The Carnival of the Animals

Directed by : Compagnie Etcétera

Programming – Classical Music

And here I am, getting into classical music.
So I’ve already said, and I must admit it again, as far as I’m concerned, when I hear: classical music – I don’t know, but it’s a kind of immense torpor that invades me.
If I have to go to a concert, I wonder if I got enough sleep the night before. And I arrive there, feet dragging and looking desperate: why me? – is my only thought.

In a word, my relationship to classical music is totally adolescent (and the worst of adolescents) and pathetic: no, I don’t like it, yes I’m sure I’ll be bored to death. And there’s nothing I can do about it, I don’t get beyond that.

The only advantage – I have to find one – is that I’m a perfect example of the restive audience.

You may try to tell me that this is a masterful work by Camille Saint Saens – then comes to mind a quite vulgar expression that I will refrain from sharing here.
At best, I politely nod my head and say : Oh, yes? Really?
Let it begin with the royal lion’s march, I will say: Ah?
That afterwards there will be the hens and the roosters – then I will start to feel like laughing – but I am polite, you will see nothing – except perhaps my eyes which will start to shine a little too brightly.
And you’re going to finish me off completely by telling me about the arrival of the turtle, so serioulsy followed by the elephant.
In the end, I’ll tell myself that you’re the madman, and not me – and I’ll go back to playing video games.

Please don’t notice how much I “counter-sell” my show to you.
But this is the truth.

So obviously, the day I had to come up with ideas to convince a young audience to go and love the Carnival of the Animals in the theatre – I felt a kind of panic.

I went to look at the company’s documents.
And then there….
And then there, I was amazed.

First picture: a huge dinosaur skeleton above the musicians.

After that, I went to watch the video – and there, the absolute favorite :

…what’s that weird cat playing music? Who starts by scaring the musicians?
And walks around everywhere? And who makes the scores fly?
And I don’t even wonder if I’m listening to the royal lion march, because the lion comes on stage and a few seconds later, on the right side of the stage, bam, here comes a hen and her chicks that arrive and disturb the musicians – and here we all go, the music, the musicians, the animals and the audience for a really great and immense Carnival moment, full of animals doing anything and it’s pure joy to watch that

And I’m telling you, these are not miniature puppets: they are almost life-size and the elephant, it takes up a hell of a lot of space.

It’s done by the Etcétera company, a Spanish company: check out their website, they’re absolutely great: Etcétera.

So, if you say to me: my dear girl, this is a show designed for children – I’ll tell you that damn, I don’t understand why at my age I wouldn’t love a show where there are beautiful things like that!

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Featured Image & all pictures: from the show : Dreaming the Carnival of the Animals – Dramaturgy, set design, puppetry and staging: Enrique Lanz

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