Les lits Kumulus



And what if we set up an event together?

1995  Intérieur rue festival
1995 la Saint-Gaudingue co-produced by the town of Saint Gaudens and Kumulus
1999 Enlèvement demandé in Saint-Gaudens and Carbone – co-directed by le Phun, Délices Dada and Kumulus
2004 Le rallye des dix manches - A co-production by Délices Dada and Kumulus put on in the south of the Drôme region in south-east France, for an audience of 200 people, and involving 48 cars.
2007 Le parcours campagnard

press / TV review

Le Parisien - 02nd May 1995

Céline Nony

Kumulus gives its view on the capital

Street artists push the boundaries, the boundaries between art and the town or city, and its audience. The very eclecticism of its different forms is what makes it blow all prejudices to pieces. So surely outside can be inside too? The doors are down, so come on in.  Come inside the theatre of Ariane Mnouchkine. There you will discover, until the end of May, an exceptional type of festival. Intérieure rue is made up of thirteen different street theatre companies that have taken over a interior space in Paris. For the first time.
"I wanted to work in a room, so I put out feelers to see if anyone would take to the idea; and I got the door slammed in my face.  Suddenly a wall came up and it gave me the impression that we were not working in the same business at all." Are street artists and conventional artists so very different?

This distressing observation is something that Barthélemy Bompard refuses to accept. As the Artistic Director of Kumulus, a street theatre company that was founded in 1986, Barthélemy was the one who originally instigated the festival.  His aim is to break down the wall, and ensure that street theatre is finally recognized by the French capital.

Apples and Oranges

"When you look beyond Beaubourg, where the performances around there are mostly made up of mime artists or musicians, we have absolutely no place at all in Paris – we just don’t exist," he continues to explain. "A few years back there was an attempt to set something up in Les Halles, but it all fell through."

What with Ariane Mnouchkine opening up her theatre in la Cartoucherie (in the 12th arrondissement), it will now be possible to discover this very particular form of work - work which is pure acting, before adding any structure or set, and which calls out to the observer in a wholly different way.
"We will set out to prove that apples and oranges can indeed manage to pull things off together," jokes Barthélemy Bompard. "And that the street can successfully take over a venue in Paris." He has chosen thirteen companies whose work he appreciates, and who are ready to take up the challenge. "We are a bunch of completely crazy people embarking on an adventure," he says. "Without a penny to our name, we are hoping to set up the longest festival in France. One month, that’s longer than Avignon."
The programme will include fine arts, music, strolling performances, theatrical works and authors’ texts, with two performances put on every evening. "The only thing we won’t be showing is dance," Barthélemy regrets. "As for the rest, it is all anchored in the same baseline themes. We will be dealing a lot with the absurd, with social seclusion and madness." These companies are far from either absurd or mad. Starting with a one-off festival, their hope is to make it a long-term project, and a biennale event, with the venue changing each time. A way of avoiding it becoming institutionalized. 


Parcours campagnard – 2007
Photos ©Jean-Pierre Estournet (B&W), Vinciane Dofny (colors)

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La Saint-Gaudingue - 1995 - Photos © Jean-Pierre Estournet

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