Allison Crowe in Paris

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Allison Crowe, photo: Adrian du Plessis

Canadian singer and songwriter Allison Crowe returns to Paris as part of a tour launching her new album “Spiral.” Her music, described as acoustic cinematic folk indie pop, has an emotional punch seldom heard today. She is one of the best interpreters to come along since Joe Cocker. Crowe performs at the Auditorium du conservatoire Gentilly, Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 8:00pm, 2 rue Jules Ferry, 94250, Gentilly, France. Also on the bill that evening is Emily B. Green.

Expressing emotion is where Allison Crowe excels.  Whether covering other artists such as Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” or Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” or performing her own songs like “Crayon and Ink”, each track becomes alive and palpable.  Crowe’s organic and passionate piano-based sound infuses rock, jazz and classical elements often employing the ivories as a percussive instrument.  Her lyrics range from playful to raw, while remaining strikingly candid.  Hearing Crowe sing Joni Mitchell’s “River” captures the intensity of love’s regrets in a way that only few musicians could.

Crowe’s music can be purchased directly from her website //www.allisoncrowe.com and is available from Amazon and iTunes. 

Listen to Allison Crowe singing “In My Life” (Beat;es)

Hart Music in Paris

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Mick Hart, photo: Ruby Boukabou

Australian singer/songwriter Mick Hart has been touring the world for the last decade supporting the likes of Jimmy Barnes, Bob Dylan, Sting, and Coldplay, to name a few. He bases himself between Australia and France. Hart will be performing in Paris June 25th at La Dame de Canton. He talks to Ruby Boukabou about his recent album, his  new French record label and why he loves the French fans.

Hart plays originals that taste of blues and roots with twinges of country and pepperings of rock. On stage his presence is sure and refreshingly clear his emotional ballads touching his audience, his rockier tunes awakening and vibrant ; all backed with his confidence from strong musical skills on guitar, lapsteel, harmonica and vocals.  Recording under both his name and his side project ‘Monkey Boy’, he has been liked to Jeff Buckley, Ben Harper and Jimi Hendrix.

After releasing with small labels and independently, Hart has recently made a deal with Besides. “It’s a French label but they release all through Europe which is really important for me because I’m not just playing France,” he says. ‘Finding Home’, his current release is a metaphorical search for a base. “As you travel and you move in life, sometimes you have a question ‘wow where is my home right now?’, with my music, I’ve been a gypsy so long…. it’s (about) needing that grouding.” And, for the last ten years, ‘finding home’ has been in France.”

Hart believes that living in France has opened him as an artist. “It challenges you to breakthrough that language barrier with music,” he says. His French audiences appreciate his mellow, softer tunes which encourages him to delve deeper into this side of his music. “When you play emotional they really listen.”   

Mick Hart plays at La Dame de Canton boat June 25, 8pm, located at the Port de la Gare, Paris 13e, near the BNF facing Bercy,  quai Francois Mauriac, tel: 01 53 61 08 49

//www.mickhart.com.au     //www.myspace.com/mickhartmusic    //www.divandumonde.com  

Ruby Paris TV  Videocast of Divan de Monde Show and interview with Mick, December 6 : //ruby.podbean.com or  //www.youtube.com/rubyboukabou  

Toe- tapping jazz in motion

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Sarah and Leela Petronio, DR

Legendary tap dancer Sarah Petronio is joined by her daughter Leela for a special evening of dance at The New Morning (Oct. 8th). Discussing the upcoming show over a panache in the 19th arrondissement  Leela said "It's taken on a little bit more of a theatrical aspect recently; we do it sometimes in real theaters and include text and images… with places like The New Morning, it stays in the jazz club ambiance."    

Sarah Petroino, whose career has taken her from New York to Paris to Perth, has been performing at The New Morning for 25 years. "They call it the ‘temple of jazz'', says her daughter Leela, who is a renowned tap dancer in her own right "It's much bigger than the other clubs… You walk in and feel there's a lot of soul. So many people have been through there…"

The Jazz in Motion musicians vary between a trio and quartet with Sarah and Leela on taps and special guests. For the upcoming concert, the trio will be Philppe Milanta on piano, Bruno Rousselet on double bass and John Betsch on drums with special guests Sharon Lavi (Barcelona) and Ayako (Japan) plus other surprise guests from NYC.

"It's a concert show. There's a set list; it goes through different aspects of jazz," says Leela who also likes to open up the art form of tap into the wider forms of dance and music. In the past, the concerts have included guest hip hop dancers and Leela often throws in a solo to funk or Latin jazz.  

"The guests will come in and make it more of a jam session but it's a show. It's really swing,' says Leela. "We do some choreography and some improv(isation). It's about sharing."

