I had done this one time crazy project in 2018 in my home-country, France: create a performance with more than 30 women in less than 30 hours to show images of sisterhood in public space. I didn’t expect it to be more than that, but it was really powerful, so I decided to pursue and it became “Capital WOMEN” / “De femme à FEMMES”. My main expectation with applying for Roundabout Europe was to enable this project to become alive once again, and have more women benefit from the experience.

Memorable summer of 2019
I will never forget the summer of 2019. It took me to new places. Places in Europe and new places in myself I hadn’t experienced yet.

In february 2019, I came home after speaking publicly about my wish for Capital WOMEN to come alive… and found an email right that day announcing that Roundabout Europe had selected my project! Asking if I would be free during the summer for two residencies in Denmark and in the Netherlands. My body answered before my mind as tears of emotion rolled down my cheeks. That summer, many tears also ran down the cheeks of no less than 29 women, that I created the performance with in the two countries.

Sometimes, someone’s dream can make many others’ come alive…

The residencies were mainly very surprising. I discovered a lot of new aspects of my work. I met a lot of new people, especially the women participating. The bonds became very strong with some of them, to this day and the women stay connected also.

The residencies where very intense. I had to figure out in just a few days what were the particularities of what women experienced in each culture. This gave me all of my main ideas to create.

I had no idea what to expect from the public’s reactions, for they were foreign to my experience… I had the wish to make an emotional and political impact through the performance in both festivals. I believe this happened, for the performers and for the public.

My summer with Roundabout Europe was extremely intense, I felt very fortunate and happy to experience this new chapter of my professional adventures!

The benefits are huge. For one, I really enjoyed leading the creation, and having the opportunity to do it twice, in different contexts and cultures. I got to know my project more in depth. I was able to test working with assistants for the performance, which worked out great! I gained confidence in my ability to lead the creation as an ongoing process with a different outcome every time. And it broadened my horizons too, now I want to travel the world with Capital WOMEN, and am working in that direction!

Performing in the festivals enabled me to test the in-situ aspect of the work, particularly with the choice of venues that had strong symbolic meaning in link with the performance. I could also test audience reactions (the danish version of Capital WOMEN had a participatory finalee). It was VERY important for the women participating as performers to have an outcome with public, it was fully part of the process for them and came as a final offering / validation of their engagement.

New Expansion
Roundabout Europe gave me the means for a new expansion. I really needed it after 20 years into my professional career and after a hard struggle to finish creating a performance I had not had enough support with, this leaving me feeling exhausted and isolated as an artist.

The residency program became a turning point for me, at age 45. Today I have wings, to fly the world with my work. To believe in myself as a director again… and I also have doors. In two new countries. Doors of friends and helpful professionals that I know will open if I go knock on them at any time.

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