Confined artists: maintaining excellence

If I stop playing one day, only God can hear it. If I stop for two days, I can hear it. And if I stop for three days, the audience hears it. Full of humor and wisdom, this maxim attributed to pianist Artur Rubinstein, more than one confined artist could meditate on it.

Since the start of the coronavirus crisis and the closure of concert halls, dancers, musicians and acrobats have been competing in ingenuity to reach their audience via social networks: from their homes, they record small videos and “perform”, alone or, through ingenious software, to many. Everyone at home and all together.

Doing chamber music without hearing your colleagues is like tasting a dish blindfolded, says Nicolas Baldeyrou, clarinetist at the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra. This awakens buried areas of the brain and sensitivity. “For his personal work, he keeps the same rhythm as in” normal “time -” an instrumentalist is never on vacation, having to maintain his physical and mental daily, like a sportsman – and maintains the link with his students at the National Conservatory of Lyon.

“Every morning, I do the technical exercises there”

Dancer at the Malandain Ballet, Claire Longchampt is bound to similar discipline. ” I installed a movable bar in my living room. Every morning, I do the technical exercises there and I work on the purity of the movement. We also need to maintain the breath and stamina that are lost very quickly “, She explains. At the same time, the company’s physiotherapist sends out every day ” strengthening exercises, to prevent as much as possible the risk of injury during recovery

Paul Marque is the first dancer at the Paris Opera. Difficult, in the fifteen square meters of his living room to deploy his art. ” I would dream of pushing the walls to dance “big” and being able to exercise physical power: I do not have enough space to work the diagonals, the rides, the pirouettes, the big jumps … “, He laments.

A shared frustration, even tenfold, among circus artists! ” In our show, we use the trapeze technique, rocking jumps, acrobatic cycling with others, while performing staves and playing music… All this is impossible at home because it requires a large workspace , equipment… », Explains Olivier Pasquet, co-artistic director of the Cheptel Aleikoum company.

“Together”, “collective”, “team” … The words that artists miss the most

It’s not Lisa Lou Oedegaard, acrobat and co-founder of the collective Sous le cloak, which will contradict him, while confinement interrupted the creation residency for his new show. ” Our specialty is the Chinese mast: an iron bar, fixed and vertical, 5 to 6 meters high. We make litters there, we move collectively. “And if everyone is practicing diligently at home, the meticulous development of the sets remains unfinished.

“Together”, “collective”, “team” … These are the words that artists miss the most. ” Singing together, breathing together, starting and ending together… All of this ties the group together closely, testifies Florence Person, viola at the Choir of Radio France. I can see that some of us are very affected by the situation. “After concerns about the pension reform and the savings plan presented by the management of Radio France (1), this new blow will leave its mark. ” In the meantime, you have to work every day. I do technical exercises, breathing, to refocus, align my body … “, Florence Person says, anticipating a resumption in joy but also” the need to readjust, to find its marks.

Choir, orchestra, circus or dance company: it is the momentum of the group that has stopped today that will rekindle the spark. ” The Philhar’s is a welded, tension-free set. Everything will resume quickly and well », Assures Nicolas Baldeyrou. As for Arnaud Mahouy, dancer at the Ballet Malandain, he trusts the link “ created by the choreographic writing of Thierry Malandain. The 22 members of the company know each other very well. We will find ourselves.


The unknown Caucasus Republic of Arzach (formerly Nagorno-Karabakh)

Dear Excellency,

Dear UN Secretary General Guterres!

You will surely be surprised to receive a letter from me, of all people, especially when I am not a great letter writer. But unfortunately I don’t know your postal address, so this form of delivery is easier and cheaper for me. With this letter, I would like to finally ask you to recognize the Republic of Arzach as an independent and free country and to be a 194th full member of the United Nations. Please do it as soon as possible, actually as of now or better still retrospectively from January 1, 2020. Why should you do that? Well, there are many good reasons for that, which I allow myself to explain here.

As a Portuguese and son of the fairly crowded tourist metropolis Lisbon, you are aware of the devastating consequences of mass tourism and over tourism very familiar. We urgently need more travel destinations to relieve the old ones. In the search for new, as yet unused holiday countries, I traveled to the small and largely unknown Caucasus Republic of Arzach. Also on board were, as it were, your political advance command, MEP Martin Sonneborn (The PARTY) and a high-level examination and expert commission. The aim of our research trip was to test the potential vacation destination Arzach for suitability for travel.

The small republic lies in the so-called Little Caucasus, pretty much between Europe and Asia, clutched, indeed surrounded by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran. Because there was little free space, the national territory was designed to be small and clear. The territory consists mainly of areas and areas, is about half the size of Hesse and has fewer inhabitants than Paderborn. Your Excellency may not know Paderborn or half of Hesse at all, but that doesn’t matter, because you obviously don’t know Arzach either. If it were otherwise, you would have recognized this excellent travel destination long ago.

The high valleys gap

The local landscape is in excellent shape. The soil is successfully cultivated, with lovely valleys, mountains and dizzying gorges in between, protruding and gaping. On the trees responsible for it, the mulberries hang bulging and black, from which the population knows how to distill an excellent schnapps that only makes you blind after the third tankard. But this only for a time, so that the next day you will not be adversely affected by further admiring and marveling at the topographical achievements. There are cows, chickens and horse carts that are driven and cared for by busy men. These men greet back friendly. Over a thousand years old monasteries remind that the Armenians founded the oldest Christian state on earth as early as 301. In Arzach you know how to live and celebrate, the highlight of the annual festival is the festival of pickled vegetables in Drakhtik.