Even as Chennai is widening its realms of theater, music and fine art, French performance company Transe Express is set to combine all of them in their performance here. The event — Celestial Carillon — is being brought to India for the first time by Bonjour India and Alliance Francaise of Madras, will take place on February 17 evening at Phoenix MarketCity, Velachery Road, Chennai. For those unaware, carillon is a musical instrument comprising several bells. An orchestra of bell-ringers, aerialists and face artists are all set to bewitch the audience. The sound of the bells can apparently be heard by thousands of people in the surrounding areas — a first for Chennai.
The famous Alexander Calder is the person who has inspired the team: Gilles Rhode, Brigitte Burdin, Leo Guillemaud, Nicole Ragaigne and Jean Marc Chaix.
“Gilles and Brigitte started 35 years ago as street performers in France — which is a common thing there. The tradition of street performance grew in the country and they started performing in big cities. The size of the team also grew over the years. The show was created in 1996. It was the second ‘flying machine’ created by Tanse Express. The inspiration behind it was continuing to amaze people with high flying music and acrobatic in public spaces for thousands of spectators.
These 13 artistes have performed in Hyderabad and now they are set to perform in Chennai and Delhi. “We are performing in India for the first time and we’re really excited. We don’t know how the audience is going to receive us or what they are expecting from us, but we are hoping for the best!” says Nicole, with a wide smile.
Offering further insight into their performance, Gilles shares, “We do aerial performances outdoors to captivate the audience completely. There are going to be many dancers, singers, acrobats, bell ringers, percussionists and other technicians. Each year, we give 100 performances all over the world.”
Notably, the team has been practising rigorously for the past couple of days. “The practice has been good, we will erect the sets soon and begin the rehearsals.
Chennai wouldn’t have seen anything like our performance before, so we cannot wait to stun them! Our last performance was in England and the audience there is different. We hope Chennaiites love some good music, dance and stunts!” concludes Brigitte. We asked Helen Marseille, artistic director on how different are performances that take place in a mall and why is it important to bring art to public spaces. “The good thing about it is that we can adapt to almost every public space you can imagine. We performed with so many different backgrounds and the show will actually transform this space for ever in the memory of the audience.The mall will never be just a mall for them..it will be the mall where the bells were ringing and the magic took place” said an excited Helen. Our curiosity over this spectacular event didn’t end there so we prodded more on to how exactly the team is planning to combines theatre, music and fine arts and what exactly people can expect to witness on February 17. “People can expect see something absolutley incredible. Our artistes ar all around talents, they act, play music on bells, which is really hard and all this flying 50 meters high” explained Helen. The show is on tour for over 20 years now and is still conquering audiences all over the world. The company has been in Sydney, Australia, Chicago, Philadelphia, Mexico, Canada, Russia and all over Europe.