Project Nénuphar

new création 2024-2025

Mecanique Vivante’s work takes root in Franz Clochard’s head.

Crucible of innovation and invention, the ideas tumble out and the company creates.

And now Mécanique Vivante wants to walk on water.

The aquatic environment offers an exceptional framework for artistic creativity, but remains relatively unexploited due to the fact that the water is often shallow and difficult to access.

Mécanique Vivante’s ‘Nénuphars’ (French for water-lily) are small, navigable floating stages which can carry artists and instruments, great and small, on shallow water.

With its unique Siren orchestra and associated artists on their Nénuphars, Mécanique Vivante stages and illuminates the water and its shores in a visual, musical odyssey. The company creates site-specific shows for a new public arena.

The development process

Mecanique Vivante has vast experience producing shows in the public arena, notably in urban and architectural environments, but also on rivers and at sea to celebrate major events. However, the exploitation of shallow bodies of water has always proved difficult, with the only recourse being floating pontoons or flat-bottomed boats. There are very few lightweight and easily manoeuvrable structures which allow for the exploitation of shallow water (ornamental pools & lakes in urban or natural environments, docks, ponds, castle moats, canals etc).

Running around Franz Clochard’s head for a few years before making onto the drawing board and finally to the workshop, the Nénuphar have finally emerged.

The transmission of ideas and techniques is also important to the company, so the construction process was carried out in tandem with Lycée JBD, a technical high school, and the IMT Mines Ales, a highly respected engineering school.
Project Nénuphar was awarded first prize in the Cultural Challenge of ‘Ales Audace’ in December 2022.

The project is partnered by the following institutions:
the Ministry of Culture (DGCA & DRAC Occitanie), the Gard department county council, the Cratère, National Theatre, Alès and the district council of Alès Agglomeration.