Constantly in search of fresh movement, colorful and audacious expressivity, Carte Blanche mixes levity and depth to create innovative and engaging performances which present a respectfuly iconoclastic perspective on our artistic heritages, a contemporary reflexion on intrinsic, yet often invisible cultural memories.
Through dance, theatre and interactive video, Carte Blanche performs accessible, honest and articulated work, using dreams, poetry, humor, language and cultural diversity as a starting point for a thoughtful narrative, a journey into our human identity.
Founded by two French women (Charline Formenty and Marie Walburg Plouviez) in search for a cultural bridge between their culture and the city they live in, Carte Blanche is a dance/theatre company based in San Francisco, Bay Area.
Artistic director Charline Formenty plays in nuances with generosity and spontaneity, passion and light, seduction and presence, freedom and rigor to share her poetic approach on existential problems and pushes the doors between truth and invisibility.
After three sold out shows at NOHspace, awards from critics, and accolades from professionals and audience members alike, Ophelia will continue its run in at the Garage in San Francisco, then in Portland, OR in March 2013 for two performances during the Semaine de la Francophonie in collaboration with Alliance Française and Fabulations, and at Fort Mason Center for the two first weeks of April with a new walk through exeprience version involving dance, theater and video interaction.
The theater company Carte Blanche drops its suitcases in San Francisco to re-imagine the story of Hamlet's tragic heroine, Ophelia. Inspired by Arthur Rimbaud's elegiac poem to this remarkable woman, the story follows Ophelia beyond the pages of Shakespeare as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery.
In this newly revealed chapter, Ophelia travels the world searching for her identity. Lost in her dreams of Hamlet and the letters he sent her, she makes her way through strange and unknown countries, languages, and cultures. Always on the run, she flees from town to town, struggling with memories and dreams, with the ebb and flow of the tide of life as her constant companion.
At the crossroads between dance and theater, Ophelia is a meditation on the timelessness of this experience. Artistic director Charline Formenty channels her own story as an immigrant through this Shakesperian myth, while Rimbaud's text helps connect the tale to her French roots. The poem itself is a direct critique of Ophelia's naivety, as well as a love letter to the legend.
Directed by Formenty and performed by Marie W. Plouviez, Ophelia is the first creation of the San Francisco based company Carte Blanche.
April 4, 6, 7, 11, 13, & 14th, 2013
@ Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
Ophelia at Fort Mason Center - A unique experience
Following an extended run in San Francisco and Portland, Carte Blanche breaks down the boundaries of theater to transform Ophelia into an interactive exploration of a physical world infused with Shakespeare. Transported to the grounds of the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, the show will follow Ophelia on her remarkable journey without the constraints of the stage.
Situated on the northern rim of San Francisco on the Bay, the Fort Mason Center brings Ophelia back to the water’s edge. The audience will join Ophelia as she wanders through the grounds and buildings on her quest for identity, discovering new forms of expression around every turn. The immediate surroundings become symbolic reference points to better understand this Shakespearian myth, and her search takes on complex dimensions of vulnerability and courage in the open air. Ophelia is no longer a character in a play; she is one of us.
The history of the space, the shape of the buildings, and the fogginess of the city all combine to create a new kind of immersive theatrical experience. With live musical accompaniment, an augmented cast, and a cutting edge use of interactive video, the audience will become a part of the show like never before.
Charline Formenty | Artistic Director, Founder >> See PortfolioCharline Formenty practically grew up on stage. Originally from Paris, France, she caught the theater bug very early in life: she began performing at the age of 3 and has not stopped since. Charline’s stories are cut-and-paste montages assembled from art history and literature, observations of daily life and politics, and the vivid imagery and mythos of her dreams. Drawing on her lifetime of experience, she founded her first company, Les Petites Portes, in 2000. After graduating from university (2008) with a double degree in Art History and Production Management, she worked for DCA - Philippe Decouflé and Le Cirque du Soleil. In 2009 she moved to San Francisco, started freelancing as a designer/photographer, and founded her new company Carte Blanche and recently created Ophelia (2012).
Marie Walburg Plouviez | Performer, Founder >> See PortfolioPassionate about the body and its representation in the performing arts, Marie's work has always been at the intersection of dance and theater. Though skilled in a variety of styles, she's traveled to Africa extensively and taught African Dance for 2 years. In 2003, she completed a degree in Performing Arts at the University of Nice, and subsequently spent 3 years studying in a National Acting Conservatory. Before moving to San Francisco, Marie created her own theater company in Paris, Les Ex-citants, and worked in the Theatre du Trèfle in Poitiers. She just moved to San Francisco where she met Charline Formenty. Working with her has been a evidence, they now have many creations and projects in perspective, starting with Ophelia.
Summer Bowie | PerformerSummer has been dancing since she could wave her little arms and nod her head. Her formal dance training began at the age of 5 in San Diego, CA as most young dancers get there start, performing tap, jazz, ballet and gymnastics in sequins, fringe and a whole lotta lycra. In 2000 she began training and dancing with the Eveoke Dance Theatre Company in San Diego, exploring movement and theater that fuses hip hop and modern, addressing feminist inquiry and social change. After receiving her B.A. in Dance from the University of California, Irvine in 2008, Summer collaborated with Los Angeles Movement Arts before moving to San Francisco. In this wondrous city she has had the privilege of working as a clown and partner acrobat for Dreamtime Circus a dancer/collaborator for Here Now Dance Collective and performer for Carte Blanche.
