Compagnie Non Nova's

L’après-midi d’un foehn Version 1

January 23 - 27, 2019

The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare

A WorldStage Production from France
created by Phia Ménard

About the Creator

Phia Ménard

It was discovering Jérôme Thomas’ show Extraballe in 1991 that nurtured in Phia Ménard the deep desire to study the performing arts and, in particular, the art of juggling. She trained in modern dance, mime, and acting, as well as in juggling. In 1994, she studied juggling techniques and theatrical composition with Jérôme Thomas, and went on to join the company, performing in Hic Hoc. It was during her globetrotting tours with this company that her desire to write for the stage grew and she defined her personal vision of contemporary art forms. As artist and improviser, she created numerous shows for the company up until 2003, including Le Socle (The Pedestal), Le Banquet, Hioc, and 4, Qu’on en finesse une bonne fois pour toutes… (4, Let’s finish things once and for all…”).

In 1997, alongside her work with the company, she took more dance lessons and danced in two short pieces choreographed by Hervé Diasnas and Valérie Lamielle.

She founded the Company Non Nova in 1998 and created Le Grain. It was with her show Ascenseur, fantasmagorie por élever les gens et les fardeaux (Elevator, Phantasmagoria for elevating people and burdens), created in 2001, that she first gained recognition and critical acclaim as a creator.

Acclaimed for her original, personal way of working, she was invited to become an artistic associate for three years at the national theatre Le Carré in Chateau-Gontier, France. There she developed her work, downplaying juggling as a visual spectacle in favor of a new relationship with her audience. Numerous creations and events sprang from her research, including Zapptime, daydream of a channel-hopper; Juggler, don’t confuse; and Is it really serious to juggle? In 2005 and 2007, she developed her work around the notion of “unjugglability” and created two pieces, Zapptime#Remix and Doggy Bag, and two cabaret forms, Jules for ever and Touch it with the sextext Frasques.

Her artistic career took a new direction with the project I.C.E. (Complementary Unjugglability of the Elements), having for object the study of the imagination of the transformation and the erosion through natural materials. In January 2008, she created the show P.P.P. at the performing arts center in Lyon. In October the same year, Afternoon of a foehn Version 1, the first play in the Plays of Wind cycle, was created.

Since October 2011, with the creation of Afternoon of a foehn Version 1 and VORTEX, the second chapter of the Plays of Wind cycle, was created, she has been traveling the national and international stages.

In January 2014, she received the Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Minister of Culture and Communication.

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