La Conjuration, one of the two ballet librettos conceived by René Char, was created in April 1947 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, by Nathalie
Philippart, Youli Algaroff, Leslie Caron and Françoise Adret, who choreographed it, to music by Jacques Porte. The stage curtain was designed by Georges Braque. The libretto was published in No. 22 (December 1946) of the magazine l'Arche, and in the original edition in 1947 by Maeght. The ballet was not well received and the performances quickly stopped.
Char wanted to give an edition illustrated by Matisse, then by Braque who made the stage curtain, but none of them saw the light of day.
The argument of this ballet includes a Prologue and five stanzas. It features the Man with the Mirror Skin, the Mirror Man and a young girl.
The autograph manuscript is carefully written, in black ink, on the front of 17 sheets of wove paper. There are a few erasures and corrections. The title page is signed and dated 1946. The manuscript is preceded by a cover on strong paper, with the title calligraphed in Indian ink. Each of the six parts has its own title page.
The argument of the ballet is preceded by a page of presentation, to be composed in italics: "There are days when the poet dreams to give a less furtive sense to his acts, when he addresses, without carelessness, to his pride to obtain his classification. In spite of a whole health and certain chances, the poet remains inferior or foreign to his wish.
Vigor of those who subjugate the fortune of the air and inject it to their enigma! Before him, allusive dunes multiply their derision.
Not the least alphabet for his love.
How could dance not prevail as a remedy or simply as a teller of the unconscious and of tragedy?"
Following the manuscript, the corrected proofs (5 pages in-8 window-mounted in the format of the manuscript) composed for L'Arche, with autograph corrections, are bound.
The booklet of La Conjuration (printed by Tournon, it was attached to the program), bifeuillet in-4 (2 ex.).