Sarah Gould | PerformerGrowing up in San Diego county, Sarah began performing with dance companies, Mojalet and Sadie Weinberg & Dancers. In 2008, she came to San Francisco to receive her BA in Dance at SF State, where she trained from such greats as choreographer Mark Foerihger, Pilates instructor Susan Whipp, and dance professors Cathleen McCarthy and Ray Tadio. Upon graduating in 2010, Sarah received the Hood Award on behalf of the College of Creative Arts and an award for Excellence in Dance. Sarah has since been dancing with detour dance, HereNowDance Collective and, more recently, Carte Blanche. Highly fascinated by the infinite complexities of human relationships Gould actively explores them in her creative endeavors, including choreography, poetry writing, painting, and art modeling.
Matthew Schoening | Composer >> See WebsiteMatthew Schoening was born in San Francisco, CA in 1981. Both his parents are musicians. His father plays Viola in the internationally acclaimed San Francisco Symphony, and his mother is a professionnal flautist. Having grown up in a musical family, he naturally took to instruments at an early age. As an adolescent he began playing the cello to take part in a school music program. By high school, he dropped the cello due to a diminishing music department in public schools, and lack of inspiration. It was not until the past several years that he picked up the cello again, and grew into the unique solo artist and teacher he is today. Matthew's intentions are to make a positive impact on the world through the music that flows through him.
Simone van der Meer | Costume DesignerSimone van der Meer has been designing costumes for Dance and Theatrical Productions for five years. She attended San Francisco State University and graduated as the Creative Arts Hood Recipient with a Bachelors Degree in both Costume Design and Dance. At San Francisco State University she not only performed in the Dance Productions, but also helped design several of the costumes for choreographers such as Mark Foehringer, Susie Whipp, Ray Tadio, and Cathleen McCarthy. After graduating she has continued to work as a freelance designer and costume assistant for several projects and companies throughout San Francisco. She assisted Olivia Griffin with costumes for Boxcar Theater's Tennessee Williams 3 Shows project, and designed and created costumes for University Dance Theater at SFSU, Push Dance Company, and Requisitedance. Her design work involves understanding how the body moves and being able to create a costume that will enhance and accentuate that movement.
Blake Manship | Lighting and Video ProgrammerEducated at SF State, IATSE Local 16 permit worker for 10 years, Blake designs lighting and video environments for dance, circus and theatrical productions. His most recent endeavor is a position with SF Jazz as their Opening Crew Lighting Programmer. Previous touring work has taken him throughout the United States, Canada, Scandinavia and Europe. "It has been a complete pleasure to work with Carte Blanche-SF and we hope to ignite your imagination on this amazing journey at Fort Mason Center."
Koya Takahashi | Visual Designer >> See PortfolioBorn 1985 in Aichi, Japan. Film creator. Lives in Tokyo. Takahashi Koya researches mythological motifs such as nature, the universe, religion and folk legend as well as the effects created by today’s image expressions. 2008 Graduated from Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music. 2011 Graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts.
Mike Scully | Sound Designer, Audio EngineerBeginning his career in Colorado Mike, or "Scully" as he is usually called, moved to California in 2004. There he began working at an elite recording studio in northern California while attending audio engineering school. It was here that he honed his ears working on many different recording sessions with artists such as Vieux Farka Touré, Rammstein, Garaj Mahal amongst many others. In the past few years he has also gotten back into live sound reinforcement which is what peaked his interest in a career in audio as a child. Meeting Charline Formenty in 2009, and collaborating with the Carte Blanche company, Scully has been defining a new palate sound designing for theater productions.
Karl Gillick | Set Design >> See PortfolioKarl's interest in the performing arts was born during his early career as a tree canopy biologist, climbing trees in Alaska, Costa Rica and the Pacific Northwest. The creativity and dexterity required to traverse delicately among the crowns of ancient trees inspired him to share this tactile sense of movement with an audience. Since then, Karl has developed unique approaches to many roles in the arts, including: director, curator, installation artist, performance artist, designer, and rigger. With a penchant for large interactive site-specific work, Karl seeks to redefine an audience's experience of our normal environments. He was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award in 2009 for set design for Flyaway Productions' Ballad of Polly Ann.
J. Stephanie Pasvankias | Public Relations and Press contactStephanie Pasvankias loves to facilitate and create challenging and life affirming experiences, whether through her ten years of work in event production and photography or through her ten plus years of work in alternative media and radical publishing. When looking behind the scenes you may catch a glimpse of her- or if you don't- just listen really closely for someone muttering 'Death to Capitalism" close by.
Tyson Ayers | Composer, Live MusicianPassionate about creatively fusing visual arts, music, words, physics and other disciplines into profound experiences for others, tyson is a multimedia installation and performance artist, experimental instrument builder / sculptor, and a music composer. tyson has contributed to the Bay Area arts scene since 2003 as a director of the Sound Cave Project, the Living Pulse Project, the Centennial Celebration of the Elationists, the Foundation for the Preservation of Fantastic Possibilities, the Interarts Orchestra, and a core organizer Million Fishes Arts Collective and of the MAPP: Mission Arts and Performance Project. tyson grew up in the Pacific Northwest and graduated from Whitman College in an Independently Designed Major combining music composition, painting, and writing. For his thesis he wrote and performed his first symphony combining 18 live musicians, films of his paintings, and multiple line spoken word.
David Dillen Hald | Production assistantDavid has been working as a lighting technician and carpenter full time for a little over a year, but his theater roots reach back over ten years. He studied musical theater at Cal State, Fullerton, but has since been working on the technical side of the stage. However, he is also a company member of Collage Theatre, with whom he performed in Box City in February 2012 in San Francisco. David is elated to work with Carte Blanche, and he looks forward to carrying the inspiration of this show out into the world in his own performance pursuits.