What can chance encounters lead to? When Célia Houdart met Renaud Herbin, it forced them right away to face the question that troubles them, namely, how the figures and characters that inhabit the fictions they come up with are born. Each in their own way—she's a writer, he's a puppeteer—they mold them out of raw matter, watch the shapes they take and the things they do, curious to see them come together and come undone, or just live their lives. At once creators and spectators of those new lives, Célia Houdart and Renaud Herbin remind us that what matters first and foremost is to experience their charm and surprise. They themselves wonder at the strangeness of the animated world, with its revelations, its deformations, its marks and legacy.
A puppeteer by trade and a graduate of the École supérieure nationale des arts de la marionnette of Charleville-Mézières, Renaud Herbin long co-directed the company LàOù. He has directed numerous plays, which he sometimes performed, most often based on dramatic and literary works. Renaud Herbin has always liked collaborations that challenge his practice of puppetry. Since 2012, he has been the director of the TJP – CDN d'Alsace-Strasbourg, where he has worked on the relationship between bodies, objects, and images, erasing the divide between matter and puppets, finding inspiration in choreography and visual arts. His project has attracted many artists, including Aurélien Bory and Bérangère Vantusso.
After studying literature and art history and spending ten years directing experimental theatre, Célia Houdart decided to dedicate herself to writing. She was awarded the Prix Françoise Sagan in 2012 for Carrare, and is the author of four novels (published by P.O.L.). She has also written for the theatre, as well as songs and dance numbers. Since 2008, she has been creating with Sébastien Roux plays that are performed in situ, but also sound exhibitions and installations. In 2008, they performed Précisions sur les vagues #2 (Precisions About Waves #2) at the Festival d'Avignon, then car j'étais avec eux tout le temps (for I was with them the whole time) in 2010, bridging the gap between Avignon and the Charterhouse of Villeneuve lez Avignon. She recently collaborated with Mickaël Phelippeau to create Enjoy the Silence.
Conception and performance Renaud Herbin and Célia Houdart
Puppet and matter Paulo Duarte assisted by Arnaud Louski Pane and Michel Ozeray
Artistic collaboration Julika Mayer, Aïtor Sans Juanes, Nino Laisné and Mathias Baudry
Music Sébastien Roux and Naseer Shamma
Production TJP - Centre dramatique national d'Alsace-Strasbourg
Co-production SACD, Festival d'Avignon