Axis Mundi

Premiere as part of “Vive le sujet!” at the Festival d’Avignon 2019. Coproduction SACD-Festival d’Avignon.  
By Anne Nguyen and Élise Vigneron

In an ephemeral and ever-evolving performance based on a construction made of ice, the breakdancer joins forces with the puppeteer to challenge geometric norms and the destruction of those norms. Heat liberates matter, the body as a statue expands within the cosmos. A universe wherein balance is constantly brought into question set against a techno music backdrop.

Anne Nguyen
Self-taught dancer and choreographer, Anne Nguyen, derives her inspiration from the sciences and martial arts in order to combine the raw and masterly moves of hip-hop dance with a pure, graphical, destructured choreographic approach.

Élise Vigneron
Having trained in the visual arts, circus arts and puppetry at the French École Nationale Supérieure des Arts de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mézières, Élise Vigneron deploys a language that spans the fine arts, theatre and movement.

© Thomas Bohl


Creation and performance: Anne Nguyen and Élise Vigneron
Construction: Élise Vigneron and Sylvain Georget
Objective input: Frank Micheletti
Fashion design: Manon Del Colle
Sound editing: Arnaud Duprat
Thanks to: Maya Lune Thiéblemont

AXM_Thomas_Bohl_3 AXM_Thomas_Bohl_4


Production: Compagnie par Terre / Anne Nguyen.
SACD – Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques; Festival d’Avignon.
With the support of: Le théâtre du Bois de l’Aune à Aix-en-Provence (13); L’Arcade.
With the help of: Théâtre de l’Entrouvert; Le Vélo Théâtre, scène conventionnée pour le théâtre d’objet à Apt (84); Le CENTQUATRE-PARIS (75); La Place  Centre culturel hip-hop à Paris (75); Centre des Arts d’Enghien-les-Bains – Scène conventionnée pour les écritures numériques d’Enghien-les-Bains (95). 

The par Terre Dance Company is funded by l’Aide pluriannuelle du Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication / DRAC Ile-de-France as “Compagnie à Rayonnement National et International”, la Région Ile-de-France for “Permanence Artistique et Culturelle” and l’Aide au fonctionnement du Département du Val-de-Marne. Anne Nguyen was awarded the 2013 Nouveau Talent Chorégraphie SACD prize, she was appointed Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2015. She was named associate artist to Chaillot – Théâtre national de la Danse from 2015 to 2018.

« A delicate balance carefully orchestrated by Elise Vigneron and Anne Nguyen in a tremendous display of visual beauty. […] Ice provides the basis for an exercise in manipulation amidst a superbly ephemeral scenography, generating captivating images symbolising our changing world. A genuine encounter to surpass all others between two women, until now perfect strangers: exacting choreographer and breakdancer, Anne Nguyen, was delighted to discover not only the same unforgiving discipline in Elise, but also a hallmark visual style that ventures to question attitudes to the human body. Axis Mundi places the two women in a post-apocalyptic universe haunted by static ghosts of matter. In the midst of these sterile landscapes, it is they who will change the course of the world, reconnect sky to earth, liberate body and matter to bring about an explosion of creative energy. Referencing the symbolism of the circle peculiar to hip-hop, performed within a kind of arena, dance floor or ritualised space, the dance regenerates as it circles. While all around them melts, revealing other realities, their bodies assume a new verticality, in perfect resonance with their environment. »
La Terrasse – Nathalie Yokel (23 June 2019))

« Performing to a techno backbeat by Tom Flynn, each performer manipulates the other. [..] They are each other’s driving force. They must struggle against the elements to a crazy rhythm in this highly topical exploration of balance. But, there’s a secret twist, it ends with a masterpiece of a gem! »
Toute la culture – Amélie Blaustein Niddam (7 July 2019)

« A powerful and highly physical dance to which only Anne Ngyuen holds the key. […] Another persuasive and successful experimental encounter in which two artists’ universes collide to give rise to a moment of pure poetry embodied within the translucent figurines of Elise Vigneron. »
Inferno – Emanuel Serafini (8 July 2019)

« Axis Mundi confronts the malleability of the body with the rigidness of matter. A startling, fascinating probe into the practice of learning and rites of passage, two topics dear to the hearts of both artists. »
France bleue Vaucluse – Michel Flandrin (July 2019)

« A kind of ritual in which melting ice blocks compel the two artists to constantly review and rethink their relationship with the performance space, while inventing new ways of occupying it and skimming its surface together. » – Anaïs Heluin (7 July 2019)