Conception and direction : François Raffinot
Dance and performance : Lionel Bègue, Tayeb Benamara, Emilie Harache, Ode Rosset
François Sarhan L’NFer (extracts, performed by François Sarhan and Ensemble Ictus) and Ofer Pelz (for the electroacoustic parts)
Lighting design : Yves Godin
General production, set, lighting production: Patrick Bastien
The religious services called once des ténèbres were held the Wednesday before Easter, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, where one read (lectiones, les leçons) and sang psalms (lamentations of Jeremy) until all candles were extinguished. Thereby, the ceremony ended in the dark.
Those four Leçons de ténèbre (Darknessreadings) have the process of fading as a central theme. Fading concerns light (as the title indicates) as well as images, sounds, falling and vanishing bodies, but mainly life itself, in as much as the piece makes an explicit reference to London’s underground bombing in 2005. The four scenes take place at each corner of the stage, around a white corridor made of cloth much like a Kaaba, that stays in the middle, hidden from all sides. Thus, the audience is asked to ponder the question of invisibility and vanishment, both by the content of the scenes and by their disposition.
This secular dimension of the unknown refers implicitly to the theatricality of religion and its practices.