International Year of Chemistry, 2011

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The big show of chemistry

Idea by Marie-Claude Vitorge   |   added on Jul 27, 2010 12:42PM Suggestion Suggestion
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a collection of show about chemistry

Ursule FaBulle

Ursule is bored at home and invents some imaginary friends. Following a mistake in the delivery of a package containing strange products and equipment, she is unable to resist the temptation of trying them out… in her own way.

She will be surprised by the new and exciting results she obtains… And so will the public…


On the Experimentation of Experimental Experiments

Mademoiselle Renoncule is the assistant trainee of Professor Spatule. The Great Professor is about to give a conference called: “On the experimentation of experimental experiments”.

When he is delayed, she has no other choice but to take matters into her own hands. Because, as the Professor always reminds her: « For each problem there’s a solution, you just have to ask yourself the right question”. That’s when it gets complicated.

The only match to her passion for science being her incompetence and clumsiness, she will risk it all to save face. « Science makes you dream, it is magic in my hand, it’s even when I listen to a band, it’s everywhere

in your life, it’s under your fork and knife. There’s always plenty whys and hows to answer to. … And as long as I’m in my laboratory, well, I’m can solve any mystery! »

Mlle Renoncule


Wandering Clowns

Mlle Lulle, Mlle Ondule and Mlle Renoncule are the protagonists of various performances in duet or solo, adaptable to any audience. These curious and witty numbers are brought to you by very special clowns… science clowns! Examples of staged experiments:

Flamed banknote + Isopropanol + water + 2 glass containers

Pastis + washing‐up liquid + glass

Ferrofluid + magnet

Multicolored bottle (carafe + tall glass + tepid or cold + indigo carmine + glucose + soda)


Pure Sound

Jean‐Baptiste and Bastien are sound engineers on the set of a low budget sci‐fi movie. For the sake of the soundtrack of the film, they decide one night to break into a chemistry lab to create and record original sounds… But the elements will quickly take their toll on them. The stage as well as the two actors will be equipped with many microphones in order to capture and amplify every sound and noise separately – footsteps, manipulations, broken glass, whispers but also boiling, evaporation, combustion, frictions, breaths, breakings… – acting as “acoustic magnifying

glass”. An associated composer/performer could therefore, through a computer plugged to the microphones, « compose » in live the soundtrack of the show based on what happens, emphasizing one noise or another. The sounds of chemical and physical experiments, that usually can’t be heard, will be. Likewise, what you can’t see will finally be discernable for the ear.

By playing with the sounds, with the changes in rhythm, the unexpected, the unusual and the spectacular allowed by chemistry, the show intends to create absurd and touching, funny and stunning situations mixed with pure poetry and total abstraction: flames ballets, chemistry show…


The Periodical Table

Maybe best known for his painful experience as a prisoner in Auschwitz, Primo Levi, was in « real life » a chemist. Chemistry was both his job and his vocation. As a poet too, he brings us in The Periodic Table, with his outlook on science, a taste of before‐war Italy and above all a bit of himself, of the man he was and of the man he became. Combining dance and theater, the performers will start mirroring each other to show the various facets of the character: chemist enamoured with science, young man fascinated by matter, survivor of a frightening page of 20th century History… A game arbitrated with benevolence by a dancer, embodying the archetypal woman but also the five elements or even matter itself.

Presented by Primo Levi, chemistry is first and foremost a science of palpable matter, clearly visible, macroscopic. It is more about substance than molecules and more about objects than concepts. His chemistry reassures, because it is accessible, but it dazzles too, when it bends matter and forces it to reveal its secrets using scientific reasoning. This show could be dedicated to teenagers, to throw a light on the life choices they will have to make and to show them what science is made of. It could be dedicated to adults too, so that they will not forget the iron laws that have weighted on the world half a century ago, changing it forever. “Let us

remember that the world, just like metals, is oxidizable and solvable into acid,” writes Primo Levi.

The Chemical Gardens exhibition

Amongst the greatest challenges that science tried to achieve during the 20th century, the ability to

explain the origin of life has thrilled generations of researchers from all fields. When he invented

“synthetic biology”, Stéphane Leduc (1853‐1939), a professor at the Medical School of Nantes in

1933, really believed that he had found the answer.

A century after his discovery, with the kind help and skills of our photographer, we have recreated

his breakthrough experiments and tried to shed a new light on all the magnificent forms and colors

which his theory allowed him to create.


Chemistry in our plates

Literary, fictional and historical data is presented to draw the attention of the public on the sociological link between chemistry and food. Through a series of testimonies and imaginary situations, the first step intends to make the participants question themselves on alimentary choices and to allow them to express their feelings, their imaginaries, their ideas and values.

Different types of aliments and of agro alimentary habits are written on balloons and can be read when they are blown up with helium: nutritive capsules, GMOs, reconstituted chicken, treated aliments, biodynamic...

Based on this fun staging, people are then invited to express their opinion on a number of suggestions.

Whether they agree or disagree, participants have to explain their choices. The explainer manages and enriches the debate in order to obtain a list of arguments given by members of the group. The arguments identified by the public are grouped in three categories:

1) Authenticity: from natural to synthetic

2) Health: from good for you to dangerous

3) Senses: from like to dislike.

Based on what was said during the debate, the public has to choose the position of each balloon on axes corresponding to the categories. The explainer questions the public on the consistency of what has been presented and created. He brings complementary food for thought to the public and highlights some correlations. Using these elements, the public chooses to pierce the balloons corresponding to the food that he refuses to eat. This fun phase allows the choices to settle deeper in the mind through very symbolic gestures.


Effervescience chemistry

A funny and interactive conference‐show.

Professor Spatule needs your audacity and inventiveness to move along on the unknown path leading to the understanding of scientific phenomena. Counter‐intuitive experiments, show, quizzes, theoretical and experimental challenges... around chemistry inspired by the world we live in, our everyday life, our kitchens.

Here are a few examples of the questions addressed in the show:

‐ Can you light a fire with water?

‐ Why shouldn't you wear lipstick when you drink Champagne?

‐ Is it possible to uncook an egg‐white that is cooked?


Chemistry at Home

Chemistry at home is not an easy thing to do. Between the worn out Little Chemist kit, too academic lab trainings and the dangerous experiments of the big brother, there isn't much room left to have fun and play safely with matter in your kitchen... With professor Avecdurecul, you will give life to everyday products and all their secrets will be unveiled.

A lemonade soda without gas... it's possible! You can even drink it.

Better than NASA, come and try the aspirin rocket

Discover every solution to fix a messed up cake that you will never find in a cookbook.

Topic: show, workshops Audience: general public, school children, secondary schools, high schools
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