Yngvild Aspeli - Plexus Polaire (France-Norway)


Inspired by the novel by Herman Melville



4 and 5 May at 7pm (Tue, Wed)

Opening Show FIMFA Lx21 - Portuguese Premiere


⇨ TICKETS ONLINE     Tickets: 9€ to 16€ (with discounts)  +info

Technique: Visual Theatre, puppets, music and video Language: English and French, with Portuguese subtitles 

Age guidance: +12 Runs: 90 min.


The 21st edition of FIMFA opens at Teatro Nacional with Moby Dick ! Absolutely not to be missed the new show by Yngvild Aspeli, which stages this magnificent monster of literature with seven puppeteers, fifty puppets, video projections, a submerged orchestra and a life-size whale. The renowned company Plexus Polaire returns to FIMFA to take us on a journey of mystery and wonder.

An investigation into the unexplained mysteries of life.


Moby Dick invokes the legend of the white whale and explores the mysteries of the human soul confronted with the vastness of the ocean.


After the worldwide success of Chambre Noire, the director and puppeteer Yngvild Aspeli returns to FIMFA with his new creation. The story of a whaling expedition but also that of an obsession search, which took a crew to their tragic destination. A magic novel, in which, in the face of the immensity of the sea, it reveals an investigation into the unexplained mysteries of life and a dizzying dive inside the human soul. Drawing on this almost mythical tale, the Norwegian artist presents on stage the men and women who have disappeared at sea and lets us hear their stories.


In 1851 Herman Melville published Moby Dick, the story of a senseless and frenzied hunt for a white whale by one man, Captain Ahab, which eventually spells doom for the crew of the Pequod. If successive generations of readers thirsting for adventure have all been captivated by this masterpiece, it is because its story of initiation is suffused with a mysticism nature and the seas always call to mind. 


Faced with this mythological space which unites man to beast, beast to nature, and man to the unfathomable, Yngvild played with scale and used myriads of puppets to echo the power of the oceans. An elusive white whale, larger-than-life characters, and video to throw us off balance and to astonished us: it's an entire poetic world what we see before us on the stage. Surrounded by her company hers Plexus Polaire, which she likes to call her “floating Babel,” Yngvild explores the question of destiny and offers a murky and mysterious journey to all human souls.


“My grandfather was a sailor. He had a naked woman tattooed on his upper arm, and I remember him as a smell of tar and tobacco. He came from an island on the west-coast of Norway, a tiny harbor filled with foreign ships and languages, fishermen, sailors and children waiting for fathers who never came home from the sea. A landscape of wind, vast ocean and women standing looking out at the horizon. Weathered faces, sore hands and churches with boats hanging from the ceiling in hope of protection. My ancestors were buried in Portuguese soil, because the churchyard on this island didn´t have enough earth to bury their own dead. I like how the sea somehow draws invisible lines between the different corners of the world, how it creates points of connection. How, facing this force of nature, we are all the same. And no-one captures the battle between man and nature like Herman Melville in Moby Dick (...). To quote Melville; It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all."
-Yngvild Aspeli

"So accomplished, so beautiful and visual, so profound and so complete that I have difficulty finding words (...). Yngvild Aspeli and the puppet company Plexus Polaire created a multimedia work of art, based on a theatrical performance, unlike anything else I have seen in more than 40 years. Light, video projections, music, songs, spectacular and complex scenography, about fifty realistic figures, a particularly skillful performance and puppets mixed in a sophisticated, visual, strong and incredibly beautiful theatrical experience.”
-Amund Grimstad, Klassekampen


“Armed with a set of puppets as fascinating as they are amazing, the young director composes a poetic picture book that rejoices the dark symbolism of Herman Melville (...). Because they [the puppets] claim the main part, visual and dramaturgical. Alone, or in groups, in the form of the captain, sailor, sperm whale, shark or shiny fish, they are impressive in their design and manipulated with remarkable virtuosity and fluidity (...)."
-Vincent Bouquet, Sceneweb


“The winner of the 'Groupe des 20 théâtres en Île-de-France' brilliantly signs a meticulous performance. A great performance in a fascinating universe (...). The actors, sometimes three, to control just one of the characters, like the captain, for example, manage to create a perfect illusion. Likewise, when it comes to the seabed with fish of all sizes and even the huge white sperm whale. The projections join the group and an equally remarkable musical score is played live (...).
-Gérald Rossi, L’Humanité


