Two women, a cello and erotic poetry. The promise of ” Basically, the thing Is to whisper sex into your ear, mingling their vocal cords with those of the cello. Cécile Martin and Lola Malique managed to make me salivate, and you?
How did you come up with the idea for this show? Has there been an influence of ” Vagina monologues« ?
First of all, the idea for this show came from the desire to have beautiful texts heard on an important subject: sex. What could be better than poetry to talk about desire, about sensuality. Almost all the great authors have written erotic texts, often little known. At one time, it was very transgressive to write about eroticism, the texts were exchanged under the cloak, we read in secret. Today this is no longer the case, but the way we talk about sex does not suit us either. We have the feeling that we are either in prudishness or in outrageous vulgarity. We wanted a different word, both classy and funny. We didn’t want to do an intellectual or elitist show. A poetry show can be scary on paper but in reality the texts we have chosen are very accessible. Also, we tell funny anecdotes between the texts: for example you can learn how to use the new organic, recyclable and biodegradable sex toy! We didn’t really have any show references on this theme. We have not seen “Les monologues du vagina”, despite its great success. Our artistic influences are more on the genre of musical performance and contemporary music.
Do you consider this show to be erotic? Feminist? Both?
“Basically, the Thing” is not erotic in the common sense of the term, in the sense that we do not show anything. However, it is erotic by what it says there. We start from the fact that there will be nothing to see, but everything to hear. Thus, we are not the objects of desire, it is poetry and music that are in the spotlight to awaken our senses. The purpose of the show is not necessarily a feminist commitment, although we both have feminist convictions. In the show we are two women who talk about sex without taboos, especially female sexuality (part of the show is devoted to the theme of masturbation in women) and it is surely in this that the show can be considered feminist.
What are your links with the cabinet of feminine curiosity?
We discovered the Cabinet de Curiosité Féminine during our research to create the show. We wanted to collect testimonials from women on their sexuality and we then attended one of the CCF workshops. We really liked the way they talked about sex, which is very well summed up in their little slogan “sex is a serious subject that must be treated lightly and vice versa”. Following this meeting, Cécile became a literary columnist for the blog. Then Alexia Bacouël, the founder, came to see the show and really liked it. She decided to support us in particular by relaying information on the site and on the CCF radio program.
The cello forces the artist to play with the legs apart with a big thing between the legs; it is an intrinsically erotic instrument. Is that why you chose it?
We had already worked together on a small form mixing poetry and cello for Lola’s end of Conservatory project. In the common imagination, it is true that the cello is a very sensual instrument. We all have in mind this famous photo of Manray “Le Violon d’Ingres” with Kiki de Montparnasse, naked, from behind. There is the warm tone and close to the human voice, the sitting posture, but also the repertoire, the most performed works are romantic and very passionate pieces (Concerto by Schumann, by Dvorak etc…). The cello is therefore perfectly suited for an erotic poetry show!
What are the reactions of your spectators?
The public is always won over and it warms our hearts! The spectators are happy to discover very beautiful texts and for many it is the first time that they hear erotic poetry. The starting point of the show is “How to find the lost desire?”. Several times, couples who came to see us left quickly after the show, saying “Sorry, we’re not staying, we really want to…”! And that’s great! Also, during the first performance, a man had invited a woman he had wanted for a long time but he had never dared to tell her. We learned a few months later that they were a couple and that our show had loosened the tongues …
“Basically, the thing”, Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:15 p.m. at the Darius Milhaud Theater, 80 allée Darius Milhaud (Paris 19, Metro Porte de Pantin).
We would like to thank the writer of this write-up for this remarkable material
Sweet words and warm notes, come and see “Au fond, la chose”
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