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French Immersive Art C'est Pas Là, C'est Par Là Will Unite Rochester Fringe Audiences

Performances are Friday, September 16 and Saturday, September 17 at 8:30 PM on both nights.

French Immersive Art C'est Pas Là, C'est Par Là Will Unite Rochester Fringe Audiences

Organizers of the Rochester Fringe Festival announced today that preparations for the Rochester engagement of the U.S. Premiere Tour of C'est Pas Là, C'est Par Là (It's Not Here, It's Over Here) are well underway. Direct from Marseille, France, C'est Pas Là, C'est Par Là is a unique, site-specific show that invites the community to come together and maneuver through a massive web of string 6 kilometers (nearly 4 miles) long. The free, public show will occur on the empty lot next to City Blue Imaging located at 68 Scio Street in downtown Rochester. Performances are Friday, September 16 and Saturday, September 17 at 8:30 PM on both nights. The experience is appropriate for all ages and runs for approximately 45 minutes.

Conceived by South Korean street artist Juhyung Lee and produced by the arts collective Compagnie Galmae, C'est Pas Là, C'est Par Là comes to the U.S. directly from Marseille, France, where both are based. Lee was inspired to create the show by a pro-democracy demonstration that he attended in Seoul, South Korea. He is interested in the concepts underlying large-scale performances, especially exploring the role of the individual within a group dynamic.

At the onset, the audience is led by Lee to take an end of string and enter the web. They soon become actors, passing strands over and under each other and collectively working to roll the string back into individual balls. At the show's conclusion, the individual balls of string are set alight in a bonfire to commemorate the achievement of teamwork and demonstrate the fleeting nature of the human experience. The production uses a dynamic soundscape from the South Korean demonstration and an inventive lighting design to further enhance the show's impact.

C'est Pas Là, C'est Par Là, which Lee and Galmae have performed globally, explores how a crowd moves; how one moves differently when alone versus when in a crowd; what determines the "we;" and what is an individual within a group? They hope to engage audiences in a communal exercise of reconstruction and deconstruction that is fun, participatory, political, playful, and collaborative.

"The Board of Directors of the Rochester Fringe Festival and I were inspired to book C'est Pas Là, C'est Par Là as our response to the rising tide of anti-Asian hate in the United States," said Festival Producer Erica Fee. "This show clearly and viscerally demonstrates that communities are stronger when they work together, but that one person can both positively and negatively affect that community."

C'est Pas Là, C'est Par Là is currently on a U.S. Premiere Tour of the East Coast, with performances lined up at Artpark (Lewiston, New York); PS21 (Chatham, New York); and The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (Burlington, Vermont). The final U.S. engagement will take place at the Rochester Fringe Festival immediately prior to its London debut at the Bell Center.

The presentation of the performance installation C'est Pas Là, C'est Par Là by Compagnie Galmae - Juhyung Lee, is made possible by the support of FACE Contemporary Theater (a program of Villa Albertine and FACE Foundation), in partnership with the French Embassy in the United States; with additional support from The Ford Foundation, Institut français, the French Ministry of Culture, and private donors.

"After two years of postponement, we are proud to see the Compagnie Galmae finally in the United States," said Nicole Birmann Bloom, the Performing Arts Program Officer for Villa Albertine - Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States. "This is a highly anticipated, long-awaited performance where a group experience is first an intimate reflection with oneself, and then, a way of defining a part of one's identity in relation to the community to which one belongs."

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