What does it mean to act? Le Grand Sommeil was initially supposed to involve a duo composed by a very young girl (Jeanne) and a woman (Helena). Unfortunately the medical and legal procedure required to allow Jeanne to act in the show as a child was too heavy and after six months of rehearsal, her participation was compromised. Eventually, Le Grand Sommeil drew strength from this absence.
The show, which became a solo-performance, joins together two beings into one single figure : « a kid that’s big ». By calling upon the memory of her former partner, the dancer and actress Helena de Laurens manages to blur the traditional representations of chilhood.
The show uses the adult body to tell the child’s story and its relationship with family, government and art; questionning our norms. At the same time, it asks what role art and creation can play in self-construction.
Marion Siéfert is a writer, a director and a performer. Her work uses several artistic and theorical fields and comes to life through a variety of medium : shows, movies, writings. In 2015-2016, as a part of her PhD program, she is a guest student at the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies of Gießen, Germany. There, she creates her first show, "2 ou 3 choses que je sais de vous", which will then be presented in multiple venues such as TJCC, Festival Parallèle, Festival Wet°, TU-Nantes, Gaîté Lyrique, among others. She then collaborates with the director Matthieu Bareyre on two creative documentaries, "Nocturnes" and "L’époque", while working with several companies as a performer, a writer or an assistant director (with for example L’Accord Sensible, Séverine Chavrier, Joris Lacoste, and the German label Rimini Protokoll). Marion Siéfert performed in "Les Nouveaux aristocrates" by Monika Gintersdorfer and Frank Edmond Yao, a show that premiered during the 2017 Vienna Festival. Since September 2017, she is an Associate Artist at La Commune, where she created "Le Grand Sommeil", with the choreographer and performer Helena de Laurens. The show was scheduled during the 2018 Paris Autumn Festival and is touring around France and Europe in 2019 and 2020. Her new creation "Pièce d’actualité n°12 : DU SALE !" is a duo for a rapper and a dancer, and was created in March 2018 at La Commune. It then performed in Nanterre-Amandiers theater and will be touring in France in 2019 and 2020.
Helena de Laurens is an artist who imagines performances both as a dancer and an actress. In the past, she collaborated with plastic artists such as Sophie Bonnet-Pourpet, Antonio Contador, Julie Béna and Benoît Ménard. She works today as a performer for the musician and composer Julien Perez and the director Alexis Langlois. She also participated in workshops led by François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea, Dominique Brun, Loïc Touzé and Mathieu Bouvier, in P.A.R.T.S. and with Cecilia Gracio Moura for Baroque dance. Since 2010, Helena de Laurens has often been working with Esmé Planchon, a fellow student she met in her drama class at the Conservatoire of the 7th arrondissement of Paris. Together, they present lecture-performances that combine different artistic forms : tales, recitals and musicals. Along with Esmé Planchon and Clara Pacotte, Helena de Laurens is a member of the collective Travlators. She creates trio performances, musicals, fanzines and numerous other cultural and festive events. In 2015, under the supervision of Elizabeth Claire at the EHESS, she wrote a Master’s thesis on Valeska Gert’s use of faces in danse ("La grimace et l’inouï : danse et visage chez Valeska Gert (1892 - 1978)"). She then took Somatic Education classes with the Body-Mind Centering movement.
Jeanne was born in Lyon in 2005. She performs ballet since the age of four and begins drama four years ago in a company for children and teenagers. "Le Grand Sommeil" is her first project as a professional actor.
Marine Brosse studied stage design in Paris and Lyon (ENSATT), before joining the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies of Gießen, Germany. While involved in various projects for theaters and others events, she often collaborates with the Franco-Greek collective The Extravagant Union and recently worked for the label Rimini Protokoll on "Nachlass – pièces sans personnes", created at the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne.
Juliette Romens studied Lighting Design in ENSATT where she met lighting specialists such as Annie Leuridant, Marie-Christine Soma or Mathias Roche. At ENSATT, she worked with Jean-Pierre Vincent and produced her final year creation with Alain Françon on La Trilogie du revoir by Botho Strauss. Since graduating, Juliette Romens has worked with Jean-Paul Wenzel, Mylène Benoit, Sylvie Mongin-Algan, Anne Courel, Karim Bel Kacem, Vincent Gomez among others.
She is also collaborating with Ziferte Production since her work as a lighting designer on "Le Grand Sommeil" with Marie-Sol Kim.
Johannes van Bebber studied music in Düsseldorf. He then joined the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies of Gießen, Germany, where he is also a lecturer. As a composer and a performer, he composed the music and the sound design of different plays and movies. Recently, he worked with K.A.U. on “transit monumental”, as well as with Benno Heisel and Ullrich Eisenhöfer on Cassidy. Both have been produced by the SPIELART festival of Munich. Johannes van Bebber also played in several performances at the HAU in Berlin, at the Mousonturm in Frankurt and at the Frankfurt LAB in Bern, Athens et Warsaw. In addition, he plays music in different bands like Musica Practica and Club Bleu.
Valentine Solé is a costume designer. She began her learning experience in the workshop of Caroline Barral and pursued at the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. After her studies, she worked with several choreographers, directors and producers, such as Ola Maciejewska, Kevin Jean, Ali Moini, Marion Siéfert, Marion Camy-Palou, Hélèna Villovitch, Angèle Chiodo... Valentine Solé also worked as an artistic collaborator on different creations of the theatrical company L’Accord Sensible: "Les éclaboussures", "D-Day", "Champs d’Appel" and "Massif Central".