Robyn Orlin

We must eat
our suckers with
the wrapper on... Variation #1

Robyn Orlin, We must eat our suckers with the wrapper on... © John Hogg
Robyn Orlin, We must eat our suckers with the wrapper on... © John Hogg

23 > 25.03.23

CN D Pantin

The show will take place after the screening of Tombeaux: in Memoriam by Santiago Sempere.

22 years ago, Robyn Orlin created her iconic piece with the dancers of the Market Theatre Laboratory which engaged with educational campaigns about condom use broadcasted in South Africa that later became internationally famous. The piece combines hope and dark humor in an atmosphere that is laden with a sense of gravitas – it is about AIDS – but also a fierce desire to live and breathtaking sensuality. Dancers are filmed from a high-angle shot with a suspended camera and the images are shown on a screen at the back of the stage in a back-and-forth movement which oscillates between trance and suffering, with moments of silence which interrupt the physical percussions. It is a powerful group piece whose message is “the struggle isn’t over!”. How has that struggle been taken on today? In this new piece co-created with Mosie Mamaregane, a young dancer from the Lab, Orlin revisits her iconic piece in a symphony of red objects, as this avatar of the original piece examines what has and hasn’t changed in the past two decades.

Robyn Orlin was born in 1955 in Johannesburg. She’s known as “the perpetual itch” in South Africa, because her work reveals the complex and difficult reality of her country. She blends together several art forms (text, video, visual arts, …) to explore a certain theatricality which is reflected in her choreographic vocabulary. Her piece Daddy, I’ve seen this piece six times before and I still don’t know why they’re hurting each other (1999) won the Laurence Olivier Award, and her Beauty remained for just a moment then returned gently to her starting position... (2012), opened the French South-African season in 2013. In April 2018, Robyn Orlin reprised Rameau’s Pygmalion, during her residency in the Dijon Opera, with Emmanuelle Haïm working on the music. She created L’Allegro, il penseroso ed il moderato (Haendel) for the Paris Opera in 2007, with William Christie and Les Arts florissants. She directed her first movie, Hidden beauties, dirty histories in October 2004, which was coproduced by INA and ARTE. Robyn Orlin was named ‘Commandeuse des Arts et des Lettres’ on November 12, 2022.