Jazz in Motion, Oct 8th, 9pm, 7-9 Rue des Petites Ecuries 75010 Paris Metro Chateau d'Eau Tickets: 20 Euro Reservations:  //www.newmorning.com  (till 4th Oct) or Fnac, Virgin, Auchan, Carrefour.

 

Marcel Marceau Remembered

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Marcel Marceau, DR

The world famous French mime Marcel Marceau died Saturday at the age of 84.  In homage to “Mr Mime” we rerun an interview he gave to Molly Grogan  and Parisvoice in 1997…

Last year, Marcel Marceau celebrated the 50th anniversary of his internationally known and loved character Bip and  this year marks the 20th anniversary of his school, the Ecole Internationale de Mimodrame. On the occasion of these milestones, in an interview with The Voice, Marceau had much to say  in fluent English  on topics ranging from his training and early years as a mime to  the influence of Charlie Chaplin on his work and his 300-performance-a-year schedule (never mind that he is 75 years old), both solo and with his Nouvelle Compagnie de Mime Marcel Marceau.

Q: You recently said that you hope, through mime, the 21st century will be one of light for the children of tomorrow…

MM:  Especially in the art of theater, we speak about light. Even when there are shadows, they are artistic shadows taken from life, but always with a will of bringing consciousness to people, and hope and light  not with a special moral, but a poetic appeal. In my art of mime, especially, we show fables of life. We can be abstract; we can be concrete; we can tell stories. But because there are no words it implies also an obligation to be essential. I would say there is a great hope that the art of mime  mi: modrama  will enter the theater world with force.

Q:  Is mime not yet on an equal par with theater?

MM:  No. In the ’50s and ’60s, I had no school. I was just a young mime director with a company, and the public came, loving the theater and taking mime as something evident. It was theater! People even forgot that I didn’t talk. But, not having subsidies, it became more and more difficult. I started to disband the company and went as a one-man show through the whole world. Then I became really famous. In America, I was “The World’s Greatest Mime.” In France, “Le Mime Marceau.” This is the French way (he shrugs). But I realized in ’78 that my dream was to create a mime theater. Then it was a necessity to have a school. Mime is theater  like dance, like music, like word theater, like circus  which is why I think that mime will bring a great part to the 21st century.

Q: Is there an ideal subject for the mime?

MM:  We can do mime in different ways. Mime can be abstract, mime can be symbolic and mime can also be visual stories, which are drama or comedy, like in the theater. But you have to know how to introduce it, so people will not say, “Oh, with words it would be clearer.”

Q:  Are there subjects that do not lend themselves to mime?

MM:  Absolutely! The complexity of thought, psychological problems… Words bring images, and through them you create many situations. Mime enters in the essence of life. Dream. Reality. Rich. Poor. Hate. Love. And comedy, of course, like Chaplin did. If he had been a theater mime, maybe he would have followed my path. I even read one day in an American movie paper that if films had not existed, Charlie Chaplin would have been the Marcel Marceau of his time. Mime is a definite dramatic art form, but only a mime can be a director and a creator of mime, because he needs the technique; he needs to know how to show the invisible.

Q: How do you renew your art after 50 years ?

MM: To be very honest, this is a big problem. I have in my repertoire at least 50 pantomimes de style and 40 pantomimes de Bip, but in a program I can only give seven [of each]. Very often, I choose the best ones. The press always wants new! But they don’t understand that there are always new generations coming who have never seen Marcel Marceau. You have to be different, but you cannot leave out the classics. They are the strongest numbers. They made me famous. Imagine a whole generation who had never seen them! Some critics will say, “Marceau is always the same Bip character. He’s always the same style pantomimes.” What should I do? Bip is timeless on stage!

Q:  Growing up in the United States in the ’70s, for myself and I think for others of my generation, you were a symbol of France.

MM: In America, as long as you give your numbers, even if it’s the same, they will recognize that you have to give it to the new generations. This is why I keep Marcel Marceau as a soloist, [and why] my body has stayed young. Decroux said, “Marcel Marceau, l’art te conservera en jeunesse eternelle.” Of course I got older, c’est vrai. Of course, I have wrinkles. If I do this (he pulls up some skin around his mouth in a face-lift gesture), I look young. But, the body and the vitality and the force are still there. If they were to diminish, I would stop, honestly, but I would still direct the company.

Q: What are your future projects?

MM:  That I continue my tour through the world and continue my school. Man should have seven lives, not only four seasons. Imagine! I am a painter, I write, I direct, I teach and I have a feeling sometimes I did nothing. I swear it is true! I even have a guilt complex when I take a rest one day! Sometimes, I say, “What did I do? What did I do?”

Q:  How do you see the future of your school?

MM:  I will continue as long as I can. Maybe there will be an Ecole Marceau which will continue. If not, I will be remembered as the one who has really brought mime to the world.

