Foehn at Adelaide Festival

Every so often a small, unknown company takes an international festival by storm. Suddenly everyone seems to be asking, wide-eyed, “My God, have you seen…?” Such was the impact of Compagnie Non Nova on the Edinburgh Fringe 5 years ago and they’ve been touring the world ever since. Sounds like a must see. But how do you feel once it’s revealed that the question ends with the words: “…the plastic bag show?”

Lia spoke to creator Phia Menard about why this work has taken the world by storm, and the inspiration behind this exciting work. Read the full interview below:

Phia Menard

For those that don't know much about the piece, what is Foehn, and what inspired its creation?


Foehn is a wind that blows in Europe and comes from the Sahara, like any wind it has a certain reputation [some people describe the wind as being surrounded by a beguiling aura of mystery and superstition].


What inspired the creation was the desire to create a ballet based on the music by Claude Debussy and to choreograph a show in which ordinary plastic bags are transformed into graceful dancers.


Was Foehn always intended to be a theatre piece for children? How do different age groups respond to this work?


Foehn is intended for the whole family, children as well as parents and everyone is free to interpret the work according to their own imagination. The choreography is free and non-didactic with the wind being the driving force and an uncontrollable aspect of the work. All ages and all groups that come to see the work are different, what they have in common is their fascination with the piece !


How has the shown changed since its original incarnation?


The show doesn’t change, because it’s only the wind that changes.


What impact do you hope Foehn has on Australian audiences, and what they expect from this work?

I hope that audiences in Adelaide will be captivated by this original work !




Favourite production you have ever seen?

Furia by Lia Rodrigues


You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world, where do you go?



Dream work to direct/create?

To succeed in creating a volcano in a theatre


What’s next for you after this show?

I am working on more pieces similar to Foehn, like my Maison Mère suite from the Three Immortal Tales.

Foehn opens at the Adelaide Festival on March 13. You can get your tickets here.

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