touchon, Emilio Aguirre, Erika Webe – Caracola, Esther Wahl, Fabienne Carbou, Guillaume Le Pape Guillaume Le Pape Ingrid Machado, Lucie Van de Moortel Lucie Van de Moortel Mà, Mallory, Marie Desmartins Marie Desmartins Maria Foetz, Marina Leboucq, Mathilde Mt-Oz, Mélody Maloux , Oscar Valsecchi, Pascale Crespy, Pelle Pau, Maria Caruel, Gabriela Segato, Sophie Quesne, Elise Langlois e Clemente, Rachi Afsahi, Sanna Toivannen, Selma Trevino, Simon Pierzchlewicz, Sonia Alcaraz , Suzie Caillon, Tamara Locho Shvili, Valentina Temussi and Yasmin Elica.

Together with them, a group of artists in training from the IAB (Barcelona) supervised by Valentina Temussi: Calla Horan, Corey-Philip Ryla, Emma Sophie Teitge, Felix Borreguero Boleis, Iben Pedersen Vestrheim, Jacqueline Moré, Jessica Cochrane, Kyle Ballantyne, Leah Wiegandt, Madalena Ghira, Maria Dias Louro, Matthias Feldhaus Posada, Olivia Hays, Rita Duque Oliveira / Carl Z. Seibel / Tiago Ribeiro Rodrigues, Roaa Idali Oumhand, Sally Cowdin, Sara Paulamaki.

The third phase is still in progress and it is an invitation from the directors of Hippocampe and Théâtre Victor Hugo to continue working on the project in a participative way, adding material to this first couple of minutes and present the work as a live performance in the theatre, with the same participants of the online streaming.

This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.