Chronology

1923Born in Strasbourg.1946
Student of Charles Dullin and Etienne Decroux, the latter considered the most influential grammarian of mime. Played Arlequin in film “Les Enfants du Paradis” with Jean-Louis Barrault.
1947
Created Bip, inspired by character Pip from Dickens’ “Great Expectations.”
1948-1959
Created 25 mimodramas (mimed dramas) with his company.
1955
US debut, followed by six-month tour.
1978
Founds Ecole Internationale de Mimodrame in Paris.
1993
Founds company of former students, La Nouvelle Compagnie de Mimodrame.
1997
Created new mimodrama “The Bowler Hat,” a tribute to Chaplin.
And, this year…
Marcel Marceau continued to fête the 50th anniversary of Bip during an international tour of performances of “The Bowler Hat” and “Pantomimes de style, Pantomimes de Bip” launched at Paris’ Espace Pierre Cardin.
 
 

Irina Brook

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Love Is All You Need…  Image In the eight years since she traded an acting career for a director’s seat, Irina Brook has signed productions of ten plays and three operas, winning six Molière awards, including Best New Female Talent (2000) and Best Director (2001).

From rising star to established artist, the daughter of Peter Brook is creating a room of her own in Paris, building on the lessons of one of modern theater’s great innovators and pedagogues while bringing to the French stage something distinctly personal, what she describes as a particularly “carnal” vision of theater and its capacity for telling human stories. With “Le Pont de San Luis Rey,” an adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s novel from 1927, in December, and Marivaux’s “Ile des Esclaves” in January, Brook continues to explore the troika of humor, humanity and politics on which she has been building her reputation.

More importantly, the young director explained recently, she finds in her latest texts much to celebrate even in an uncertain world. Writing at a distance of 200 years about such 18th century paradigms as aristocracy and destiny, Wilder and Marivaux tackle the same question: without love, what meaning in life? For Wilder, who reflected on the significance of unexpected tragedies, taking the example of the collapse in 1714 of a rush bridge linking Cuzco to Lima, Peru, which resulted in the deaths of five people, there is no meaning other than love, since it is in loving that we manifest our humanity. For Marivaux, who turned to an imagined island where masters and servants change places to consider the moral ramifications of a class-based society, love as acceptance of the other is the foundation of social peace.

For Brook, who approaches these texts after her most ambitious direction to date, last season’s “La Bonne Ame de Setchouan,” while the “pre-Brechtian” dimensions of Marivaux’s comedy appealed to her, she said that she discovered in Wilder yet another author with a compassionate bent for man’s dual nature, in his “mixture of being very idealistic, kind of existentialist and pessimistic all at the same time.”

It is an iconoclastic position to take amidst the intellectual theorizing of much French theater, but the capacity of the human heart to feel runs through Brook’s work. The generosity of spirit with which authors like Brian Friel, Tennessee Williams and Shakespeare explore the human condition translates into her directorial decisions as well. “What can be given to the audience as an exchange is just as important to me as the artistic side of things,” she explained. “It doesn’t interest me too much to do something that is purely for entertainment or purely for money or purely for showing something off about myself. It’s about trying to do something which, even if one tells kind of bleak stories, has some kind of positive feeling about humanity.”

Those good vibrations are a defining element of a style, which combines music, dance, puppetry and the most innocent of gags in an intensely emotional experience. There is little question in Brook’s mind as to where her concern with people comes from, however: “I’m absolutely my father’s daughter,” she said. “Intellectually and creatively, my father and I are extremely closely linked.”

“Although his work is extraordinarily refined, it’s very ‘populaire’ and that’s something that for me has always been important,” she continued. “I did grow up going with [his] theater companies to schools for the deaf and the blind and spending my Wednesday afternoons in homes for ‘immigrés,’ while [the actors] were doing improvisations on a carpet, and all that has absolutely stayed with me. The day that I became a director and was able to talk heart to heart and head to head with [my father] was a very exciting moment in our relationship.”

Adapting Wilder’s text through group improvisation, employing a minimalist, chromatic set and confiding 22 roles to a cast of six, including a charismatic narrator/storyteller, Brook’s direction of “Le Pont de San Luis Rey,” in particular, pays inspired and beautiful homage not only to the symphonies of the heart but to the equally moving lessons of Peter Brook. For Irina, in life as in theater, love is the answer.

 “Le Pont de San Luis Rey,” to Dec 12, 2004 Wed-Sat 8:45pm, Sun 5pm, Les Gémeaux, 49 av Georges Clémenceau, Sceaux (92), RER B Bourg-la-Reine, tel: 01 46 61 36 67, 8-23E. “Ile des esclaves,” from Jan 22, Tue-Fri 9pm, Sat 4 pm/9pm, Sun 3pm, Théâtre de l’Atelier, 1 pl Charles Dullin, 18e, M˚ Pigalle/Anvers, tel: 01 46 06 49 24, 7-37E