A LITTLE HISTORY…
From 1980 to 1992, the Centre Culturel of Chevilly-Larue organized a Storytellers’ Festival which in time has become one of the flagship events of this discipline and the very core of the storytelling revival tide. In 1993, the Centre Culturel sets up La Maison du Conte which dedicates its activities mainly to supporting artists and their new shows. Since October 1999, La Maison du Conte has moved into the walls of the Villa Lipsi, previously owned by sculptor Maurice Lipsi. In 2001, Michel Jolivet asks Abbi Patrix to work with him both as guest and partner.
Since June 2003, they share the management of La Maison du Conte. They have gathered around them a whole team of artists, professionnal storytellers or young apprentices who have become fully committed to this House.
LA MAISON DU CONTE AND ITS GOALS
Residence and Creation
La Maison du Conte regularly gives an opportunity for young artists to express themselves, prominently featuring those who tend to develop a repertoire related to a specific area, and more generally who demonstrate a modern and innovative spirit. Each season sees several artists settle in for a residence. We give them the support they need and allow them to perform on stage either at the Centre Culturel or at La Maison du Conte
Transmission and Research
From 2003 to 2006, Abbi Patrix and La Maison du Conte gathered and worked step by step with 18 storytellers all hailing from different backgrounds, leading them through both a teaching process and an exploration of their art. In 2007, this experience was carried out with a renewed team of 15 storytellers who now come to work three days a month at La Maison du Conte.
This year, La Maison du Conte shall accommodate two Labs : the Creation Lab under the direction of Abbi Patrix, and a second one called Lit’oral, run by Haïm Isaacs and Didier Kowarsky. This unprecedented experience demonstrates the will of La Maison du Conte to list its activities and actions in a resolutely collective dimension.
At the end of each year, the Lab members show the fruit of their work and research while participating in one or several public performances : « The Gardens ».
La Maison du Conte offers the possibility for both professionnal storytellers and apprentices, teachers and infancy educators to follow various forms of training, such as workshops, week-ends or monthly courses. Master-classes, conferences and performances are also organized in order to pass on the basics of our art and discipline, hosted by key figures and well-known artists. These may take place at La Maison du Conte or other venues – this year for example, at the Centre Pompidou. Special days called “Les Journées du Grand Dire” are regularly taking place – a play on words between « Great Telling » and « to grow ». They represent an opportunity of meeting and a bringing face to face between scientists, intellectuals, research workers’ opinions on the one hand, and the expression of storytellers and artists about subjects such as stories and childhood, mythology, wonder tales, language…
The welcoming of performances
We work in constant partnership with the Centre Culturel and welcome several shows produced by either well-known or young artists. Both La Maison du Conte and the Centre Culturel have adjustable theatres at their disposal (70 to 400 seats). Each event is also an opportunity to set off new performances. We happen to work each year in partnership with the state organization responsible for the French language and participate in the Week of the French Language
Raising awareness around artistic issues – Cultural policies
We draw up various projects in association with schools, day nurseries, libraries… in collaboration with storytellers and artists who are close to us. We ask them to work with men and women in jail, or out in the street, in people’s homes or in a specific area in association with local authorities and associations to collect stories. These projects are the very core of our mission, for the collecting of stories is both a working method, a source of creativity and the most appropriate tool to generate social cohesion along with a harmonious relationship between the storyteller and his audience. We experience these adventures as a wonderful way to share our passion of stories with those who have no access to performances or to the practice of an art form.
We reckon that these actions all put together concern around 7000 to 8000 people each year.
La Compagnie du Cercle
La Compagnie du Cercle, a government-subsidized company, is run by Abbi Patrix and has established itself in la Maison du Conte : it produces, creates, organizes and sells Abbi Patrix’ shows and creation projects. It does contribute to several collective projects rooted in the Ile-de-France territory.
La Maison du Conte is part of a wider structure – Mondoral – which has brought together the four national leading centres representing storytelling in France, supporting storytelling and the arts of speech on a nationwide scale. Its directory is open to artists, festival organizers, companies, amateurs, artistic agents, professors.
The national storytelling and arts of speech network
La Maison du Conte is a member of a storytelling network, a group of professionnal companies and/or organizations dedicated to the arts of speech in France. These associations are deeply committed to the area where they’re located and to the people living there. Their numerous cultural projects are a reflection of a will to develop and collectively promote our discipline.
It was last year when a european federation project was initiated with the help of three different organizations in Norway, Sweden and Great Britain (Scotland). Spurred on by Abbi Patrix, La Maison du Conte was one of the co-founding structures. The goal is to offer support and supply enough information data, thus developing a higher media profile of our discipline through its professionnal representatives. Our ambition is to create a genuine european network.
To fulfill this purpose, 60 members gathered for a 3 days meeting last August in Switzerland ; each member belonged to one of the numerous cultural organizations stemming from 17 different European countries.