During this imaginary travel, through the expressive reality about fire manipulation, is the moment to talk about the more innovative and impressive company of last 20 years. They studied deeply the possibility to bring fire on stage and the more expressive way to do it.
Since more than 10 years “La Salamandre” bring in their show different tools today very common as fire-fan, fire skirt, fire-cup, watering can, fire-fall, fire-fog, flame garden…….
So, this is the short interview with Christian and Jean Michelle, member of the company since the first moment.
Christiàn: All of us started in the '80 with different street show experiences, then in '90 in Besançon the company lived the non official debut.
We were different artists living together in an ex monastery, a musicians, jugglers, actors, dancers community.
For an house party we created a little show an Jean Michelle had the idea to create a company.
In first two years, guest of Chalon and Aurillac festivals, the company worked mainly on musical parades in Brazilian Batucada style, wearing black and yellow as salamandres. In '93 we used stilts for the show "Petit Peopl" and started to insert in our shows offers a tribal act
with fire and percussions. This show in few time get a big outcome and bring us the invitation at Mastricht festival in Netherlands.
In meantime always more requested arrived for artistic cooperation. Directors and show agencies asked our presence,
in particular one in Italy with which we worked for 10 years.
L.: Can you tell me some about the organizational structure of your company?
C.: No one of us is the leader. The strength of the group is in the cooperation of singles individuality and sometime also debating strongly.
We have a division of competences, music, acrobatics, philosophy... the main point are two, the first is to have not a lot of luggage to bring with us,
the second one is to have on stage, possibly, the same number of male and female performers. We don't bring in show one particular discipline,
but we try to mix different expression possibility. To do this we have part at many stages about different arts: dance, teathre, clown, buto,
tai-chi and chi-gong, percussions and balinese dance and to have a good melange we worked with Peter Brook to harmonize the group.
L.: And what about the study of flammable stuff?
C.: From 1995 until 2000 "La Salamandre" lived a period of big evolution about stuff research and scenic effects and tools creation.
Starting from pure ideas about scenic effects, we spent time in trying to find the safer and best possibility to let it come true.
Always having care to not make too heavy our luggage. The experience in collaboration with Cirque Plume and his big stuff,
drive us on the road of essentiality.
L.: Some advice for young fire lovers?
C.: Start studying the fire and which the right behavior to have in phase of manipulation, then work on body and movements.
About this, we experimented the experience to be alone in the wood with a flame. Taking look at what spontaneously we do in relationship with the fire.
Than to meet with the others and show them the results. In other words...find and bring the spirit of fire.
L.: How you manage your time in common life?
C.: We have many weekly meeting about different themes, not only show repetitions.
Having the group an horizontal structure we have to talk about many things.
About the shows, for us is important to create the structure of it only when we are on the location of it.
L.: Last exhortations?
C.: For first to have idea about the dimension of the things you are going to do.
Start with little flames and have a spirit open to serve the fire, never try to dominate it.
On stage the main actor will be always Him!
Pay lot of attention on metals, sand and at all the things that can easily became hot.
Obviously pay attention at wind and always have with you wet blankets.
The best way to off flames is to remove oxygen covering it.
Throwing water on it, easily will come back a violent and unexpected reaction.
Fundamental is never leave the calm and always know how to off quickly the items you are bringing in stage.
Despite the big attention, also we have occasionally little accidents. Only one time, luckily, we had a big trouble,
but nothing of too harmful.