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Unveiling the Unpredictable: ‘PAPILLON’ Album & Dance Show at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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Montreal’s “We All Fall Down Interdisciplinary Creations” delves into the realms of chaos theory and the butterfly effect in their latest album and international debut of the Fringe show titled ‘PAPILLON.’

Founded in December 2019, We All Fall Down (WAFD) is the result of a 20-year collaboration between choreographer Helen Simard and composer Roger White. A non-profit organisation, WAFD makes the performing arts an environment for risk-taking experimentation, supporting creation and innovation across dance, music, and theatre. This bears fruit in the new album ‘PAPILLON’, released Wednesday 2 August and performed in full music and dance presentation at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from then until 27 August. 

‘PAPILLON’ was born from Simard presenting musicians White, Ted Yates, and Remy Saminadin with a series of prompts based on Brian Eno’s famous ‘Oblique Strategies’, which have influenced past musicians from David Bowie to Coldplay. These prompts manufactured a creative framework for the musicians to improvise and create in, which was recorded and arranged by the full four-piece team into the final album, which is an exploration of the concepts of Chaos Theory and the Butterfly Effect that blends the sounds and rhythms of jazz, hip hop and drum’n’bass. 

The album was recorded live at Théâtre La Chapelle in Montreal on Nov 5th 2020 during the 2nd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was recorded and mixed by Roger White (WAFD Creative Director) and mastered by Paul Edwards at UnFamous Audio in Montreal. 

“A series of swirling, hypnotic arpeggios played on analogue synthesisers and accented by Afro Caribbean drumming; PAPILLON sounds like Tony Allen playing drums for Kraftwerk.” 

“The idea behind the soundtrack is to lull the audience into a hypnotic trance, one that transports them into the world of PAPILLON, allowing the listener to be a part of the journey.” 

Roger White, WAFD Co-Artistic Director and one of the musicians

“People often think of chaos as a state of total disorder, but in mathematical terms, chaos is better described as the delicate balance between order and disorder. With PAPILLON, I was interested in exploring how the complexity of the human experience could be expressed, over time, by making small changes to simple rhythmic and melodic patterns.” 

Helen Simard, WAFD Co-Artistic Director and choreographer

‘PAPILLON’ will be released on all streaming platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, Bandcamp) on Wednesday 2 August. 

Audiences in Edinburgh can experience the full Papillon experience in the intimate surroundings of Summerhall TechCube for the duration of Edinburgh Festival Fringe. 

Street and contemporary dance collide as three dancers weave in and out of sync through a complex choreographic partition, supported by the live, hypnotic musical soundtrack of the ‘PAPILLON’ album. Similarly inspired by chaos theory and complex mathematical equations, Papillon is an emotional, engulfing reflection on order and disorder, singularity and similarity, metamorphosis, and the importance of human connection in trying times. Three distinctly talented dancers will be joined by a live drummer and two synth players on stage to journey from aloneness to togetherness, in a performance that is just as much of a musical concert as it is a dance show. 

A show that started rehearsals in January 2020 and has now come out of the chaos of the pandemic to have its international debut in Edinburgh, Papillon asks what can we expect from the unexpected, and what can we recognise in a world governed by unpredictability. A chaotic journey through despair before hope, Papillon is a powerful performance that will have audiences dancing in – and out of – their seats this August. 

Summerhall – Techcube 0 (venue 26) 

Aug 2-27 (except 7, 14, 20 – 21) at 19:20 

1 hour 

Tickets from £10 (preview) / £15 (full price) available at https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/papillon  

First review date: Friday 5 August  

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