Romances Inciertos – Un autre Orlando (Creation 2017)

© Nino Laisné


Romances inciertos focuses on Spanish music of oral tradition which can be traced back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Its melodies have never ceased to be interpreted, modified and transformed. Each culture as well as each era reappropiated these poems, relentlessly updating their heroines’ adventures. Hence those melodies were introduced to Andalusian flamenco, to Sephardic music and even to the sixties’ Yé-yé music.

We have been focusing on two figures: La Doncella Guerrera and La Tarara, who, over the centuries and through contact with those amalgamations, have developed a form of sexual ambiguity. Some of these melodies have also been used in the form of parody by transvestite cabarets. La Doncella Guerrera takes us on the trail of a young girl who has gone to war disguised as a man. For many centuries, this girl would end up admitting deception in order to marry the King’s son, but in some rare versions she would appear resolutely determined, preferring to be carried away by waves while keeping her secret. La Tarara, meanwhile, portrays an Andalusian gypsy who, following an
unhappy love, oscillates between mysticism and seduction. Through daring versions of these couplets we later find out about her mysterious androgyny.

Through these folk melodies an amazingly similar figure to Virginia Woolf’s Orlando emerges. This young lord from the Royal Court of England lives for four centuries and regularly falls into a deep sleep that leads him to be born again with female
features. This transgender character pays visits to distant communities (Ottoman, Gypsy, etc.) and dedicates his/her life to the writing of one single poem, which is influenced by the eras he/she goes through and echoes the endless mutations of the arts and societies.

The structure of the performed tunes confronts multiple versions of the same story which multiplies and traces the migration of these melodies, oscillating between baroque languages and popular traditions. On stage, these songs are revived under blended tunes which are carried by four virtuoso musicians (theorbo, baroque guitar, bandoneon, percussion) trained in art music and Iberian folk.

Through the challenge of song and dance, this other Orlando dives into an epic form whose incessant metamorphoses never satiate the quest for an ideal form.


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 ou Pablo Zapico
Bandoneon: Jean-Baptiste Henry
Viola de gamba: François Joubert-Caillet
Percussions: Pere Olivé
Lighting design and technical manager: Anthony Merlaud
costumes: Kevin Auger, Carmen Granell, Helena Petit, María Ángel Buesa Pueyo
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).

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