On the evenings of September 14 and 15, 2022, twenty-two young artists led the public through a promenade performance, PANORAMA, in the Théâtre de la Cité Internationale and its surroundings. The event showcased the talent of the first cohort of students to benefit from the Artists in the Community bursary scheme launched by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès in 2019. At the end of their three-year training cycle, these graduates of dance and theatre schools were invited by the Foundation and the Théâtre de la Cité Internationale to undertake a collective artistic project. This unique initiative combined three objectives: to mark the culmination of the young artists’ demanding training programmes, to enable them to work in professional conditions, and to enable the public to discover their talent.
The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès called on French director Cyril Teste and his collective MxM to oversee the artistic direction of PANORAMA and to forge links between these emerging artists drawn from all over France. Their preparatory work took place in a creative atmosphere that combined freedom and the transmission of skills and techniques – between the students themselves, who come from a range of different backgrounds, and with members of the MxM collective team. Over several months, Cyril Teste pursued long-distance exchanges with the students, discussing their views on the future of theatre, on the world around them, and their wildest dreams for the stage. This material formed the essence of the performance he devised with them, in which the spaces of the Cité Internationale were approached “as a film-editing table”.
“As we move around, sequence by sequence, place by place, we are creating an original documentary of these young artists at work,” Cyril Teste explained. Working together, he and this first group of students supported by the Artists in the Community bursary programme designed a highly personal performance with a hybrid format that lies between strolling players and a living exhibition, echoing the group’s convictions, desires and aspirations. Through chance encounters, the public discovered a kaleidoscopic portrait of this generation of young artists: a vast and thrilling PANORAMA.
The preparatory stages of the project were documented by photographer Simon Gosselin, who watched the hybrid creation take shape from within. He captured moments of reflection, research, shared joy, doubt and experiment over the course of the rehearsals, and during the performances themselves. The intensity of this collective experience is palpable in his radiant images of the young artists. Together with the Théâtre de la Cité Internationale and the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, he selected eighteen prints to present at the Café du Théâtre during the winter 2022-2023 season, in an exhibition that extends PANORAMA’s contact with the public in a different format.