The Narrator, 2016

Solo performance of Cécile Da Costa directed by Peter Boháč.

Inspired by the book The Patience Stone by Atiq Rahimi.

Many women hide secrets in their lives, many women cannot talk about them and many conceal their experiences with childbirth, abortion or miscarriage. Is it a social taboo? A French performer Cécile Da Costa dances, sings and undergoes extreme physical strain in order to tell her intimate story. The Narrator is about a desire to express the inexpressible, The Narrator is about the memory of a body which cannot completely forget, The Narrator is about finding a dance language through which we communicate our emotions.

A story about secrets, about the unspeakable truth, about being a woman. Told in the only way possible.  A stunning visualisation of the deep memories the body cannot completely forget. Award-winning Spitfire return with a one-woman tour de force of spellbinding performance commitment.


  • Performing: Cécile Da Costa
  • Directed by: Petr Boháč
  • Dramaturgical collaboration: Marc Olivé
  • Music: Jan Šikl and David Kollar
  • Producer: Bezhlavi z.s
  • Co-producer: Art frame Palác Akropolis
  • Partners: JOHAN, DW7, o.p.s., Stanica Žilina-Záriečie, Cirqueon
  • Supported by: City of Praha, Ministry of Culture Czech Republic

Premiere: 29th and 30th March 2016 in Palác Akropolis.

More about The Narrator​

Interview for Taneční Aktuality about The Narrator

30. 3. 2016 | Autor: Kristina Soukupová

Who is the narrator of your new piece? Is it you?

I am the narrator.

How much of real self do you put into this performance? Is it difficult to reveal some personal things about you? Where is the boundary of what you share with the audience and what you keep inside?

While performing I try to be nothing else but me, as close as possible to my emotions and feelings in the moment, in the action. The story I am telling is connected with intimate and difficult situations of my life but it is rather said as a reflection, mirroring others stories from other women. I am trying to make a bridge between what is personal and what is universal.

We (musicians, director and me) use songs/sounds, body, music and scenography as many voices to tell the story in such a way that the audience should come close to listen. I believe that a good storyteller always keeps a part of a story a secret, a part of silence.

Sometimes I say the story, sometimes I suggest it and sometimes I am silent. It is important for the spectator to be active and to find a space for its own story/imagination. So the boundary of what I share and what i keep is related to the space I give to myself and the space I give to the audience.

I can share with the audience what I can understand myself. I am not using the stage for a psychotherapy although it works also like this.

Why or when did you decide to open up and tell your story? Was the book “The Patience Stone” the main impulse?

At first I wanted to create a solo, not especially to speak about me but because I imagined it as a challenge. How would it be to work alone and to be alone on the stage? Then I read the book and that was the impulse that kicked me and pushed me to speak about it with Mr.Petr Boháč.

How does the work on this performance influence your daily life and also your psychological/emotional side?

It works like a cleaning process. It also reveals how much I am attached to some memories and to the emotions which are connected to them. Letting them go is not always easy. But then I look in the mirror (as in the performance) and I can say: so, that is me.

You cooperate with two live musicians onstage – how important are they for your performance and how do they influence it?

The musicians are strong partners. They are supporting the strenght/meaning of the story and supporting me when I feel I can’t continue anymore. In this performance the music goes with me and not against me.

The piece surely puts great emotional and physical load on your body and voice. How do you keep fit? How do you relax?

The piece puts emotional and physical load on me but it is the same as other performances. The more I give into it the more it gives back. The more I am able to open and share with the audience, the more they give back.

For now, because it is a newborn performance it is difficult for me to relax into it.

But Petr keeps on repeating to me to breath and to use my voice to avoid tensions which are not neccessary. But I have to say that just before the premiere I am not relax at all.

Thank you for your questions.

Video and photos