The Luxembourgish creation in Avignon
This year again, the Luxembourgish creation shines in Avignon with 4 plays presented.
An official delegation, composed of Sam Tanson, Minister of Culture, representatives of the Ministry of Culture and the Luxembourg Embassy in France as well as Claude Mangen, President of the THEATER FEDERATIOUN attended the dress rehearsal of Terres Arides by Ian De Toffoli with Luc Schiltz and Pitt Simon on Tuesday, July 5th at the Caserne des Pompiers. As a major venue for creation in the Grand Est region, the Caserne hosts a Luxembourg creation every year as part of the cultural cooperation between the Grand Est Region and the Luxembourg Ministry of Culture.
At the end of this performance, Luxembourgish artistic teams present in Avignon and institutional partners gathered for a convivial moment and launched the Avignon season.
For Ian De Toffoli, whose play is part of the official selection of Luxembourg in Avignon, “this festival is a bit of a contradictory experience, but all in all, it’s absolutely brilliant. On the one hand, our play, which is rather radical in its form and content, sometimes struggles to attract an audience that is not specialised or particularly interested in questions of war or radicalisation. This can sometimes be discouraging. Political theatre in a gigantic festival like Avignon is not easy. On a physical and mental level too, the festival is an ordeal, especially for the actors, who find themselves in 38 degrees, on average, replaying the same text over and over again, which is difficult, to say the least. The conditions are therefore hard. But in the end, it’s a pretty great experience. It’s a nice way to put into perspective our theatre situation, which is sometimes a bit privileged in Luxembourg“.
He adds: “on the artistic side (and human side, if you like), the exchanges that take place are rich, the encounters multiple. The different round tables and readings I participated in allowed me to get to know very interesting artists.”
The festival is indeed also a place of encounters, and to greet the presence of two Luxembourgish contemporary authors staged this year, Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg organised a round table at La Manufacture on July 13th inviting to exchange with other French-speaking authors around the theme “Writing contemporary theatre”. With Jean Portante (author of Frontalier directed by Frank Hoffmann and presented at the Théâtre du Balcon until July 30) and Ian de Toffoli, Kultur | lx brought together Dominique Dolmieu, Sedef Ecer and Hassane Kouyaté; authors of various styles and those who surround them: residencies, directors and publishers.
Other meetings and readings were organised around the Luxembourg authors among which a reading of the text of Serge Basso de March ” Il fait beau, les oiseaux chantent, le soleil brille et il est tombé du troisième étage” by Christophe Alévêque, Salvatore Caltabiano and Sebatien Lanz or the debate Migrations and borders around Frontalier organised by the Licra.
For Léa Tirabasso, whose play Starving Dingoes was presented as part of the Official Selection of Luxembourg in Avignon, it was “a joy and an honour to share our work in such a prestigious place as the Hivernales in Avignon”. She adds, “the festival was for us the opportunity to see the play mature for 10 days, to extend our professional network and to exchange every evening with a touched and curious public.”
MIDAS, Laura Arend’s play for young audiences presented at the Golovine Theatre, was performed in front of an enthusiastic audience of children and can be seen until July 29.
Watch the presentations of the Luxembourg plays in Avignon below: