On November 25th at Art CN Gallery in Shanghai, the 99 women celebrated the achievement of an amazing adventure.
“This project has been a great success and this is result of an amazing collaborative work from all of you. For this, I’d like to thank you again for your enthusiasm and commitment.
According to me, the magic of the project is based on different elements that grow in circles like a living body and create a powerful dynamics.
First of all, it started with a text, a play, around 35 pages that I wrote one year ago. Words are like a stone thrown in lake. It sparkled the first ripple, the first circle.
Then, with my 35 pages, I looked around me. I was in Shanghai, one of the biggest city in the world, I thought it was possible to find a few people who could speak the lines. Indeed, I found quickly many women who were daring enough to come on stage and live their first experience of theatre. Actress number one was Isabelle who played Kameko. Last actress to be enrolled was probably Jin Jin who played Estelle. The women of Shanghai formed the second circle.
As an artist, I seek for perfection. Good enough is never enough. I wanted the play to be as beautiful as possible and was committed to do my best to reach professional standards. I invited great talents to join: the photographer Liz Hingley, the choreographer Amy Chan, the makeup artist Kathryn Williams, the co-director Laetitia Cappoen, the trombonist Mindy Ruskovitch, the stage designers Marie Bizot and Agnes Crosnier. They reinforced the artistic dimensions of the shows. They composed the 3rd circle.
Meanwhile, as the group was growing fast, I realized that I needed some support to produce the shows. I found the association La Ruche: this was a decisive step in the expansion of the project. La Ruche gave me the opportunity to build up a team of coordinators to coach the actresses and to set up a project team of volunteers dedicated to communication and fund raising managed by Marguerite Deperrois. The production team is the 4rd circle.
At that stage, the project became something different: a platform for self-expression for each woman participating to the project depending upon their expectations and competencies as well as an experience of collaboration and community. The project was somewhat a utopia in a city that promotes always more competition and individualism.
In such a context, supporting the NGO Rebuilding Beautiful Homes women aid project was totally logical. Women in Sichuan are also looking for empowerment and work together to make it happen. They are the 5th circle.
The 6th circle gathered the public who came to the shows and the companies that supported our effort such as Sephora, Mei.com, Okaidi and Expatrimo that offered a financial support while many other companies that provided a sponsorship in kind.
With the 99 women play, our priority was not to organize a charity gala to raise funds but it gave us the opportunity to create a link between actresses, team members, artists, the public and the sponsors, to ultimately take a role in a bigger play with a perhaps little grandiloquent title: “how to make this world a better place?
This ambition drives the 99 women and forms a 7th circle with a greater reach. The project will expand beyond Shanghai based on the same dynamics. A new venture already started in India with 99 Indian women actresses, a social project and an association. Another project will perhaps be initiated in China next year remixing those elements.
After the welcome speech, we remitted our donation to the Sichuan NGO – much more that we all expected – and identified the lucky winners of around 100 raffle prizes. (Check the winning tickets http://www.99women.org/99-women-raffle-winners/)
Later, interviewed by Emilie, Genevieve had also to answer somewhat delicate questions about the people who inspired the characters of the play, the things that drove her to write or the motivations that made her jump into such a big project.
During the party, we exchanged, ate and drink, made jokes the way old friends do: sharing the experience of theater created unique and sincere attachments among the 99 women.
NEW SHOW of the 99 WOMEN in Shanghai on December, Saturday, 12th
We will present a remixed version of the 99 women with new actresses, new staging, new music and dance solo – on Dec 12th, 2015 at 8:30 pm during the first French speaking theatre festival FESTHEA that will take place at the XING GUAN FILM ART CENTER located 586 Ningbo Lu, near Guangxi Bei Lu, 宁波路586号， 近广西北路
20 archival presentation boxes containing the series of 7 posters (the “naked backs”) wrapped in acid free paper, including a certificate of authenticity detailing the edition number of 20, date and signature of the artist Liz Hingley (10 x 8 inch is the format of the photos 20, 3 x 25,4 cm) . Price: 2500 RMB
99 WOMEN BOOK
The book “99 women” written by Geneviève entails the text of the play in 3 languages, her diary in French and English and a selection of pictures of Liz Hingley.
170 pages. Landscape format. Color print. Delivered door-to-door in 10 day. Price: 220 RMB
DVD (Show October 11th, 2015)
Get a copy by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Price: 15 RMB.