The Trilogy of Immoral Tales (for Europe)

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The 2021 archive

Phia Ménard

Nantes / Created in 2021

A tale as performance which explores the identity, the body, and the material of a chaotic Europe on the brink of imbalance.

The trilogy of immoral tales (for Europe), Phia Ménard, 2021 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


Once upon a time there was a masked warrior. A punk Athena, a radical builder dealing with matter. Cardboard, duct tape, lances, the shock of metal. Tracing, assembling, solidifying, correcting, repeating. A Sisyphean struggle against the elements, a violent power relationship. Thus begins the tale…
Invited by documenta in Kassel to think about themes as open-ended as “Learning Athens” or “For a Parliament of Bodies,” Phia Ménard decided to go to the land of the Grimm Brothers, who have long inspired her performances. After having to deal with the various speeds and arrangements of ultra-liberalism, and learning about the experiences of the included, the excluded, and the tourists, she decided to build, with anger and melancholy, a trilogy made of denunciation, insubordination, and commitment to action. The first Mother House, laboriously-built cradle of our civilization, is quickly broken. In its stead rises a Father Temple, a wobbly house of cards which fails to convince anyone. And at the “tale” end: the Forbidden Encounter. What we’re all waiting for: a hand-to-hand struggle whose end is uncertain… Between mythological tale, philosophical allegory, and political fable, this performance in three stages shows us a continent on the verge of drowning. To build, destroy, and to find in the ruins something with which to rebuild again and again, such is the struggle of the choreographer who, though a staunch atheist, declares “If today I yearned to believe in something, I would believe in Europe, for it is Europe that guarantees me peace, the possibility for otherness. It is a crucible of rivers, connections, and languages that tie us together. Those are places of dream. Those tales are a prayer for Europe.


With Fanny Alvarez, Rémy Balagué, Inga Huld Hákonardóttir, Erwan Ha Kyoon Larcher, Élise Legros, Phia Ménard

Text, stage design, direction Phia Ménard
Dramaturgy Jonathan Drillet
Lights Éric Soyer, Gwendal Malard
Sound Ivan Roussel, Mateo Provost
Costumes Fabrice Ilia Leroy, Yolène Guais
Materials Pierre Blanchet, Rodolphe Thibaud
Construction, accessories Philippe Ragot
Assistant direction Clarisse Delile

General technical management François Aubry dit Moustache
Stage management François Aubry, Pierre Blanchet, David Leblanc, Rodolphe Thibaud,

Company co-director, general manager and booking manager Claire Massonnet
General technical Company manager Olivier Gicquiaud
Production manager Clarisse Mérot
Communication manager Adrien Poulard


Production Compagnie Non Nova - Phia Ménard
Co-productions and residencies at the TNB Centre européen théâtral et chorégraphique in Rennes, the Wiener Festwochen and the documenta 14 as part of the creation of the Maison Mère in Kassel, july 2017
Coproductions Festival d’Avignon, Malraux Scène nationale Chambéry Savoie, Bonlieu Scène nationale d’Annecy et le Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne (as part of the coss-border cooperation program Interreg France-Swiss 2014-2020), le Quai CDN Angers Pays de la Loire, la Scène nationale d'Orléans, le Tandem Scène Nationale, MC93 Maison de la Culture in Seine-Saint-Denis, Bobigny, Scène nationale du Sud-Aquitain Bayonne, le Grand T théâtre de Loire-Atlantique, les Quinconces et L’Espal Scène nationale du Mans, le Carré Scène nationale et Centre d’art contemporain in Château-Gontier, Théâtre des Quatre Saisons Scène conventionnée art et création in Gradignan, Théâtre Molière Sète Scène nationale archipel in Thau
Avec le soutien of the Institut français and the city of Nantes

The presentation of the Trilogie des Contes Immoraux (pour Europe), as part of the Wiener Festwochen 2021 was supported by the convention between the French Institute and the City of Nantes.

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