Archipelago, from the city to the theater

Archipel is a hybrid show that will take place at the Théâtre National Populaire in Villeurbanne from Saturday 6 to Sunday 14 November.

In this show which mixes skateboarding, parkour, scooters, dance and theatre, we are witnessing a real feat on the part of the director Nicolas Musin who succeeded (not without some headaches) in disciplining our riders favorite Lyonnais and let them reveal their artistic talents.

spectacle archipel skate

(photo by Joana Dumoulin)

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For several weeks now, the Roger Planchon room at the TNP in Villeurbanne has been taken over by ramps of all sizes and each one more intimidating than the other.

But not for Baptist Bordier who moves from module to module with indecent ease to the rhythm of the music and the sounds of his teammates' boards Florian Maillet, Theo Dabadie, Camilo Payeres, Jeremy Moreau and Romane Panossian.

The show was created from scratch by the riders, under the careful direction of Nicolas Musin, director and former ballet dancer. Indeed, Mr. Musin is used to working with riders, having already produced a show in a skatepark in Geneva and other projects around urban culture. For several years he discovered a passion for skate culture which he finds surprisingly very close to that of dance. Especially thanks to his friend Chris Haslam (Canadian professional skateboarder) with whom he nourished this reflection, Nicolas Musin sees the skateboarder as a "worker", repeating the same gestures and same movements over and over again, like a choreography.

 He even compares himself to the skateboarder by saying that he has the same way of working. Which is interesting but which still seems a bit vague for some Archipelago riders who sometimes have trouble with the rigor and precision the director tells us about.

Archipel spectacle

(photo by Joana Dumoulin)

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Archipel is a touching show, both by the words of the actors but also by the artistic aspect of the skaters in whom we discover a whole new sensitivity. We see them evolve on stage with a grace and a very fair game. Again and again it is Le PleasureLove (Florian Maillet) who amazes us with breathtaking movements and stage technique. It's a revelation both for the team and for the director himself, who confides to us during a brief exchange between two rehearsals that he has found in him a rare pearl and that he would like to continue collaborate with him in the future.

In this show, we can find excerpts from the novel The Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. This novel is an imaginary dialogue between Marco Pollo and Kublai Khan and a reflection on modern cities. Nicolas Musin explains to us that he chose this work because, like a rider, he tries to see the city in another way, always looking for new spots, on the lookout for the slightest street gap, with eyes wide open. It is also a reflection on urban planning, on the transformation of cities. He uses the terms "zones of wandering, perdition, drama" when telling us about the atmosphere of the show. He sees this text as the representation of total chaos and this is what he tried to transcribe on stage with his team. And the bet is successful, the figures are linked in all directions, each more impressive than the other. All this accompanied by music that punctuates the wanderings of the riders to create an impressive and moving journey.

(👉 Find the Wikipedia of the novel here 👈)

dates archipel

If you are attracted by the alliance of several disciplines such as contemporary dance and urban culture, this show is made for you, let yourself be tempted.

(👉The event website here 👈)