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AKA: choreographic laboratory for a giant puppet

by Benoît Mousserion from the Compagnie L'Homme Debout


AKA is the name of one of our puppet. It represents a woman and measures 8 meters in height. It’s also the name of the artistic laboratory that brings this puppet into play.

With my company L'Homme Debout, we create big shows for large audiences in public space. The creative process is very long and expensive. So I can’t I can't go wrong when I choose who I'm going to work with. But I needed to meet new artists, to try new things, to consider new ways to animate our puppets.

That is when I imagined AKA, a choreographic laboratory.

My idea is to create a new creative team for each new AKA, with a composer, a choreograph, someone who has particular know-how with a local material, and me. Together we’ll create a short choreographic piece.

First we choose a specific location in the territory that welcomes us, may be with a beautiful landscape or a place with a particular architecture.

Next, we open a workshop during one week, inviting inhabitants to help us to create a new suit for our giant puppet with local material and a specific know-how.

In the same time, the composer works to compose a new music for the place we chose together, for example using sounds from this place, or simply being inspired by the story or the landscape of this place.

Then we can rehearse with the choreograph during two weeks, to create an original choreography for our giant puppet, with her new suit, on a new music in a specific place.

What I like, is how each choreograph consider the possibilities making our puppet move differently from me. It’s very inspiring.

Finally, we can play a 15 minutes choreographic piece several time per day, during few days.

Each of these experimentations developed approximately for three months from the first meeting between the creative team to the performances in front of the audience. It’s obviously much shorter than the creative process for one of our big ambulatory show. And it’s for me a very good way to experiment new aesthetics.

We organized two laboratories inside the IN SITU network, in Evry with l’Agora, and in Sotteville-lès-Rouen with l’Atelier 231.

Watch the videos below: