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In Performance: Pascal Rambert & Éric Méchoulan

Pascal Rambert & Éric Méchoulan
Une (micro) histoire économiquedu monde, dansée

A (micro) economic history of the world, in dance… Economics govern every aspect of our existence – a constant threat from above. Servitude of the worst kind: not knowing, not understanding, sacrificed naked and defenceless to the brute powers of production and merchandise, pitching and tossing from one crisis to the next like a drunken boat.


Based on the rich fabric of life experiences and relationships explored and forged in writing workshops at the Théâtre de Gennevilliers, drawing on texts by turns naïve, gentle, strident, protesting… Texts that talk about purchasing power, job losses, the feeling of panic on the brink of the abyss of unemployment. Pascal Rambert gives form to this community of voices and their shared passion for a quest for greater understanding. The result – in collaboration with philosopher Eric Méchoulan – is Une (micro) histoire économique du monde, dansée. A raw historical narrative punctuated by sketches performed by a cast of four, recounting the adventure of ordinary lives in the grip of the global market. Mixing “warts and all” reality with carefully-elaborated fictions by professional and non-professional writers, the show draws on sound, lighting, bodies, architecture, economics, and song. 30 participants from the writing workshops at the Théâtre de Gennevilliers are joined by fifteen performers from the choir of the Ecole Nationale de Musique/Conservatoire Edgar-Varèse in Gennevilliers. A vibrant staging of the fight to overcome ignorance and the causes of poverty, and the desire for beauty and advancement.

The show promotes understanding of the economy through a series of historical sketches, starting with Mr Lloyd’s Coffee House in the City of London, and moving on to Adam Smith and Karl Marx, Henry Ford’s model automobile factory, and modern Japanese manufacturing methods at the Toyota factory. For each performance, the scenes and historical periods are presented with a live, extemporised commentary by Eric Méchoulan, director of the course “Aesthetics and the Political Economy” at the Collège International de Philosophie.

Une (micro) histoire économique du monde, dansée presents a mix – in real time, inspired by film montage techniques – of fictional, individual stories and episodes from global economic history. The show aims to abolish the gulf separating the stage and auditorium, inviting the world outside to don a theatrical mask and declare: “There is more to me than economics; there is more than mere monetary value.”

Texte, concep and production Pascal Rambert in association with Éric Méchoulan , philosopher (course director: “Aesthetics and the Political Economy” at Collège International de Philosophie) / With Clémentine Baert, Kate Moran, Cécile Musitelli, Virginie Vaillant and 30 non-professional participants from writing workshops at the Théâtre de Gennevilliers, and 15 singers from the Ecole Nationale de Musique/Conservatoire Edgar-Varèse in Gennevilliers.

Production Théâtre de Gennevilliers with support from the Japan Foundation du Japon (Performing Arts Japan Program), CULTURESFRANCE and ANA.

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Caden Manson is a director, media artist, and teacher. He is co-founder of the media ensemble and network, blog, and publisher, He has co-created, directed, video- and set designed 18 Big Art Group productions. Manson has shown video installations in Austria, Germany, NYC, and Portland; performed PAIN KILLER in Berlin, Singapore and Vietnam; Taught in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Montreal, NYC, and Bern; the ensemble has been co-produced by the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Hebbel Am Ufer, Rome’s La Vie de Festival, PS122, and Wexner Center for The Arts. Caden is a 2001 Foundation For Contemporary Art Fellow, is a 2002 Pew Fellow and a 2011 MacDowell Fellow. Writing has been published in PAJ, Theater Magazine, and Theater der Zeit. Caden is currently an associate professor and graduate directing option coordinator of The John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

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