La Fleur is an international group which aims to develop a new type of theatre. Many of its members come from the banlieues of Paris and the socially underprivileged quarters of Hamburg. But on stage and in life, these artists constantly negate the clichés and labels that people often attach to them. As members of a “self-made aristocracy”, they take on different roles and change their status at will. Following the principle “Decide who you want to be!”, their group is all about self-assertion and the anarchic pleasure of acting. This theatre and dance piece started with Honoré de Balzac’s novels The Girl with the Golden Eyes and A Harlot High and Low. Meeting together in Hamburg and Paris, the group has developed roles, texts and narratives which cross-reference Balzac’s motifs in his novels and contemporary phenomena. Many of Balzac’s characters possess direct parallels with members of La Fleur. Similar to the dandies, courtesans and strategists of the 19th century, today’s dancers, DJs and actors represent a kind of defiant aristocracy from below. They explore gender identities and social advancement in their urban scenes and dances. The tighter the circumstances, the harder it is to pursue one’s passion at whatever cost and flaunt a seemingly aristocratic behaviour. With richness, physicality and sensuality, “The Self-Made Aristocracy” put the Hanseatic tradition of self-restraint and thrift to the test. The participants rejected the wretchedness of their circumstances and assumed the identity that they themselves have chosen.
Artistic directors: Monika Gintersdorfer, Franck Edmond Yao (CI)
Artists: Alex Cephus (US), Jean-Claude Dagbo (FR/CI), Elise Graton (FR), Christian Jäger, Boro Sangui (FR/CI), Madou Sanguin (FR/CI), Marion Siefert (FR), Magne Karel Audrey Tendjou (CI) and others
Workshop: MC 93, Paris: 21 Nov. – 1 Dec. 2016.
Performances: Paris: 26 – 31 Oct. 2017; Vienna: 2 – 4 Jun. 2017; Hamburg: 12 – 14 Oct. 2017; Berlin: 18 – 20 Oct. 2017; Düsseldorf: 21 – 22 Oct. 2017