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Les Manouches was created in October 2008 by director/performer Aktina Stathaki and pianist/composer Jerome Simeon. Our mandate is to create original performance work from non dramatic texts (short stories, testimonies, poetry, scientific texts) using the techniques of storytelling and devised theatre. Our aesthetic is situated between "poor theatre" and "magic realism": using minimal technical means, sets and props and based primarily on our own expressive means as performers and exploring the limitless possibilities of imagination, we strive to create works that transcend reality finding beauty and magic in the everyday and the mundane.
As a group we represent the multicultural environment where we live and work, in our identities, the languages we speak, our cultural backgrounds, our influences and our approach to the arts. Interest in creating cross- culturally, with texts that represent aesthetic styles and thematic concerns from the whole world, is a central and constant feature of our work. For this, we are very interested to meet and collaborate with artists from different disciplines (dance, visual arts) and cultural backgrounds in order to create a common theatrical language and develop theatre works where all these artistic disciplines will be synthesized in new original forms.
Our mission is to accomplish not only an artistic but equally a broader cultural and intellectual role. Hence we are devoted to assisting in the circulation of new works and ideas, generating debate and reflection on issues pertaining to culture and bridging the worlds of research and artistic practice.