I kill you, you kill me, the first of us who will laugh...

Dance Theater
Choreographers and directors: Roser Montlló Guberna et Brigitte Seth
Script: extracts from Crimenes Ejemplares by Max Aub (translation by Danièle Guibbert) Cantique de Débora, Juges 5
Music: Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, Unitad de musica de la Guardia Real
Lighting: Dominique Mabileau
Sound design: Isabelle Surel
Costumes: Thierry Guénin 
Artistic collaboration: Bruno Joliet
Performers: Bruno Joliet, Philippe Lafeuille, Roser Montlló Guberna, Fabrizio Pazzaglia, Brigitte Seth
Production and publicity: Françoise Empio

 

« Me éduqué en el respeto del sentir de los demás y la admiración por la tolerancia. »
«  I was raised on the respect of the opinions of others and the admiration of tolerance »
Max Aub

 
I Kill You, You Kill Me is based on Crimenes Ejemplares by Max Aub: a hundred assasinations, told simply; a hundred motives, be they serious, absurd, strange, or humorous; a hundred confessions that could well have been our own...
Son of a German father and a German-born Parisian mother with a Slavic name, Max Aub (1903-1972) wrote his works (literature, theater, and cinema) in Spanish.  He left France for Spain with his parents in 1914 (his father keeping his German nationality), and returned to France in 1937 as cutural attaché at the Spanish Embassy.  He was arrested by the Vichy government in 1939, interned in France and in Algeria, and escaped to exile in Mexico.  He is strongly connected to Lorca, Malraux (cowriter of L'Espoir), Buñuel, Dali, Picasso (who painted Guernica at his suggestion)...  Crimenes Ejemplares(1956) won the grand prize in black humor at its release.
 
« I was created in a foreign language that in the end was my own – nobody is born speaking »
Max Aub, Journal
 
Roser was born in Barcelona, Brigitte in Paris.  French and Spanish are their languages.  I Kill You, You Kill Me is their opportunity to get to know Max Aub, exile from everywhere and habitant of elsewhere.  The short stories of Crimenes Ejemplares, murder stories of one line or one page, consitute « a first-hand source, passed simply from mouth to paper, grazing the ear.  Unimportant confessions: clear, muddled, or direct, they have no other excuse but to demonstrate anger » (Max Aub).
I Kill You, You Kill Me takes the opposite direction: from paper to mouth, from mouth to the entire body.  These texts leave room for the body.  Thus dance becomes the prologation of the word, of action.  It has the power to express the inexpressable, to make visible impulsions, crude insticts, the unpredictability of reflex or the calm premeditation of a murder committed by those who assume the right to say « I was right. »
The music of Biber (1644-1704) has an unexpected and fantastical character.  The violinist, gambist, and composer often employed the technique of scordatura, which consists of modifying the violin's tonality to obtain singular tonal colors, producing spectacular effects.  And, in the passacaglia for solo violin, a multitude of variations dance over a steady bass.  It is in this strange music of distortion and repetition that we find the atmosphere of these trivial confessions....
 
I killed him
because he was stronger than me.
I killed him
because I was stronger than him.
I killed him
because I had a headache.
I killed him
because he was from Vinaroz.
I killed him
because I couldn't 
remember his name.
 
Crimenes Ejemplares, Max Aub

Coproduction :

 

This play was coproduced by the Théâtre Paul-Eluard de Bezons (as part of a residency), the Communauté de Communes du Pays de Briey, ARCADI (Action régionale pour la création artistique et la diffusion en Ile-de-France) and Toujours Après Minuit. Toujours Après Minuit is subsidized by DRAC Ile-de-France/Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication as part of its aid for choreographic companies.
 
Thanks to CND de Pantin, to the Théâtre de la Cité Internationale in Paris, and to the group La Rumeur.