François Kahn


May 20, 2009 - May 21, 2009 19:00

Stazione Leopolda di Firenze | IT


I dormienti (Sleepers) is a theatrical action constructed on various poems from Walt Whitman’s collection Leaves of Grass and in particular on the poem Sleepers. The poet watches men and women asleep, he lies down beside each one of them, he calls up the infinite variety of sleepers and dreams “all the dreams of the other dreamers”. The poet’s vision advances in many directions: the journey of the sleepers who in their dreams return towards their homeland and their childhood; the journey of the lovers in the dark of night that “pervades them and infolds them”; the journey between life and death in the perfect architecture of the human body. This vision ends with the return of the dreamers to bodies made whole again by sleep, and with their awakening. Darkness, where light alone structures space, is enough to evoke sleep and dreams. Some few objects and large sheets of paper give form to actions, make visible the order and the disorder of words and signs, play with the folds and the rustlings of substance. In this scenario the presence of Soul and Animus is made manifest, the double incarnation of the poet.
Ever since I discovered him in the early Seventies, Walt Whitman has profoundly moved me. I have recognised in him the breath of the times that I then felt: the same aspiration towards sincerity, the same will to be rid of any prejudice and to reach self-acceptance and, as a result, the acceptance of others, the same search for a truth that was at once material and immaterial, beyond any religious or political dogma. Straight away I fell in love with the musical flow of his words, the optimism of his formidable vitality veined by melancholy, his immoderate wanderlust.
François Kahn


François Kahn (France, 1949) is an actor, dramatist, director and pedagogue. In 1973 he met Jerzy Grotowski with whom he worked for 12 years in France, Poland and the U.S.A. In Italy, at Volterra, he joined the Gruppo Internazionale l’Avventura and in 1987 he started his ten-year collaboration with the Centro di Ricerca e Sperimentazione Teatrale di Pontedera, where he debuted with the shows Quentin and K. L’ultima ora di Franz Kafka. During the 25 years he spent in Italy, Kahn taught in the most important schools and academies. His work is oriented towards non-theatrical texts and his staging is set in non-conventional spaces that favour the vicinity between actors and audience, a choice due to his belief in the centrality of the actor in theatrical creation. This is a belief Kahn holds in common with Humberto Brevilheri, the Brazilian actor and director, with whom he founded the Chamber Theatre in Cremona, later called the Odradek Theatre. In 2007 the association moved to France.


direction: François Kahn
adaptation and translation: François Kahn
literary consultation: Elena Sternai Saraceno
interpreters: Murielle Béchame, François Kahn
light creation: Alberto Burnichon
co-production: Odradek Theatre/Arcat














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