Cuir is a short-format duet (2020) on the notions of traction and attraction, by Arno Ferrera and Mika Lafforgue. In a powerful body-to-body confrontation, two harnessed men play at manipulating each other’s bodies. The cautious pleasure they take in transforming each other into an instrument, an apparatus, a playground or a battlefield engages them in a struggle with mutual consent. Between traction and attraction, they do not aim for power over the other, but rather power with the other.

statement of intent

« After working together in the company Un loup pour l’Homme with the projects Face Nord and Rare Birds, we felt the urge to bring forward a physical research within a duet context. Being a duet implies being oneself and becoming also progressively a mirror of the other. Through this project we aim to go back to both a frontal and intimate communication and to explore the dual relationship. 

For this project, the act of “lifting” takes up a specific form : it transforms itself and evolves towards the act of “traction”. Therefore the roles of the flyer and the base are not clearly defined and they interchange and intermingle. Pulling someone can be seen as a help and a sustaining support (I stand by you) but it can also be perceived as a form of capturing the other (you have to follow me. Non distributing the roles will be a driving force in our research. 

We wish to work over the notions of grappling of and partnering with a strong physical commitment. This grappling does not necessarily portray conflictual confrontation where one of the two is winning and the other one is losing : it does not bring forth a notion neither of power nor of territory. In our project, we are interested in exploring how one can submit the other by imposing a situation or by forcing him to obey his commands while the other instead of only resisting, softens into an acceptation and a will to follow his commands. Therefore the two men would jubilate because of their own position without an idea of hierarchy, assuming to sometimes slip into potentially absurd or unexpected situations. 

Although we usually do not implement any equipment /apparatus in our circus performances, we would like to explore the body through the help of horse harnesses commonly used for plowing and pulling jobs. 

Not only the harness allows us to amplify the potential of human traction but it also acts as a revealer. We share the act of pulling and lifting thanks to this tool which stands in between us. Through this fascinating and archaic tool, we are able to come close to the state of being an animal where instinct and will become visible and perceptible. » 

Arno Ferrera and Mika Lafforgue

team and partners

Authors and performers : Arno Ferrera and Mika Lafforgue

Project leader : Arno Ferrera
External eye : Paola Rizza
Choreographic eye : Benjamin Kahn
Sound adviser : Amaury Vanderborght
With complicity of : Alexandre Fray

Light designer : Florent Blanchon
Light and sound technician : Pierre-Jean Faggiani
Saddler : Jara Buschhoff
Costumes design : Jennifer Defays

Administration, production, booking : Caroline Cardoso & Lou Henry
Thanks to: Anaïs Longiéras

Photography : Valérie Frossard
Video : Romain Vennekens
Press relations : Estelle Laurentin
Graphic design : Ekta

Production : Un loup pour l’homme

Coproduction : Le Bateau Feu, SN Dunkerque (FR), Theater op De Markt, Neerpelt (BE), Larural, Créon (FR), Perspectives Sarrebruck (DE).

Support : Conseil Régional Hauts-de-France, SACD / Processus Cirque, Fonds Transfabrik (fonds franco-allemand pour le spectacle vivant). Un loup pour l’homme is supported by French Ministry of Culture / Direction régionale des affaires culturelles Hauts-de-France. Un loup pour l’homme is member of FILAGE (Lille, FR).

Partners residencies : Tanzhaus Zurich (CH), Theater op De Markt Neerpelt (BE), L’échalier St Agil (FR), Larural Créon (FR), Le Moulin du Roc SN de Niort (FR), Latitude 50 pôle arts du cirque et de la rue Marchin (BE), Le Prato Pôle National Cirque de Lille (FR), Katapult Berlin (DE), La Faïencerie & La Locomotive Creil (FR)