Framing Entropy

Framing Entropy

Framing Entropy was the title for ON/OFF’s scenography design submitted for the 2012 Une Nuit Sans Opera festival. The piece was designed to provide a setting for part of the Maurice Ravel’s opera, L’Enfant et les sortilèges, (The child and the spells).

The brief for a set by the festival organizers asked us to put forward a design based on our own interpretation of the opera. We took the performance as that of a child’s journey to learn and develop his sense of empathy. The story sees many stages and displays of emotion along this journey, from rage to tranquility. This range of atmospheres is set against the Freudian notion of psycho-analysis; rationalizing the ambiguous, and defining the workings of the inner conscious.Our design set out to enhance and further play with these two contrasting elements of emotion and rationality, proposing to set Ravel’s undulating score within a composed and rigid frame of analysis. We wanted to offer the performers a malleable tool, which they could manipulate and contort in order to express the story’s scale of emotions. This artifact – the web – was to be the sole element of representation and act as a fluid surface to amplify the performer’s choreography. The ambiguity of the web is juxtaposed by its staging; a symbolic frame, constructed with hard and crisp lines. We imagine this frame as a layer of analysis for the piece, acting to both contain and to map the entropy induced by the web. This analytical frame is realized with a simple formal solution. Four timber posts are set apart to form the edges of a 10×10 meter square. From this a net fabricated from a fine white cord is hung to compose a 1×1 meter grid. To accompany the design of the stage we put forward the idea of a audience guide. Using the images taken from above the stage, the relation between the performance and the over-head grid is demonstrated. Each choreography can be seen in relation to the relation to the 10×10 grid, along with a notation of its position within the sequence of the performance.

Sohbra production: Ana Dupont, Camille Dupont, Manu Dupont, Sandra Marchand