The show The Little Prince is arriving at the Sydney Opera House from Marseille, France at the end of the month. Over the next few weeks, we will share interviews with key people involved with the show, starting with the show’s director, Anne Tournié, who spoke to us from France before heading to Australia.
Anne Tournié, you’re the director of the show The Little Prince which is soon going to be performed at the Sydney Opera House. Tell us a little about the show. What can Australian audiences expect?
I didn’t want to impose a vision on the spectator. I leave the widest possible field of vision so as to leave the viewer’s imagination free and untouched. Above all, I have favoured simplicity and emotion.
I want the Sydney audience to discover or rediscover The Little Prince, to be immersed in this body language (on land and in the air) and to travel with it from planet to planet.
How many people will be on stage during the performances of The Little Prince in Sydney?
Do people need to have read the book Le Petit Prince before seeing the show?
My aim is for the audience to read or re-read The Little Prince AFTER having seen the show :0)
COVID-19 restrictions have caused a lot of isolation and loneliness around the world. How is the story of The Little Prince pertinent after such a year?
It is absolutely pertinent! The Fox teaches the Little Prince that he is responsible for those he loves. This tragic pandemic has brought us closer together and made us more responsible for our loved ones and for those who are fragile. It has also taught us to put aside the consumer society and return to true values.
Dance has been part of your life since childhood – your mother had a dance school and your father did the lights and set design. Were you destined to become a dancer?
My parents passed on their passions to me and they have driven me since the age of six. However, as an adult, I have built this passion up on my own to become my profession.
Have you always wanted to be a dancer?
When did you start doing choreography?
When I was 17 but I’ve always liked to create.
The cast of the show The Little Prince in France had artists from France, Italy, Poland, India and China, among others. Have you previously worked with such a diverse cast before this show?
Oh yes! I have worked outside France for a long time and I’ve always liked working with artists of all nationalities. Some artists from The Little Prince have followed me over several years.
You worked with Chris Mouron on The Little Prince. Have you previously worked together? How did you meet?
Yes, we started creating shows together in 1996. We met on a show in Paris, me as a dancer and her as a singer.
Do you remember when you read The Petit Prince for the first time? What effect did it have on you?
My mother who loved this book read it to me before I even knew how to read. Afterwards, it became my Afterwards it became my bedside book. This book has always been with me through my life.
What is your favourite book?
The Little Prince :0)
What is your favourite dance show?
Café Muller / Pina Bausch – Smoke / Matts Ek – Petite Mort / Jiri Kylian
What is your favourite play?
Gandhi / Ariane Mnouchkine
How has your work on The Little Prince been different to your other projects?
This show is not an “order” from a producer. It’s a personal wish. I wanted to create a show, my show, with artists that I liked, with artists from all different disciplines, from all horizons, of all nationalities. It’s Chris Mouron who gave me the obvious: The Little Prince. My favourite book with my favourite artists! Within an hour, I had built the show in my head.
Originally The Little Prince was meant to be presented in Sydney last April. Have you been to Australia before?
No, it will be the first time and I’m very impatient to go!
With COVID-19 restrictions, I imagine that you haven’t been able to travel or present your shows. How have you spent this time?
It was one of the most difficult periods of my life but this ordeal, which required a lot of patience from all of us, will find a happy ending in Sydney! To finally play the show again and in such a prestigious place!
WHAT: The show The Petit Prince
WHERE: SYDNEY Opera House
WHEN: 26 May to 6 June
HOW: Buy your tickets via the website: https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/events/whats-on/circus-and-magic/2021/the-little-prince.html
HOW MUCH: Tickets cost $89 -$ 149 plus $8.50 booking fee.
Do you remember the first time you read The Petit Prince?