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Performing Arts

Philippe Saire’s NEONS and Vacuum tour SADC

Founded in 1986, the Philippe Saire Company has created some thirty shows, with more than 1,000 performances in 200 cities across Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and America.

This year two pieces from Saire’s Dispositifs series will be touring South Africa and Mozambique, showing first at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, on the 29th and 30th of June. The tour will move to the Institute for the Creative Arts (ICA) in Cape Town, Teatro Avenida in Maputo (accompanied by film screenings at the Couto Foundation), Uncle Tom’s in  Soweto (where they stand alongside pieces from Gabi Saranouffi and Sello Pesa), concluding with two evenings at the WITS 969 Festival, both in Johannesburg. (see full tour schedule below)


NEONS Never Ever, Oh! Noisy Shadows deals with intimacy and separation, and verges on visual arts, following in the steps of 2011’s Black OutNEONS tells the story of two men about whom we know nothing, but who are going through a difficult time in their relationship.

The action is refined, intense and at times, full of contained violence. Performed to a soundtrack featuring Maria Callas, the striking choreography strives on contrasts: power and intimacy, distance and violence, commitment and irony.  The piece is the second of an ongoing series called Dispositifs in which a visual concept starts the creation process.

NEONS is supported by Ville de Lausanne, Canton de Vaud, Pro Helvetia – Fondation suisse pour la culture, Fondation de Famille Sandoz, Loterie Romande, Corodis Cie Philippe Saire is in permanent residency at Théâtre Sévelin 36, Lausanne.


(Credit: www.philippesaire.ch)

Vacuum generates impossible images and fantastic paintings, an interplay of bodies appearing and disappearing between black holes and dazzling lights.  This duo is the third part in the Dispositifs series in convergence with visual arts. After Black Out (2011) and NEONS (2014), Vacuum explores a new aspect of our sensory perception through an optical illusion created with two neon tubes.

In Black Out, the movements of the dancers drew shapes in some black substance on stage while the audience watched from above. NEONS then staged a couple dancing in a world of lights and shadows.  Now, with this third piece, Saire explores further the visual perception of movement.The result is lyrical and inspiring, as it moves forward through the history of art, from Renaissance paintings to photographic development.


29 June, NEONS & Vacuum double bill, Rhodes Box Theatre, Grahamstown National Arts Festival, 8pm

30 June, NEONS & Vacuum double bill, Rhodes Box Theatre, Grahamstown National Arts Festival, 6pm

3 & 4 July, NEONS & Vacuum double bill, P4 Studio, Cape Town both shows 7h30pm

8 July, NEONS & Vacuum double bill, Teatro Avenida, Maputo

13 July, TRINE13th: day programme, Gaby Saranouffi’s MOI, Sello Pesa’s Bag Beating, Philippe Saire’s Cartographies Film Screenings; Uncle Toms Hall, Orlando West, Johannesburg, 15h00 – 17h00

14 July, Vacuum, Wits Theatre, 969 Festival, 19h30pm

15 July, Vacuum, Wits Theatre, 969 Festival, 18h00pm

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