“Performed in an impressive way and so visually ambitious, it is breathtaking when we realize what we are witnessing (...).”
-Mode Steinkjer, Dagsavisen



A native of Norway, Yngvild Aspeli has been living in France since 2003. She develops a visual universe that likes to mix softness and cruelty. Through images, sounds and gestures, imagination and matter, Yngvild gives life to the most hidden feelings. An approach centered around the double presence of the actor, in relation to the life-sized puppets. 
Yngvild trained at the Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School in Paris, then at the National School of Puppetry Arts (ESNAM) in Charleville-Mézières. She created her company, Plexus Polaire in 2008. She created five shows with Plexus Polaire: Signaux (2011), Opéra Opaque (2013), Cendres (2014), Chambre Noire (2017) and Moby Dick (2020). Chambre Noire was a success at FIMFA Lx19, as well as Cendres, presented at FIMFA Lx17 and has since toured all over the world; Opéra Opaque was presented at FIMFA Lx13.

Yngvild also works as an actress, puppet manipulator, and mask and puppet constructor for various other companies in France, Norway and England. 
Since September 2016 she is associated artist at Le Théâtre, Scène Conventionnée d'Auxerre. At the beginning of 2017, she became accomplice artist of EPCC Bords 2 Scènes de Vitry-le-François. Since 2018, she is associated artist of Le Mouffetard - Théâtre des Arts de la Marionnette in Paris.
Previously, from 2012 to 2015, she was an associate artist at Compagnie Philippe Genty and MCNN, Maison de la Culture de Nevers et de la Nièvre. Yngvild decided to based her company in Nevers, and then in Auxerre, choosing to develop the puppetry art in connection with the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté territory, while continuing permanently on international tours.




Direction: Yngvild Aspeli Actors and puppeteers: Sarah Lascar, Daniel Collados, Alice Chéné, Viktor Lukawski, Maja Kunsic, Andreu Martinez Costa With the special participation of: José Neves (resident actor of TNDMII) Music: Guro Skumsnes Moe, Ane Marthe Sørlien Holen, Havard Skaset Puppets: Polina Borisova, Yngvild Aspeli, Manon Leblanc, Sebastien Puech, Elise Nicod Dramaturgy: Pauline Thimonnier Scenography: Elisabeth Holager Lund Costumes: Benjamin Moreau Lighting design: Xavier Lescat, Vincent Loubière Sound: Raphael Barani Video: David Lejard-Ruffet Assistant director: Pierre Tual Executive production: Claire Costa Administration Plexus Polaire: Anne-Laure Doucet, Gaedig Bonabesse Photography: Christophe Raynaud de Lage Coproduction: Nordland Teater, Mo I Rana; Figurteatret i Nordland (Nordland Visual Theatre), Stamsund; Groupe des 20 Théâtres en Ile-de-France; Lutkovno gledališče Ljubljana / Ljubljana Puppet Theatre; Comédie de Caen CDN; EPCC Bords 2 scènes, Vitry-le-François; TJP CDN Strasbourg - Grand Est; Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes de Charleville-Mézières; Le Manège, scène nationale - Reims; Le Théâtre - Scène conventionnée d’Auxerre; Le Mouffetard - Théâtre des Arts de la Marionnette, Paris; Les 2 Scènes, Scène Nationale de Besançon; MA scène nationale - Pays de Montbéliard; Le Sablier, Centre national de la marionnette - Ifs/Dives-sur-Mer; Le Théâtre Jean Arp, scène conventionnée de Clamart; La Maison/Nevers scène conventionnée Art en territoire, Nevers; Théâtre Romain Rolland, scène conventionnée d’intérêt national de Villejuif; Le Bateau Feu, Scène nationale de Dunkerque; With a support for multilingual diversity by Theatre de Choisy-le- Roi/Scène Conventionnée d’Intérêt national art et création pour la diversité linguistique, in cooperation with PANTHEA, Teater Innlandet, Hamar; POC, Alfortville Support: Kulturrådet / Arts Council Norway; DGCA Ministère de la Culture; DRAC et Région Bourgogne Franche Comté; Fond for lyd og bilde; Conseil Général du Val de Marne; Département de l’Yonne; Danse -og teatersentrum