Boots and Roots (En)

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Les Clandestines • On tour

Boots and Roots • An outdoor show based on American folk songs

Kind : : theater, music and singing
Duration : 75′
Audience : all age and international audiences • created in 2015


Les Clandestines are exploring the roots of Northern American music, particularly in the South East of the United States, from Virginia to Tennessee, from Kentucky to Georgia, from the Appalachian Mountains to the Delta of the Mississippi…

Their voices are backed up by the rough energy of the guitar and the drums. They create the sounds of a world being built.
Amid a pandemonium of wood and metal, they hurriedly build gang planks, temporary shelters, façades and railroad tracks.
Their powerful songs tell the story of wide open spaces and of those that strode upon them in search of a new life in the New World. They use Walt Whitman’s words to praise Nature and the space that mankind has conquered. Their show is an invitation to rediscover a repertoire that has greatly influenced our own musical history.

Folk music in the United States results from the crossing of all the different traditions brought by the migrants from Europe, the slaves coming from Africa, as well as Indian influences.
Negro spirituals, work songs, blues, old[time music, country and Western music, Cajun music and Tejano music among others are all a part of what has recently been described as American roots music.

Les Clandestines are a group of 9 female singers. Singing songs that are mainly meant to be sung by men.
They use several languages: English, French, the English of the Afro-American slaves… Words of the Native Americans are also used.
Solos alternate with moments when several voices sing together.
The songs that have been chosen are essentially composed of monody, or simple polyphonic phrases. Les Clandestines have enriched the songs with their own polyphonic writing and arrangements.
Calls and responses. Lullabies. Poems, stories and texts…
The 9 singers evoke, through the variety of their interpretation, the hardships, the struggles and the joys of the people for whom singing was a way of enduring everyday life.

Metallic sounds of chains and horseshoes. Sounds of wood being sawed and nailed. Sounds of the blacksmith and the carpenter. Sounds of the mines and the factories. Sounds of the slaves working in the fields, of the prisoners in their jails, of the trains crossing the country…

Les Clandestines recreate the shrieks, tinkles, shots, thuds and rumbles of a country under construction. The floor under their feet is made of wood.
Their jumping, hammering and dancing create noises and sounds that Whitman evokes in “Leaves of Grass”, when he writes that he hears “America singing”.
The sounds are created by the bodies of the actors, their boots and hammers, as well as by the instruments: percussions and guitars.

Folk songs belong to the people. They belong to each individual, as a part of his personal and intimate history. They are also a strong social bond. Folk songs, in a sense, reach their full expressive power in the streets, where everybody can hear them.
There, in the streets, is an urge to tell of the world.


Artistic director : Anne Lemeunier and Régine Westenhoeffer
Musicians : Vincent Posty and Mathieu Goust
Musical arrangements : Vincent Posty and Les Clandestines
Actresses : Béatriz Beaucaire, Véronique Borg,
 Carole Breyer, Dominique Hardy, Naton Goetz, 
Anne Lemeunier, Virginie Meyer, Régine Westenhoeffer, Emmanuelle Zanfonato

Costumes : Sabine Siegwalt
Construction : Olivier Laurent
Visuel : Bart Kootstra
Manager : Stéphanie Lépicier – AZAD Production – Strasbourg

Production and support

Production and financial support : Les Clandestines
Collaboration : Festival La Strada Graz (Autriche) / Viva Lioux (France), l’Espace Malraux de Geispolsheim (France), Scènes et Territoires en Lorraine with the Centre de création Ouvert aux Arts en Campagne et la compagnie Azimuts (Ecurey 55)

Financial support : Ministry of culture / DRAC Grand Est, Région of Grand Est, city of Strasbourg, SPEDIDAM.


Sunday 17 april 2016 • 5pm
> Espace Malraux • Geispolsheim • (the exact location is to be given later)

Saturday 4 june and Sunday 5 june 2016
> Nanterre (92) • Festival PARADES

Between the 24th and the 26th of june 2016
> Moissac (82) • 20th edition of the Festival de la Voix • (to be confirmed)

12, 13 and 14 august 2016
> Festival in Alsace

Consult the calendars : Off the website The Clandestines and that of the office
Please contact us if you wish to associate with one of our tour partners.

Photos, videos

Photo poster : Bart Kootstra.

To download

File : A presentation dossier


[links video] Les Clandestines – Boots & roots
View on large format, la Strada Graz 2015

To hear on the website of the company : The show
Slide show : On the website the Clandestines

The website of the compagnie :
Facebook of the Clandestines : Facebook of the Clandestines