A participative and relational artistic approach
After two artistic projects developed in neighbourhoods of Asnières and Gennevilliers in 2011 and 2012: Espaces Rêvés then Lieu Commun, Shakespeare au Luth aimed to renewing the dialogue between conflictual young people of both towns by giving them a voice and by organising spaces of expression, transposed away from restitution of current events, or everyday life. Using Shakespeare's words to talk about daily experiences and frustrations, inovolved negotiating a sensitive route through accumulated tensions.
This third project in the quartier du Luth proposed theatre as a vehicle for resolving conflict via the imagination, allowing collective and collaborative work to support new, or extreme emotional situations. The text and the staging created the necessary distance to allow explosions of energy, anger or joy. Artistic reformulation through theatre making it possible to express what cannot be.
The questioning of urban identities and power were the central intentions of this ambitious project; its relational process as important as its final performances. In addition to the participatory dimension, Sarah Harper's aim was to renew a dialogue between generations, opposed by different modes of expression. Shakespeare au Luth proposed an original, intergenerational collaboration.
« Blood will have blood » (Le Sang appelle le sang)
In January 2014, a collective promenade performance was performed three times through the Espace Aimé Césaire, a new cultural centre transformed for the occasion into a monumental theatrical installation. Fifty residents of all ages shared their creative and expressive power in a very contemporary reinterpretation of William Shakespeare.
The public immersed into the heart of the action, into a Shakespearian world, resembling our own... mixing registers and languages: alternately epic or tragic, passing from rhetoric to introspection, from politics to sentiment, from diplomacy to ceremony, from barbaric outbursts to comedy. An essay on power and society woven from excerpts from Macbeth, Richard II, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Performed scenes, dance, puppetry, photo, and video installations... a multiplicity of artistic disciplines made for an accessible and impressive theatrical experience, honoring the collective energy and audacity and valuing the participants as well as the neighborhood that bore witness to them.