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HIDDEN STORIES / Histoires Cachées (2010 / 2011)




click to see: slideshow | video trailer | description | credits



HIDDEN STORIES is a site-specific performance, an artistic event camouflaged in plain sight.
A strange form of cinema, where the city is a sound stage, the audience’s eye is the lens of a camera, and the spectator an editor, choosing which images to synchronize to the sound track being played in their ears. He/She is free to follow the story from up close or from far away, to look at each detail, each gesture, each blink of an eye, or to let oneself be carried away by their own imagination and abandon themselves to the urban decor.
Incorporating elements of performance art, environmental street theater, visual art, and sound installation, the project aims to give its audience a new perspective of ordinary life by blurring the lines between fiction and reality. 
The performance creates a portrait of life by following four main characters as they make their way through the streets of town. It portrays four disparate slices of life, and the audience takes turns following each of the characters around the neighborhood and hearing their reflections on the world that surrounds them, on their solitude, and on their inability to feel connected with their own lives. They occasionally cross paths, often barely missing each other, making unexpected connections.
Before the play starts, the audience is given a rendezvous in a public square and instructed to wait. The square appears as it would on an ordinary day. Shops are open for business and there is no evidence of any kind of performance. The audience waits, perhaps holding a ticket or some other sign that they have come to see a performance.
Simultaneous to this, a man posing as a municipal garbage collector begins making rounds of the square. He is not one of the four characters but an actor- technician who is undercover, trying to blend in to his surroundings. He pushes around a cart and picks up bits of litter while discreetly making contact with the audience members.
An audience of 28 to 32 spectators is assembled. They receive a headset as well as the explanation of the “rules of the game”.
The audience is divided into 4 different groups, with each group directed to follow a specific object (an orange, a newspaper, a box of matches, or a pen). They should remain discreet and avoid attracting attention to themselves. An audible signal gives them the cue to put on their headsets and leave. Recorded instructions guide them to walk to another public square where they will find their object and follow it.
The soundtrack in the headphones plays the internal thoughts of each character, as well as music and sound effects. This sound-scape detaches the spectator from the real world and plunges him into a world of fiction, opening his eyes as well as his ears. It becomes his own private, intimate world.
No two groups of audience see exactly the same thing. Individual moments with each character are repeated, but the reactions and interactions they provoke are unique. The performance offers four distinct perspectives of the same series of events.
Inspired in part by the protagonists of contemporary novels such as Michael Cunningham’s The Hours and Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love, the story's four main characters have been developed through improvisations with the actors.
With Hidden Stories, Begat Theater aims to transform the urban space into a form of poetry, giving a new meaning to the landscape of the city, sparking the curiosity of its audience, and encouraging people to be attentive to the world around them.



concept | Karin Holmström, Dion Doulis, Erika Latta

direction / sound design | Erika Latta (WaxFactory)
assistant sound designers | Philippe Laliard, Dion Doulis

technical director | Philippe Laliard

concept / synchronized headsets | Fabrice Gallis

original music | Peter G. Holmström -The Dandy Warhols 
musicians (recorded) | Benoît Campens, Philippe Laliard, Nolwenn Moreau, Sébastien Smither

production manager | Didi Van Stipdon
actors + co-creators | Dion Doulis, Hervé Cristianini, Karin Holmström, Philippe Laliard and Nolwenn Moreau
 and for the first incarnation of Tamina | Bénédicte Blanc

thanks | Stéphane Pastor, François et Michèle Laliard, Julien Tribout, Mireille Brun, Anne et Philippe Capelier, 
Chantal et Michel Guérard, Nadine Pennequin, Pierre Lafitte, Michael Mcmahon





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