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Vous êtes chez moi. Suis-je chez moi?
J'ai toute la place nécessaire
Pour qu'il n'y ait pas de spectacle
Chez moi.

nusch , in collaboration with Rosas, is based on the poems 'Uninterrupted Poetry' (1945) and 'Nusch' (1950) and the volume of poetry 'Time overflowing' (1947) by the French poet Paul Eluard, one of the most important representatives of surrealism.

The performing text was compiled by STAN actor Frank Vercruyssen and Judith Davis. Davis acted in L'avantage du doute ( The benefit of the doubt , tg STAN, Paris 2005). The choreography is made by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. Frank Vercruyssen acts. The Dutch version was alternatively danced by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Tale Dolven, Cynthia Loemij, Elizaveta Penkova and Taka Shamoto. The French version is alternatively danced by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Linda Blomqvist, Tale Dolven, Liz Kinoshita, Alma Palacios, Elizaveta Penkova and Sue-Yeon Youn.

Paul Eluard

Paul Eluard is born on the 14th of October 1895 as Eugène Emile Paul Grindel at Saint Denis, Paris. In December 1912, he is forced to interrupt his studies and goes to the sanatorium of Clavadel in Switzerland, where he is treated for tuberculosis. Here, he meets the Russian Helena Dmitrievna Diakonava. He calls her Gala. On the 1st of December 1913, he publishes his first book of poetry. In February 1914 Gala returns to Russia and Paul to France. On the 3rd of August, he is mobilised and ends up as a nurse in a military hospital at the Somme. In august 1916, he publishes a book of poetry at the front under the name Paul Eluard in which he expresses his abomination for the war. In September Gala returns to France. They get married in 1917. In 1918, their daughter Cécile is born. In 1919 Paul is noticed by André Breton and Louis Aragon. Together with them he will form later, after a short Dada-period, the backbone of the surrealist movement. In 1926 he becomes, like the other surrealists, member of the Communist party. In 1929 Gala leaves him for Salvador Dali.

Eluard gets acquainted with Maria Benz, a young girl from the Alsace, acrobat and model for a.o. Man Ray, Lee Miller and Pablo Picasso. He calls her Nusch. She becomes his new life companion and muse. The poems he writes for her are amongst the most beautiful love poems in French literature. In 1933, the surrealists are shut out of the CP due to differences of opinion over the soviet model. As a resolutely engaged poet, he disassociates gradually from surrealism, and in 1938, he even breaks with the movement, to definitively return to the communist party in 1942.

Chocked by the mass murders in Guernica in 1937, he chooses the side of republican Spain and enlists in the resistance. In the meantime he has become a good friend of Picasso. As member of a clandestine network and current inspiration of the 'Comité National des Ecrivains' (CNE)(National authors comity), he turns poetry into a battle tool against cruelty. During the Second World War he becomes one of the most important 'Poètes de Résistance'. He gets on the black list and must go into hiding. Clandestinely, he continues to publish poems, e.g. for the famous 'Liberté' (Liberty) that is scattered over occupied France by plane. After the liberation, Eluard is celebrated in France as a hero. At the end of 1945, he writes 'Poésie Ininterrompue', (Uninterrupted poetry), a long poem in which the poet tries 'to say everything', a poetic summary, an exploration of a common memory, a sometimes difficult to follow flow of words on human on-goings with love as the sole resting point, personified by Nusch.

Not one year later, on 28 November 1946, while Eluard is abroad, Nusch dies suddenly due to a cerebral haemorrhage. Eluard's world collapses from one day to the other. He writes 'Le Temps Déborde' (Time overflowing) in which he cries out his loss. After a period of love and success, after the liberation, follows a period of despair and grief, only ending in 1949 when he meets his last muse, Dominique Odette Lemort (1914-2000). She will help him back on his feet again and stays with him till he dies. For her, Eluard writes his best-known collection of love poems, 'Le Phénix' (The phenix).

Paul Eluard dies on 18 November 1952 at the age of 57, due to heart failure.

Nusch compilatie

A drop of fire, over and over again
The table is a stage and that stage is home to a dancer. Sometimes she lies outstretched, as if asleep, sometimes she sits on the edge of the table. Sitting on her knees, she leans over. There are sculptures in that pose, by George Minne and Wilhelm Lehmbruck, for example. And she looks just as fragile. This body is receptive. It is the canvas onto which the words are projected. Frank Vercruyssen moves unspectacularly round the table, sometimes within view, sometimes behind the backs of his audience. He unzips the poetical jacket of the verses and takes out ideas. They are beautiful, pure and intense. Sometimes the flow of ideas goes too quickly (our brains too slowly), but after a while the rhythm of speech and thought fall into step again. Nusch is extremely simple in structure. Ordinary, pure and poignant. The play joins the little club of productions now known not as a performance, but an experience. A lasting experience. "A drop of fire, over and over again." 
De Standaard, Geert Sels, 06/12/06 

Circles round love
Here STAN ‘tables’ highly intimate poetry and as a member of the audience you sit with your nose on the object of Eluard’s love. She disappears quietly through the door, as suddenly as Nusch vanished from the poet’s life when she died of a brain haemorrhage. Eluard went on to express his sense of grief and powerlessness in ‘Le Temps Déborde’ (Time Overflowing). That is also the effect STAN has on his audience: time overflows in this production and in the torrent of words your thoughts wander and re-focus. Nusch is a small meditative pause whose strength lies is in its simplicity.
De Morgen, Liv Laveyne, 06/12/06

text Paul Eluard
with Frank Vercruyssen and alternately
in the Dutch version Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Tale Dolven, Cynthia Loemij, Elizaveta Penkova and Taka Shamoto
in the French version Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Linda Blomqvist, Tale Dolven, Liz Kinoshita, Alma Palacios, Elizaveta Penkova or Sue-Yeon Youn

adaptation Judith Davis and Frank Vercruyssen
choreography Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
Dutch translation Martine Bom

advice costumes An D'Huys
lighting design Raf De Clercq and Tim Wouters
set design STAN and Rosas
with the participation of Jolente De Keersmaeker

Poésie Ininterrompue and Nusch © Editions Gallimard
Le Temps Déborde © Editions Seghers

production tg Stan i.c.w. Rosas

premiere 1 December 2006, tg STAN, Antwerp
premiere French version 9 January 2008, Théâtre de la Bastille, Paris