Saint-Denis Market & Basilica of Saint-Denis
SPACES is an immersive experience that merges contemporary performance with the ancient art of storytelling. SPACES goes beyond site-specific, it is place-specific: each SPACES piece is built around the site of its performance, but above all, it is created and performed with the local community that gives this place its life and identity.
At the heart of the piece, local residents share intimate real-life stories. By weaving these together with dance, music, and multimedia, SPACES transports audiences to a place where the magical and the quotidian meet.
More than a performance, SPACES aims to use storytelling, one of the oldest human traditions, to bring our focus back to our communities, one story at a time.
Gathered into groups of a dozen guests and led by charismatic dancers who double as silent guides, audience members embark on a journey through music, dance, and multimedia imagery. As their exploration takes them deeper into the maze, they encounter storytellers who, through a tale, a poem, or a song, share authentic and intimate moments of their lives. Every turn is a surprise, as guests might come across a new story, a new world of music, projections and dance, or another group of guests, on a journey of their own.
At the climax of the piece, groups meet at the heart of the space to witness storytellers and guides come together to perform a final dance ritual - one of fellowship and togetherness. The SPACES experience toes the line between the intimate and the grandiose, the personal and the communal, the quotidian and the magical. At its heart, it aims to remind us of the depth, diversity, and beauty of our communities.
Images on this page are from the iteration of SPACES in Harlem, New York, commissioned by the 2017 Harlem Arts Festival. For more information about SPACES: Harlem, click here.
Saint-Denis reflects French history in the open air: medieval town, royal necropolis, later industrialized, then city of the working class and welcoming land, shaped by the successive arrivals of populations from around the world: Africa, the Maghreb, the Antilles, Asia...
City of 135 languages and nationalities, the majority of its population is from here and from somewhere else. In this wealth of multiculturalism, what is the relation of the residents with "the other" and with their individual and collective memories: their country of origin, their childhood, the reasons for exile, the journey of the parents, the cuisine, the landmarks, the music, the language? By highlighting their stories, SPACES raises questions about the identities of a city in urban transformation at full speed and its links with the history of France, invoked by the Basilica of Saint-Denis.
Created by Jonathan Camuzeaux, Lauren Cox, and Simón Adinia Hanukai
Directed by Simón Adinia Hanukai
Choreography by Sandrine Robin and Gabin Noisier, Lauren Cox
Produced by Laure Gayet and Juliette Marchione, Légendes urbaines
Assisted by Marie Schnakenbourg
Developed as part of the "Inclusive Metropolis" cooperation project between the cities of Oakland (San Francisco Bay Area, USA) and Saint-Denis (Métropole of Grand Paris, France). Administered by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in San Francisco, the two-city project brings together cultural actors, public authorities, and the academia to examine models of the participation of artists in building inclusive metropolises and their contribution in urban development plans.
In partnership with: Basilique de Saint-Denis / Centre des monuments nationaux, 6 B, La ligne 13 - pôle ressource sur le Hip hop, La Main Jaune, City of Saint-Denis, association Mémoires Croisées, Maison des femmes de Saint-Denis, médiathèque Centre-ville.