The marvellous magic of illusion
Salzburger Nachrichten (A)
We are in the smallest cabin of all. Didier André and Jean Paul Lefeuvre, who the Salzburg Winterfest audiences are familiar with, since “the Garden”, do not need more than 8m3. This is also the name of the “double evening” that was presented thursday in the wings of the Winterfest big top.
What we have here are two pieces of solitary art. In one show, a lonely daydreamer moves back in time to revisit the great juggler he once was. His partner left him after their failed juggling duo, and ever since, he has watched the video of the old act, over and over again, on an aging television set. Out of his memories arise, unexpectedly, a series of small moments, of magic and illusion. No need for effects, to impress.
Didier André has a look that transforms his solitude into profound sadness, but his face can also be abruptly filled with wonderment. And here he is with his hand in his pocket, he’s pulling something out, a small ball, and another, and a third one. He’s juggling, playing: so quietly and privately that we are almost embarrassed to be watching him so closely, in the tiny space: “the caravan stage”. His partner will never come back. But we are here! Maybe it’s a slight consolation.
In ways that are just as surprising, Jean-Paul Lefeuvre dives into his own minuscule world, which he proceeds to conquer laboriously and conscientiously. His stage/box is not nearly big enough for those long limbs, but that won’t stop him, and wild contortions will help him to find his way: there’s a long bar, a small straight ladder on which he will swing with all the light grace of reptile. A challenge to gravity and to the laws of physics. A clever stacking of wooden crates will allow him to build wings, which will, in the end surround his upper body completely. Jean-Paul Lefeuvre steps across a slack rope as is he were wandering across the road, and stretches out on this same slack rope as if he had found the most comfortable of hammocks.
Didier André and Jean-Paul Lefeuvre make their way with talent, lightness and shifting fluidity, from front to back, onscreen and off, so well in fact that at times we aren’t quite sure: who is in front of the screen and who is behind?
Their circus is bursting with minimalistic illusion. A small, a great, a light, a deep, an intimate show - marvellous!
With l’Atelier Lefeuvre & André, 90 minutes pass too quickly. It is without a doubt sign of great artists, the capacity to retain the audience’s attention so long with such limited equipment.
These two manage effortlessly.
Zürcher Zeitung (CH)
A mix of poetry, skill and burlesque art...hilarious.
Le Dauphiné Libéré (FR)
Both of them light up their “8m3” with inventiveness, generosity and humor.
L'Est Républicain (FR)
An hour and a half of happiness in 8m3!
And the spectator is astonished to realize what a wonderful time he had
during those two hours, filled with charm, spirit and acrobatics.
Ouest France (FR)
Two small gems imbued with lightness and delicacy
that carry with them the most basic questions of our existence.
Salzburger Nachrichten (A)
This piece is composed of surprising silences, and, like all other shows by Lefeuvre & André,
of poetry and a slight, melancholy slapstick.
8m3 is full of charm and humor, two hours pass in the blink of an eye.