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Paris, France

Take the Floor (New Settings #5)

A studio, an artist, his daughter, and her cat take to the stage.

He is a visual artist, she is an actor. Together, father and daughter stage a performance designed to blur the boundaries between artistic disciplines, bringing the studio to the stage. Michel and Léone François ‘Take the Floor’ to question the creative process against a backdrop of shared memories.

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Take the Floor (New Settings #5)
© Isabelle Arthuis

On stage, a large block of ice. Its slow, ineluctable melt spans the duration of a unique performance. Plaster, eggs, cardboard boxes and polystyrene blocks fill the stage, too: brought here the studio of Belgian visual artist Michel François. Invited to devise a project for a theatrical performance, François turned to his actor daughter Léone for this experimental piece testing the limits of theatre through the prism of the visual arts, and vice versa. 

Central to this two-person performance is the concept of sculpture as the raw material for an on-stage event: the end result is not a physical artwork, but a piece of theatre. By the same token, the theatre space becomes the instrument for a sequence of sculptural gestures and actions. Some of François’s most iconic works are reactivated in the form of texts and images – works marking high points in the artist’s career and his daughter’s childhood. Father and daughter come together in the privacy of the stage-studio, in a work dramatized by Guillaume Désanges, sharing memories of art and family with the audience.

The piece’s title phrase is an invitation to step on stage and speak, in turn. As such, the show explores the communication and transmission of ideas: from a gas bubble to a large block of chocolate, roles are sometimes reversed in a kind of visual symphony. Accompanied by their slowly-evolving alter egos – not forgetting the artist’s cat – the duo offers a unique reflection on the emergence of form, in a sensitive, touching filial tribute. 

<< Discover "Take the Floor" on video

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Friday 6 and Saturday 7 November 2015 at 7.30 p.m.

Sunday 8 November at 5 p.m.

(Performance time 1 hour)


Created by and featuring Léone and Michel François

Cast: Sylvain Courbois, Colline Libon

Dramatisation: Guillaume Désanges

Technical and lighting director: Philippe Baste

Sound: Christophe Rault

Artistic collaboration: Ann Veronica Janssens

Props: Vera Andeweg

Production Kunstenfestivaldesarts, with the support of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès as part of its New Settings programme.

With the support of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, performance supported by Xavier Hufkens (Brussels)