Nous vaincrons les maléfices

First performance 10 avril 2019
Festival A corps, Théâtre Auditorium of Poitiers

"These people come here to feel like they're somewhere. Everyone is looking for an answer where there isn't one..."

Olivia Grandville's embarks upon an exploration of Woodstock and what this extraordinary gathering has left in our imaginations, based on a monument to the American counterculture of the 1960s, which marked both the peak and the decline of Flower Power.


In his documentary, Woodstock - Three Days of Music and Peace (USA; 1970), Michael Wadleight captures up-close the happiness of long-haired, non-conformist American youth at a crossroads, the twilight of one world and the dawn of a new decade, welcomed by the mythical sound of all the era's folk, soul, and psychedelic rock stars.


This creation is based on preliminary research developed over the 2018/2019 season, thanks to simultaneous invitations from cultural players in three cities: the Théâtre Auditorium in Poitiers and the university company for a creation as part of the A Corps festival; a collaboration in Montpellier between ICI-CCN, the Théâtre de la Vignette and the University of Montpellier III; the National Dance Centre as part of workshops open to professionals, then the Camping festival in Paris and Lyon.


The work as a whole led to a university production entitled Nous vaincrons les maléfices, presented in Poitiers on 10 April 2019. But above all, it has enabled us to bring out the key elements that link the mythical and utopian festival and its emblematic music to our times, when interpersonal relationships, heritage and future, and the sense of community are all being questioned... and how all this takes on an original form in festive and cathartic gatherings.


While this first season of research naturally drew on Michael Wadleight's film Woodstock - Three Days of Music and Peace (USA; 1970), it also invited a teacher-researcher - Claude Chastagner, University of Montpellier III - and students from Poitiers to contribute their testimonies and writing, and to compare the stories of two eras now separated by sixty years of liberalism and disenchantment.

As an extension of this dialogue between eras, this intergenerational exchange, Olivia Grandville is renewing the experience with a Nantes edition of Nous vaincrons les maléfices. Jointly supported by Le Lieu Unique and the TU-Nantes, University Theatre, she is once again inviting young adults, aged 18 to 30, to discuss:


Half a century later, what remains of this Dionysian experience, this unbridled vitality and this iconic moment?


Conception: Olivia Grandville
Performers: Young amateur performers aged 18 to 30
Scenography: Yves Godin and Olivia Grandville
Lighting: Yves Godin
Music and sound creation: Jonathan Kingsley Seilman based on music from Michael Wadleight's documentary Woodstock – Trois jours de musiques et de paix (USA ; 1970).
Artistic collaboration: Pascal Queneau, Magali Gajan-Caillet.


Production: Mille Plateaux, CCN La Rochelle

Co-production: Le Théâtre Auditorium in Poitiers ; ICI-CCN in Montpellier ; Le Théâtre de la Vignette, Montpellier ; the National Dance Centre.