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The Magic of Spectacular Theater (New Settings 2012) 

The importance of ‘bit and pieces’

Performance artist and musician Gérald Kurdian – noted for his one-man shows – explores the magic of the stage, with a ground-breaking piece incorporating elements of scenography, for the first time in his work. A highly original approach, for New Settings 2012.  

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - The Magic of Spectacular Theater (New Settings 2012) 
© Gérald Kurdian

Gérald Kurdian’s new project draws on his training in the visual and performance arts. A child of the body art and ‘happenings’ movements, contemporary dance and pop performer, self-taught musician… Kurdian is a witty, multi-talented artist working across a range of disciplines. His new work, The Magic of Spectacular Theater, evokes a world of dreams and concrete materiality, sound and words, solitude and the ‘company’ of the audience.

Launched by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès to foster new connections between the performing and visual arts, the New Settings programme offers the ideal platform for Kurdian’s fascination with the stage, moving from his initial ‘flirtation’ to an in-depth exploration of its norms, and its essential magic: the stage as the theatre of a ‘new shamanism,’ focused on the rock star as magus. A magical arena capable of transforming its audience into a congregation seeking after its essential mysteries.  

The Magic of Spectacular Theatre tracks the magical powers of the stage, through remote ceremonial, a ‘lo-fi’ celebration of the extraordinary, an exploration of ritual, pseudo-stand-up, and real, live musical performance. This is theatre on a human scale, presenting a new take on the conventions of illusionism, technical ‘tricks’ and the fetishistic, shamanistic lure of small, everyday items – innocent keys to the world of the collective imagination. Because magic is only truly magical when it’s rooted in reality.

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Concept and performance Gérald Kurdian
Sound Adrien Gentizon
Assistant Élise Simonet
Production Kerstin Schroth


Co-produced by WEB 4.3 /Vooruit Kunstencentrum (Gand) ;  Le Vivat (Armentières) ; WP Zimmer (Anvers) ; Kunstencentrum BUDA (Kortrijk) ; Centre Pompidou (Metz).
With the support of the Fondation d'entreprise Hermès as part of New Settings, and Institut français in the frame of its Théâtre Export Program.
In partnership with the Théâtre de la Cité internationale.