Cry me a river

Sanja Kosonen


– March 2021 –


© Sébastien Armengol

In 2007, in Finland, Sanja Kosonen participated in a workshop on “crying chants” in Finland, organised by a group of contemporary singers whose aim is to revive and reinvent the forgotten tradition of Karelian mourners. They practised these improvised chants on their own, in the forest or during rites of passage. The poetical power of words associated with a distinctive rhythm and a crying melody provided an atmosphere for abandonment.
Since then, Sanja has integrated to some degree this ancient wisdom.

She is struck by the fact that our “modern” societies seem to have forgotten about rituals of shared emotions or to consider those as a sign of weakness. The concept of crying guides her as much towards the river deep inside the human being as it evokes the absurdity and akwardness demonstrated when dealing with private emotions.

She imagines a multidisciplinary performance, a combination of dancing, singing, circus and fine arts.


Director: Sanja Kosonen

Performers: Nedjma Benchaib Le Coeur, Jeremie Bruyere, Muriel Carpentier, Sanja Kosonen , Sampo Kurppa,, Inka Pehkonen, Olli Vuorinen

 Light: Julien Poupon

Lighting manager: Julien Poupon or Lila Burdet

Music: Sami Tammela

Sound manager: Geoffrey Daguet

Video: Muriel Carpentier.

Costume design: Mickaël Lecoq

Set design: Sanja Kosonen, Muriel Carpentier

Assistant director: Marylou Thomas

Artistic advisor: Minja Mertanen

Building and design: Jeremie Bruyere, Muriel Carpentier, Alice Carpentier, Michel Carpentier

Production, touring and office management: L’Avant Courrier / Nolwenn Manac’h, Louise-Michèle You and Emmanuelle Nonet

Partners & Co-producers

Co-production: Le Prato- Théâtre International de Quartier, Pole National des Arts du Cirque- Lille; La Plateforme 2 Poles Cirque en normandie –La Brèche à Cherbourg et Cirque Théâtre d’Elbeuf; CCN2 Grenoble – Centre Chorégraphique National de Grenoble – Direction Yoann Bourgeois / Rachid Ouramdane; Le Carré magique -Pole national des arts du cirque en Bretagne; La Verrerie – Pole National Cirque Occitanie; Onyx-Théâtre de Saint Herblain.

 In-residencies: Cirko – Center for New Circus – Helsinki Finland; Ay Roop – Laboratoire permanent pour les arts du cirque; La Grainerie Fabrique des arts du cirque et de l’itinérance; La Cité du Cirque for Pole Régional Cirque Le Mans in partnership with La Fonderie  / Le théâtre du Radeau; Le Monfort théâtre; le théâtre du peuple-Pierre Bénite, Chepteil Aleilkoum

Supports: French Government – Direction régionale des affaires culturelles (DRAC) des pays de la Loire et Direction Générale de la Création Artistique (DGCA), Département of Loire Atlantique, Région of Pays de la Loire, Finnish cultural fondation (Suomen Kulttuurirahasto), Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taiteen edistämiskeskus), SACD – Bourse Beaumarchais.

Basic facts

March 2021
in la Brèche Pole National Cirque de Normandie, in collaboration with Le Trident, Scène nationale de Cherbourg-en-Cotentin.

Proscenium stage Indoor, Up to 600 personnes
70 minutes – From 10 years on

Circus, visual art


«Arising from a desire to write about the expression of emotions, Sanja Kosonen’s creation is a bewitching performance which peculiar atmosphere is revealed through fragmented tableaux blending song, dance and circus arts harmoniously. (…) This is a piece of authentic contemporary writing. Indeed, instead of showing acts one after the other or displaying a mere narrative dramaturgy, the performance consists in a tiling of scenes that stand out against a background of darkness, as in a dream which surrealistic episodes only make sense on an intimate and symbolic level.» Mathieu Dochtermann, La Terrasse, September 2021

Nolwenn Manac’h
+33 6 76 78 01 19