The Marsyas, aqualung with a helmet and supple suit

The Marsyas, aqualung with a helmet and supple suit

The studies, plans, calculations and discussions that mark out the Marsyas aqualung idea, redefined the relationships that we maintain with theatrical performance agreements. This imaginary skin made us think about our feelings again and adapting them to the poetic core of our project. Always with the same goal : supple denseness! It could seem vain and ridiculous to force such a thing on an actress and spectators who, for many, must be seen as separated, forbidding the audience and the actress to touch each other. But the core is there! In this game of expression and obstacles between the actor's body and that of the spectator, the loss of real or imaginary promiscuity will make the bodies open up to a perceptive horizon that was invisible up until then. Under the skin, the nerves... And it is in this invisibleness the trauma appears and pierces this wall of deaf and protecting skin, wall of illusion for the assembled actor and city.

The Myth of Marsyas

One day, Athena made a double flute with stag's bones and played it at a gods' banquet. She could not understand why Hera and Aphrodite were laughing silently behind their hands whilst the music seemed to delight the other gods. So she withdrew alone to a wood in Phrygia and, by a river, took out her flute, looked at herself in the water whilst she blew a few notes. Immediately realising her swollen cheeks and congested face made her look comical, she threw her flute away, putting a curse on whoever picked it up.

Marsyas was the innocent victim. He stumbled over the flute and he had no sooner put it to his lips when it remembered Athena's music and began to play on its own. He travelled all over Phrygia and then Sibyl's country, delighting peasants who exclaimed that Apollo himself couldn't play better on his lyre. Marsyas did the foolish thing of not contradicting them. Of course this made Apollo angry and he suggested a competition whereby the winner had the right to inflict whatever punishment he chose on the loser. The competition was taking place without establishing any winner, when Apollo shouted out to Marsyas, "I challenge you to do the same thing with your instrument as me. Turn it round the other way, play and sing at the same time."

It is obviously impossible to do that with a flute, so Marsyas lost. Apollo got his own back on Marsyas in the cruellest possible way. He skinned him alive and nailed his skin to a pine tree near the grotto where the Marsyas River has its source.