Louisette:
The Backstage of Revolution

A Piece for Eight Performers
along with teaching staff & students
of the Eleusis Vocational High School
Commissioned by Eleusis 21

European Capital of Culture

and Athens & Epidauros Festival

Louisette (the title comes from Marat’s pet word for the guillotine), invites viewers to enter the making of a film on the theme of bourgeois democracy and the French revolution. However, during shoot breaks, something is amiss. How do contemporary individuals relate to the tripartite motto “liberty, equality, fraternity”?

The performance drew on texts by Jean-Paul Marat, Heiner Müller, Guy Debord, Raoul Vaneigem, Nikos Gatsos, Friedrich Nietzsche, Mary Oliver, Victor Hugo, Maximilien Robespierre, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, excerpts from the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789) and contemporaneous legal texts and Travis Stout’s videogame Assasin’s Creed: Unity. It also drew on texts composed during improvisation with the students of special abilities from the special vocational high school of Eleusis. The latter are the true protagonists of this production, working closely together with actors, musicians, and visual artists. This performance of ambulatory theatre, a co-production of the Athens festival and the Eleusis 2021 European capital of culture, is the end product of a fruitful collaboration between the ODC Ensemble and the students of the Special vocational high School of Eleusis and is part of the Europe Grand central project.

Credits

Concept + Adaptation + Direction: Elli Papakonstantinou
Dramaturgical Collaboration: Stella Rapti
Historical Research: Filimon Patsakis

Performers: Adrian Frieling, Anastasia Katsinavaki, Daphne Markaki, Alkistis Polychroni, Antonis Primikyris, Rosa Prodromou, Thodoris Skyftoulis, along with volunteers and teaching staff & students of the Special Vocational High School of Eleusis

Music Composition + Sound Design: Tilemachos Mousas
Live Music: The Special Vocational High School of Eleusis Band, Nefeli Markaki (violin), Nasia Gofa (vocals)
Set + Costume Design: Aristotelis Karananos & Alexandra Siafkou
Live Video + Video Mapping: Pantelis Makkas
Choreography: Athanasia Kanellopoulou
Lighting Design: Olympia Mytilinaiou

Assistant to Director: Anastasia Katsinavaki

Performanes

Athens & Epidaurus Festival:
22-25.06.2017
Old Oil Mill of Eleusis, Greece

Produced by:

Videos

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Reviews

Iit felt as if a bomb, planted at the foundations of the festival…

The project is not one of politeness and rhetoric. Neither is it, necessarily, a radical suggestion of escape. It is, however, a project charged with emotion – rage, anger, complaint, despair and a sincere awkwardness vis-à-vis the now becoming history […] 

Apostolos Lakasas |  Kathimerini | 21.06.2017

We entered the Backstage of Revolution…

The performance is deeply political insofar as its ensemble functions as a political entity, its every member investing the end result with freedom, equality, and fraternity—that is, the performance’s subject matter. The goal will never be met if there is an incongruity of form and content […]

Giorgos Voudiklaris |  Popaganda | 24.06.2017

Freedom – Equality – Fraternity

Vyrsodepseio, A Θeatre in Times of Crisis, Elli Papakonstantinou & ODC Ensemble

[…] Fortunately, ODC is as realist as it is romantic. If that was not the case, the Ensemble would have never gone on to tackle a project as extroverted and collectively demanding as Louisette, presented at the Old Oil Mill of Eleusis in the summer of 2017. The participation of students of the Special Vocational High School of Eleusis marked a shift from the imaginary After to a dramatic Now. By integrating students into a dramaturgy which also revolved around the making of a film, this time about the French Revolution, the performance explored how we currently relate to the still relevant tripartite motto ‘Freedom – Equality – Fraternity. This approach worked both on a literal and a symbolic level precisely because it focused on the social reality of outcasts. The production was not just a theoretical analysis on the meaning of social exclusion and how this relates to the urge to rebel (and/or destroy), but also offered a creative response to exclusion through the artistic integration of a sensitive group. Thanks to this performance, ODC Ensemble ultimately eschewed the spatial boundaries of Vyrsodepseio, indicating that the concept of space is contingent on the human dynamics which mobilise and shape it. The Ensemble thus demonstrated that the desire of coming together does not obey any constraints set by venues and spaces. This desire moves freely, finds a way to escape, and reinvents itself. The element that brings people together is brought to the surface. And what is this element if not a pure faith that this coming together is indeed feasible? […]

Dimitra Kondylaki | Nefeli Editions | 2018

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