In Vitro ou la légende des clones

When the world of scientists, journalists, and philosophers reacted to the news in 1997 that Dolly the Sheep had been born from a cloned egg cell, it inspired Guy Carrara to write the script for In Vitro ou La Légende des Clones [In Vitro or the Legend of the Clones]. This contemporary tale provides an opportunity to reflect on the training of circus artists and their aging process.

Under an immense tunnel (three aluminum arches), the first human clones try to escape the control of their demonic creator. This mad scientist tests their unpredictable performance using infernal machinery of his own invention. The tangle of clone bodies and red ropes offers a spectacle that is organic, visceral, profound, and “inhuman”.

Production Information

Author, director: Guy Carrara
Artistic consultant: Raquel Rache de Andrade
Choreographer: Créso Filho
Music: Olivier Teneur, Orange Blossom
Texts: François Cervantes, recited by Agnès Hemery
Light design: Jean Marie Prouvèze
Sound design: Jean Luc Roudière, Philippe Ollivier
Set design: George Ulivieri
Costumes: Anne Véziat
Make-up: Claudine Croulant

Artists: Jacqueline Carrara, Valérie Bordedebat, Aurélie Brua, Reynald Coulon, Sylvain Décure, Creso Filho, Damien Fournier, Jami Quarrel, Raquel Rache de Andrade, Dirk Schambacher, Fanny Soriano, Olivier Teneur, Mathias Tiberghien, Luciane Vivas Costa, Caroline Bray, Patricia Reigner-Peugniez, Creso Filho, Reynald Coulon, Olivier Teneur with the following replacements: Guy Carrara, Gaëtan Levêque, Cyril Musy, Julien Lambert, Alexandre Oleac, Johann Durand.

Media Coverage

In Vitro ou la légende des clones is a wordless play for acrobats, jugglers, and dancers. Under a huge portico that represents the lair of a mad scientist, two types of clones fight it out... The play suggests that the latter are the future versions of the former, that every clone is a potential robot. But it’s less about cloning than about our current ability to respect differences. To convey the unease of collective irresponsibility in the face of a standardized world, Guy Carrara (author and director of the show for Archaos) contrasts the military ballets of the laboratory technicians with forms that could be called primal, fleshly, umbilical — indecisive tangles of bodies and beautiful red ropes. This organic, visceral show, strongly reminiscent of H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau, stands in formal contrast to previous works by Archaos due to its resolutely choreographic approach.”
– Jean-Michel Guy, Chroniques des arts du cirque en l’an 2000 en France

“Archaos, the laboratory of art… Guy Carrara had to step in at short notice to replace one of his actors who had been hospitalized that very morning... Guy Carrara enjoyed this exercise in style... even though he hadn’t been on stage for 15 years… In her own way, Raquel Rache de Andrade also turned back time as she raced against the clock for an hour, trapped in a giant hamster wheel… as for Aurélie Brua, she plunged naked into a test-tube aquarium... Archaos makes full use (figuratively, fortuitously) of the talents of its 12 actors-artists... aerial numbers, Chinese poles (blood-red like surgical tubing), diabolical diabolos (strangely resembling the chalice of the Holy Grail), and other acrobatics based on umbilical cords... the performers cultivate their art so well, that in their hands (and their feet and everything else too), any effort seems disconcertingly easy...”
– Jean-Michel Le Blanc, Sud Ouest

In Vitro… with the multiple umbilical images, it conjures up and resurrects, this show is gripping and unsettling… There is steel and there are beautiful movements, both in the cinematic references and the dramaturgy... in a diabolical ballet that looks like it’s straight from the films of Murnau. Or the alleyways of a revisited Metropolis... In Vitro, a fantastic show performed by the Archaos company...”
– Alain Cigolotti, La Tribune, March 2002

In Vitro: dreaming with your eyes open, it’s time that never stops... the object of science attempts to become the subject of its story… The Archaos circus is a theater of images that become metaphors, powerful to the point of concentrating all femininity in a green nightgown... If you let yourself be carried away, you too will dream strange dreams with your eyes open...”
– Jean-Noël Barak, La Marseillaise, 6 May 2001

“Archaos presents its new creation In Vitro in Marseille... The story explores the idea of the human and the inhuman via the question of eugenics. Under a metal arch, the clones move to the rhythms of music by Orange Blossom and Olivier Teneur. Between the confusion of flesh and splanchnic disorder, the spirit of revolt inherent to the Archaos circus is unveiled. The scenography and body work convey poetry and violence in a non-conformist vision of modern scientific experimentation.”
– Gwenola Gabellec, Le César, April 2001

“With In Vitro, Archaos sketches the future of a world gone mad, where creatures created by humans end up turning against them. A string of breathtaking, formally beautiful acts... Dare we say it? In Vitro is Brave New World in the land of Star Wars... A gritty, desperate parody of a world that has lost all sense of proportion, In Vitro is a vintage comedy that explores the tests of the test tube: a haunting, desperate choreography of clones rushing into rebellion as one plunges into religion, it’s a scathing exercise in science affliction. Well seen... The poetry and hope that emanate from In Vitro emerge victorious from this world turned into a field of ruins...”
– Dominique Keller, La Marseillaise, 20 April 2001

“Archaos and its show In Vitro ou la légende des clones...It’s as beautiful as ever, and for us, we’re as amazed as ever, as blown away, as speechless in front of the show. A ballet between artists and the smooth, floating, stiff ropes...”
– Femme Actuelle, 24 to 30 July 2000

In Vitro ou la légende des clones… Archaos acrobats disintegrate the laws of gravity in their latest delirium... The complexity of the architectural structure of In Vitro is matched by the richness of its acts in a spectacular production that aims to question our current ability to respect differences.”
– P.N, L’Événement du Jeudi, 4 to 10 May 2000

“From the outset, the audience at In Vitro ou la légende des clones is plunged into a strange dream... An oneiric sequence and then the machine goes into overdrive. Paced by haunting music, the show is continuously permeated by organic impulses where frenzy takes hold of bodies and minds... Skillfully combining theater, dance, music, sound effects, mime, and circus, the company and its director Guy Carrara create a total performance… It’s impossible to absorb all the richness of such a show in one sitting. But in the end, the feeling is palpable. That of having experienced an exceptional moment.”
– PH. G, Le Trégor, October 1999