‘Compagnie KORBO’ presents a wonderful parade where the elements of the sea, air, earth and fire merge and combine to form a hybrid creature, both oneiric and mythological.
Oh! How many sailors, how many captains, who left light-hearted for distant expeditions, in this dreary horizon have fainted. How many vanished, grim and woeful fate, in a bottomless sea, on a moonless night, under the blind ocean, forever burrowed!…
(from Victor Hugo’s Oceano Nox)
Had Victor Hugo seen the Steam Horse stroll the streets of the World before writing these words for Oceano Nox, he most definitely would have described it differently, for no one here is vanished, no misfortune but, on the contrary, it is a free and powerful navigation through the ocean of crowds.
Be our guests for this parade. Observe this neighing boat – this horse that blows its foghorn to gather people and put together a fabulous journey for those eager to follow it.
Carried by the wind and steered by Greeks, Romans, Saxons, Byzantines, Arabs and/or Egyptians, the Steam Horse is a kind of horse-galleon able to navigate magnificently through waters to reach distant lands bordered by odd lighthouses.
It is a fusion between a steamboat and a great mythical wooden horse; a “Pegasus Unicorn” of oversized scale able to navigate on land, sea and in the air… It is articulated. It walks, sails and rears up spreading its oversized wings.
This fantastic animal is impressive by its force of life. From up close, even very close, every chiselled detail makes up its identity. Nothing was left to chance: the windows made of wildwood remind us of the openings found on the conning towers of glorious galleons, the weathered copper portholes, the crimped hooves, the embossed leather tacks, the carved seahorse, the navigation bar and the mast, fully and precisely ornate, those compasses based on primitive yet original sciences, and so on…
This horse, a Pegasus-Unicorn-Ship hybrid, unfolds its wings to show its prodigious abilities when it comes to taking flight. And that is what happens… Or at least we think we saw it happen, since the possibility of imagination often surpasses mere reality. This is what those women, men and children in the audience take away from this mythological vision strolling before their eyes.
And when the night falls, it is also a procession of lights that transforms the Steam Horse into a lighthouse in the darkness before the enchanted eyes of the audience. The hurricane lamps, lanterns and beacons locate it in the mellow night of the most senseless dreams.
It is accompanied by a whole crew that tows and pushes. It is mere human power, with no carbon footprint. This community of sailors parades amongst the procession and offers an oneiric, mesmerizing and poetic world.
Who might be those characters, on foot or on stilts, guiding the vessel, or even letting it guide them, for that matter? Seasoned sailors, hybrid chimeric horsemen representing diverse cultures. They are led by a strange Captain, a kind of Nemo, from the top of his watchtower, sailing sea and sky. Together, they are the companions and zealous servants of the mechanical beast and its travelling lighthouse, sentinel of the sea. They are decked out in costumes and headpieces that are handmade using the techniques of all the popular craftsmen from the many civilisations and lands, who master their noble fabrics to perfection.
May this Odyssey in perpetual motion remain within you for a long time and carry you away towards worlds of mythical meandering where the greatest of liberty rules in its most incredible manifestation.