Romances inciertos, un autre Orlando

© Nino Laisné


Romances Inciertos is an estuary, a delta. A zone which is hard to locate on the map, at the confluence between Spanish music of oral and “erudite” traditions that inspires dances, poems and mini-epics whose heroines play roles that are not their own. The stories of these characters, caught in a perpetual movement of metamorphosis, ambiguity, insistent imposture and burning indecision, are reflected in the very destiny of the melodies attributed to them. Romances Inciertos stages these two trajectories: the rebirth of the characters who have no choice but to transform reality to suit their desires – and the infinite mutation of musical motifs through the centuries. The uncertain identity of these figures is mirrored by the musical fusion.

Most of these melodies appeared during the 16th and 17th centuries in Spain. Since then they have been ceaselessly interpreted, modified, transformed. Each culture as well as each period re-appropriated these poems, constantly bringing the adventures of their heroines into the present. This is how these melodies, which come from the art of romance, from Sephardic songs or the jota, were introduced into Baroque music, Andalusian flamenco or even the transvestite cabarets of the Movida. The coplas – or verses – themselves were multiplied, and in the shadows of the most well-known versions of them, traces of bawdy popular song verses can be found in the archives, vestiges of the marginal destinies of these figures. The four soloists retrace these paths, borrowing from melodies originally written for other instrumentaria, boldly reconciling timbres reputed to be incompatible: the bandoneon fancies itself a harpsichord, the viola da gamba drones dolorous zambras, the percussion invites itself into sacred music and Baroque reminiscences of Sevillana marches emerge in the hollow of the theorbo.

The stage, encircled by tapestries whose weave combines multiple historical representations of nature, creates a landscape around the five performers. The dance erupts, renews itself and disturbs: both sister and rival to the music, it plays the role of impure art and challenges the body to exist in the present context. Simultaneously artificial and real, it attempts to attain impossible altitudes in a balancing act freed from gravity. The gestures are trapped in the gulf between “traditional” dances and their academic avatars – following in the footsteps of these choreographic mutations, whose history oscillates between plunder and inspiration.

It is therefore an adulterated, iridescent delta, on which the unexpected silhouette of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando appears to scintillate. But this particular Orlando is no longer a young lord of the royal court of England, who lives for four centuries and regularly falls into a deep sleep. He devotes his entire life to the writing of one and only one poem that reflects the colors of the periods he lives through and echoes the infinite mutations in art and society. As in the novel, we are in the presence of a character prone to eclipsing, who suddenly disappears only to reappear again in the guise of a woman, elsewhere in space and time.


Creation team
conception, stage and music direction: Nino Laisné
conception, choreography: François Chaignaud
Performed by
Voice and dance: François Chaignaud
Theorbo and baroque guitar: Daniel Zapico / Pablo Zapico
Bandoneon: Jean-Baptiste Henry
Viola de gamba: François Joubert-Caillet / Thomas Baeté
Percussions: Pere Olivé
Lighting design and technical manager: Anthony Merlaud

Sound manager: Charles-Alexandre Englebert
costumes: Kevin Auger, Séverine Besson, María Ángel Buesa Pueyo, Caroline Dumoutier, Carmen Granell, Manuel Guzmán, Tania Morillo Fernández, Helena Petit
Administration — production: Barbara Coffy, Jeanne Lefèvre, Céline Peychet
Tour planning: Sarah De Ganck – Art Happens

Production: Chambre 415. & Vlovajob Pru
Vlovajob Pru is funded by the Ministere de la Culture de la Communication (DRAC Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regional council. Vlovajob Pru receives support from the French institute for its projects abroad.
François Chaignaud is an associate artist at Bonlieu Scène nationale Annecy.
Nino Laisné is a member of the Académie de France in Madrid – Casa de Velázquez.

Bonlieu Scène nationale Annecy and La Bâtie-Festival de Genève as part of the program INTERREG France-Suisse 2014-2020, Théâtre National de Chaillot — Paris, deSingel — Antwerp, la Maison de la musique de Nanterre, L’Arsenal — Metz

This project received support from Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Spedidam, PACT Zollverein Essen, Tandem Scène nationale Arras-Douai, Ayuntamiento de Anguiano – La Rioja, les Pépinières Européennes pour Jeunes Artistes and l’Ayuntamiento de Huesca as part of the residency Park in Progress 12 and was invited for a residency at Teatros del canal – Madrid, Centre National de la Danse – Pantin and la Ménagerie de verre – Paris (Studiolab) and El Garaje – Cadíz.

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