The French singer, actor and dancer discusses her spotlight performance at Les Trans 2018
Each year, Les Transmusicales hosts a spotlight show – a two-hour slot held on consecutive nights devoted to an artist making an impact. After past performances from the likes of Benjamin Clementine and Nakhane, this year, the new music festival based in Rennes opened its doors to the glistening multifaceted talent of Alöise Sauvage.
She’s just signed to Universal France and for the past two years, Sauvage has been developing her own visually accompanied take on French confessional hip-hop – and has even recently delved into a bit of film acting. Having spent a large part of her youth training in contemporary circus performance art, Sauvage’s talents don’t just lie parallel to one another, they often also interlink. This year at Les Trans she engineered a unique, never seen before performance; one that encapsulates both her talent as a musician, flair as a dancer and physical performer.
For the duration of the weekend (5-9 December 2019) her shows took place at the L’Aire Libre theatre, and as I arrive to greet her on the evening of her third performance, it’s clear she’s struck by (and perhaps a tad nervous about) the prospect of international attention. As we stumble around the other’s conversational language limitations, we discuss her music, blossoming acting career and what playing the spotlight show at Les Trans really means to her.
What were your first thoughts when you were invited to play the spotlight show at Les Trans?
Honestly, it was a shock. I was astonished because I was familiar with the people who’d played it before. People like Stromae, Jeanne Added, Nakhane, so many artists of a really high standard, some of which I listen to everyday. I like challenges and this was a great opportunity for me. Last year, it was just me, a microphone and a backing track so this really was next level stuff.
What was it like designing the choreography for the show?
It may surprise you, but when I’m moving or dancing, it’s pretty much total improvisation. I don’t choreograph anything, I just move into the correct space at the right time. I use the lighting and music to guide me.
You were a student at the Fratellini Academy, what was it like going to circus school?
It was certainly an adventure. Before I left conventional schooling, I was involved in a lot of extra curricular artistic activities. I did theatre, break dancing and played music so training in contemporary circus performance was always attractive to me. I was an all rounder so it was the place for me.
It was tough though because circus school is a very physically demanding place to be. At times, I felt lost and not in the right place because of how competitive it was, but the teachers and directors helped steer me towards my ambition to be a multi-skilled performer.