I love soldiers !

January 20 - May 13, 2007

This exhibition - with a nod to the original use of the Villars barracks in the cavalry quarters constructed at the end of the reign of Louis XV, and now the home of the CNCS - shows the variety and originality of theatre costumes with often surprising military inspiration.

Uniforms are now in fashion, but did you know that these strict and colourful outfits have also made their mark on the history of scenic arts and that the character of the soldier in its multiple representations, since its relatively late appearance on stage up through the present time reveals a great deal about the evolution of dramatic art and on its political, social and philosophical implications?

The "military genre" has been present in all forms of spectacles, from the circus - a direct descendant of equestrian carrousels - to the café concert, where there are many examples of the comic trooper and comic and patriotic songs (Polin, for example); and to opera (L'Aiglon, Carmen, Wozzeck, The Grand Duchess of Gerolstien, The Daughter of the Regiment, Bolivar); ballet (Printemps à Vienne, La Valse); and theatre (Le Café, Le Balcon…)

From the spruce chauvinist to the warrior in combat uniform in our current repertoire, this exhibition proposes a journey through the codes of military costumes and the realistic, caricatured, and dramatic interpretations that scenic artists have given to them. In every case, the elegance, graphic intensity and extreme diversity of military fashion has allowed costume designers to create outfits marrying the highest flights of fancy with the most austere rigor in a subtle dialogue with the rules of true military uniforms.

Commissariat de l’exposition et direction artistique

Olivier Renaudeau

Curator, responsible for the ancient weapons and armour department at the Army Museum.

Olivier Renaudeau, born in 1967, is a heritage curator and has been in charge of the ancient department (weapons and amour) of the Army Museum in Paris since 2006. He has carried out research work...

Curator, responsible for the ancient weapons and armour department at the Army Museum.

Olivier Renaudeau, born in 1967, is a heritage curator and has been in charge of the ancient department (weapons and amour) of the Army Museum in Paris since 2006. He has carried out research work into civil and military costume during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period. He has been the curator for several exhibitions devoted to military costumes and characters appearing in performing arts such as the « I love the military » exhibition at the National Centre for Stage Costumes from January to May 2007 and at the Army Museum from 27th October 2007 to 2nd March 2008, to the art of armour (Masterpieces of the Armoury of Malta), Army Museum, 21st October 2008 – 11th January 2009 and Under the Aegis of Mars, Armours of the Princes of Europe, Army Museum, 16th March – 26th June 2011.

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Michel Albertini

Scenographer

Michel Albertini leads at the same time a career as an actor, author and scenographer. After studying theatre arts at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Paris, Michel Albertini has acted in a hundred films for both the cinema and television. He regularly works...

Scenographer

Michel Albertini leads at the same time a career as an actor, author and scenographer. After studying theatre arts at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Paris, Michel Albertini has acted in a hundred films for both the cinema and television. He regularly works in theatres in France and abroad such as la Fenice in Venice where he interpreted The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. He has written several plays, notably Les Merdicoles performed at the Comédie-Française, and has had several novels published by different editors. Michel Albertini has directed several Offenbach operas, Monsieur Choufleuri, Les Dames de la halle, Pomme d’Api

At the CNCS: Michel Albertini was responsible for the exhibition scenography for « I love the military!» reproduced at the Army Museum in Paris, then in collaboration with Christian Lacroix for the exhibition « Christian Lacroix, costume designer».

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