Avignon 2022 – Zourou beyond words: a play that takes tenderness as its language

Zourou beyond words provides an intimate and poetic look at disability through the story of a young girl with a severe language disorder.

Zourou beyond words is a play inspired by a true story. That of a child except; a 13-year-old girl living with her father, and in inability to express oneself in words. Locked inside her room, she finds in the dance another kind of language, a space of freedom. Until an unexpected meeting changes the story of this family …

Our Festival OFF 2022 could not have started better! In fact, what better than one heart attack to open this twenty day long treasure hunt ?! Zourou beyond words is a piece of music overflowing with tenderness which totally won us over.

Hoping for a way to normalcy?

Lola is not a “normal” young girl. She has suffered since the birth ofa severe language disorder which prevents him from communicating like everyone else. she lives with her father overflowing with love for her and reckons a new speech therapist, Jérémy, will help him move on. And we feel that deep inside him, he nurtures the hope of seeing this difference disappear to let his daughter taste the experience of normality.

@ Noemie Canada

And if Lola is transformed well and truly before our eyes during the sessions, this progress does not take the shape we want this father whom we see little by little lose patience and doubt. Doubts the speech therapist’s competence, however most doubt themselveshis expectations, his hopes, his role as a father … Meanwhile, in the protective space of his room, of which the well-considered staging of Mélodie Molinaro allows us to enjoy on one half of the stage, Lola escapes and expresses herself differently, through dance.

A jewel of tenderness

We immediately become attached to these beings, if the personalities complement each other perfectly. Especially for Lola and Jérémy, that’s right. How beautiful this duo is! Which is beautiful and moving this relationship that is created little by little between them! A relationship made solely by kindness and D ‘a participation that we see grow with a smile on his face. This is also one of the clues that makes us conclude in love that when we realize we smiled through a show!

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@ Noemie Canada

And that’s exactly what happened here. The error at the delicacy that glides everywhere ! Both in the sequence of scenes and the passage of time as well as in the relationship between the characters and the way in which their relationship develops, questions each other, adjusts.

IN touch of humor also very skillfully brought. We will especially remember Jérémy’s excellent rap (and Koko of course)! But also in the lyrics, placed on composer Stéphane Corbins very beautiful melodies – in particular at the origin of the collective Les funambules, which we had the opportunity to present to you in 2018.

A skilled mix of genres

For where a certain number of works stumble in at all costs wanting to inject dance, song, video projections (and very often all three) without it serving the show, here this mix of genres is perfectly harmonious and really feeds the story. Dance times, for example, allow us to better understand Lola’s inner life while the visual projections intelligently support poetry in these moments.

He who folds a thousand paper cranes will have his dearest wish fulfilled… »

That said, dance is ultimately not an essential element of the story, contrary to what we had imagined when we read the pitch. It even gets an anecdotal dimension in reality. Because the real passion for the young girl is origami which Jérémy taught her to do, and which she does all the time. “Zurus”, as she calls them – easier to pronounce than senbazuruthe Japanese legend as the young man told him.

A breathtaking achievement

There is no doubt about that Morgan L’Hostis will be talked about with this role which she embodies a disturbing accuracy all the way down to the movements of the body, the gestures, the gaze. To the point that we are almost surprised to hear him express himself normally at the end of the piece! She lives from one end to the other this complex rolewithout weakening at any point. And especially, without ever falling into caricature.

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@ Noemie Canada

L ‘very natural, very “true” interpretation of Tristan Garnier also charmed us a lot. Here’s an actor whose next role we’ll see. In that of Lola’s father’s new companion, Sophie Kaufmann brings sweetness and the perspective that the latter needs to reconnect with his daughter. Emmanuel Quatra offers this role the necessary nuances and makes us sensitive to his inner questions.

“They are not for us these finished paths”

In the end, as you will have understood, all conditions are met for this show works and takes us into its poetry. It is therefore of one heart attack our Avignon festival opens. That’s what makes us happy!

Zourou, Beyond Words, by Mélodie Molinaro, François Borand & Stéphane Corbin, with Morgan L’Hostis, Tristan Garnier, Sophie Kaufmann & Emmanuel Quatra, directed by Mélodie Molinaro, will be performed at the Théâtre Épiscène, Avignon, from 7 to 30 July 14.40 (no tuition on Monday).

Find all our articles dedicated to the Festival Off d’Avignon here.

Avignon 2022 - Zourou, beyond words



Falling for something!

Whether one is directly affected by the disability or not is irrelevant to appreciating this piece. It is above all about diversity and love, she speaks. Zouzou beyond words invites us to open our eyes and our hearts to all the riches that our “abnormalities” hide.

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