Concept + assemblage + direction: Elli Papakonstantinou
Performers: Adrian Frieling, Anastasia Katsinavaki, Daphne Markaki, Alkistis Polychroni, Antonis Primikyris, Rosa Prodromou, Thodoris Skyftoulis, along with volunteers and teaching staff & students of the Special Vocational High School of Eleusis
Musical composition + sound design: Tilemachos Moussas
Live music: The Special Vocational High School of Eleusis Band, Nefeli Markaki (violin), Nasia Gofa (vocals)
Dramaturgical collaboration: Stella Rapti
Historical research: Filimon Patsakis
Set + Costume design: Aristotelis Karananos & Alexandra Siafkou
Live video + Video mapping: Pantelis Makkas
Choreography: Athanasia Kanellopoulou
Lighting design: Olympia Mytilinaiou
Assistant director: Anastasia Katsinavaki
Production: ODC ENSEMBLE, Athens & Epidaurus Festival 2017, ‘Eleusis 2021’ – European Capital of Culture
Commissioned by Eleusis 21 and Athens & Epidauros Festival this site specific performance was presented at the Old Oil Mill of Eleusis. Louisette (the title comes from Marat’s pet word for the guillotine), invited viewers to enter the making of a film about bourgeois democracy and the French revolution. However, during shoot breaks, something is amiss. How do contemporary individuals relate to the tripartite motto “liberty, equality, fraternity”?
The performance drew on texts by Jean-Paul Marat, Heiner Müller, Guy Debord, Raoul Vaneigem, Nikos Gatsos, Friedrich Nietzsche, Mary Oliver, Victor Hugo, Maximilien Robespierre, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, excerpts from the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789) and contemporaneous legal texts and Travis Stout’s videogame Assasin’s Creed: Unity. It also drew on texts composed during improvisation with the students of special abilities from the special vocational high school of Eleusis. The latter are the true protagonists of this production, working closely together with actors, musicians, and visual artists. This performance of ambulatory theatre, a co-production of the Athens festival and the Eleusis 2021 European capital of culture, is the end product of a fruitful collaboration between the ODC Ensemble and the students of the Special vocational high School of Eleusis and is part of the Europe Grand central project.
The French History, humane and close to us
[…] Perhaps Elli Papakonstantinou and ODC Ensemble’s most impressive and creative performance yet. Not just because it is a solid, professional work of art on its own merit, but also because it signals a return to the artist’s innocence, back to the basics of true democracy (the theatre in the midst of the agora), to a form of art that speaks both to the innocence of a fresh take on things and to the necessity of self-reflection and self-redemption. […]
We entered the Backstage of Revolution
[…] When one decides to tackle issues such as human rights, the limits of revolution, the contemporary socio-political landscape, one should go about it in a political manner. Perhaps this is the greatest achievement of Louisette: The Backstage of Revolution.
The performance is deeply political insofar as its ensemble functions as a political entity, its every member investing the end result with freedom, equality, and fraternity—that is, the performance’s subject matter. The goal will never be met if there is an incongruity of form and content. […]
Heroes and protagonists of life and … French Revolution
[…] I love performing on stage. I open up. I meet new people. I am in this together with my classmates; we have a great laugh together,” says 17-year-old Anastasia Kompolitou who portrays the queen of France. Anastasia has a talent for cooking and vows she will be a culinary student one day. 17-year-old Nikos Livanis portrays a revolutionary. Naturally hyperactive, he says he’s looking forward to the opening night: “I am not nervous at all.” He dreams of becoming a basketball player or a dancer. Giorgos Katsoulis is a laikos (folk) singer. He dreams of enrolling at the musical school of Eleusis next year, provided the school will open. He sings his own songs during the performance […]. Watching the students of the Special Vocational High School of Eleusis is a blessing, a life-changing experience; watching them as they open up, talk to each other, laugh, forget their anxieties and fears, all thanks to their participation in this theatrical production. […]
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2018 NEFELI edition
[…] Fortunately, ODC is as realist as it is romantic. If that was not the case, the Ensemble would have never gone on to tack-le a project as extroverted and collectively demanding as Loui-sette4, presented at the Old Oil Mill of Eleusis in the summer of 2017. The participation of students of the Special Vocational High School of Eleusis marked a shift from the imaginary After to a dramatic Now. By integrating students into a dramaturgy which also revolved around the making of a film, this time about the French Revolution, the performance explored how we currently relate to the still relevant tripartite motto ‘Freedom–Equality– Fraternity.’ This approach worked both on a literal and a symbolic level precisely because it focused on the social reality of outcasts. The production was not just a theoretical analysis on the meaning of social exclusion and how this relates to the urge to rebel (and/or destroy), but also offered a creative response to exclusion through the artistic integration of a sensitive group. Thanks to this performance, ODC Ensemble ultimately eschewed the spatial boundaries of Vyrsodepseio, indicating that the concept of space is contingent on the human dynamics which mobilise and shape it. The Ensemble thus demonstrated that the desire of coming together does not obey any constraints set by venues and spaces. This desire moves freely, finds a way to escape, and reinvents itself. The element that brings people together is brought to the surface. And what is this element if not a pure faith that this coming together is indeed feasible? […]