Celui qui tombe [Guest Company CCN 2 Grenoble]

Conception and direction: Yoann Bourgeois


Thursday May 24, 2018 at 8:00 PM
Friday May 25, 2018 at 8:00 PM

At the Opéra national de Lorraine
Ticket price A

Conception and direction: Yoann Bourgeois
Assisted by: Marie Fonte
Performers: Julien Cramillet, Dimitri Jourde alternately with Jean-Baptiste André, Elise Legros, Jean-Yves Phuong, Francesca Ziviani, Marie Vaudin
Vocal work: Caroline Blanpied, Marie Fonte, Jean-Baptiste Veyret-Logerias, Thalia Ziliotis
Lighting: Adèle Grépinet
Sound: Antoine Garry
Costumes: Ginette / Sigolène Petey
Set construction: Nicolas Picot, Pierre Robelin et Cen Constructions
Control room manager: David Hanse
Stage managers: Alexis Rostain / Étienne Debraux
Lights managers: Magali Larché / Julien Louisgrand
Sound managers: Benoît Marchand

6 performers

Co-mounted with the Théâtre de la Manufacture - CDN Nancy Lorraine

Dance and contemporary circus for families with children 10 years and older

There are six performers – three men, three women – standing randomly here and there on a giant creaking wooden platform which has been flown down from the flies. From here on their goal, their only obsession is to not fall. No matter what happens, no matter how this improvised raft moves: are they passengers in transit, castaways from a baffling world, ghosts from a sinking ship, or quite simply just human beings clinging to the bits of humanity they can see? Nothing is off the table – in any case they create a hypnotic, poetic, swirling piece using well‑known excerpts of classical music.

The piece defies classification, it is somewhere between new circus, dance, theatre, installation and street theatre – Celui qui tombe pushes the envelope, demanding an unparalleled virtuosity from its performers, who are seemingly both acrobats and dancers.

This is the perfect time to discover the work of Yoann Bourgeois, the new co-director of the CCN2 in Grenoble, in his first appearance as a guest of our company.


Executive Producer: CCN2 - Centre chorégraphique national de Grenoble - Direction Yoann Bourgeois and Rachid Ouramdane.

Coproductions: Cie Yoann Bourgeois - MC2: Grenoble – Dance Biennial of Lyon - Théâtre de la Ville, Paris - Maison de la Culture de Bourges - L’hippodrome, Scène Nationale de Douai - Le Manège de Reims, Scène Nationale - Le Parvis, Scène Nationale de Tarbes Pyrénées - Théâtre du Vellein – La brèche, Pôle national des arts du cirque de Basse-Normandie/ Cherbourg-Octeville et Théâtre National de Bretagne-Rennes.

Creation residencies: MC2: Grenoble - La brèche, Pôle national des arts du cirque de Basse-Normandie/ Cherbourg-Octeville. Execution and construction: Ateliers de la Maison de la Culture de Bourges, Cénic Constructions, C3 Sud Est. With support from ADAMI and SPEDIDAM and Petzl. SPEDIDAM is a company which manages the rights of artists/performers in all forms of recording, broadcast and re-use of recorded performances. With a creation grant from the DGCA.

Yoann Bourgeois receives support from the BNP Paribas Foundation for the development of his projects and is in residency at the Capi-Théâtre du Vellein. The CCN2 is financed by the Drac Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes/ the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, Grenoble-Alpes Métropole, the Département of Isère, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, and receives support from the French Institute for its international touring.

© Jacqueline Magnier

Yoann Bourgeois

Conception, direction and set design

Yoann Bourgeois is an acrobat, actor, juggler and dancer but above all he is a Player, a performer. He grew up in a small village in the Jura. At the Cirque Plume school, he discovered the art of flying. Later, he earned a degree from the Centre National des Arts du Cirque in Châlons-en-Champagne while also studying at the CNDC in Angers. He collaborated with Alexandre Del Perugia and Kitsou Dubois in research on weightlessness. He then became a permanent member of the Maguy Marin company at the CCN of Rillieux-la-Pape, where he worked for four years, focusing on the repeating theme of “being together.” After working on the revivals of May B and Umwelt, as well as two creations, Turba in 2007 and Description d’un combat in 2009, in 2010 he began his own creative process. Accompanied by Marie Fonte, he began the Atelier du Joueur, a nomadic resource center for the arts. This Atelier brought together artists from different fields and became the base for what would later become the Compagnie Yoann Bourgeois.

With his cohorts, it was to his native Grenoble that he chose to return to found his young company, intending to explore in his permanent research process the secret connections between games of make-believe and games of flying. The MC2: Grenoble offered him time and  occupancy at the Vauban Belvédère, high above the city, which led to the creation of Cavale. This duo plays off that venue’s impressive panoramic views, creating a dizzying eternal perspective of the ephemeral. Their first creation cycle was based on iconic pieces of music, focusing on the figure (a classical element in circus work), juxtaposed with the idea of motif (subject), a step toward developing this new circus language and allowing it to escape from the tyranny of the spectacular. This cycle culminated with Les Fugues (2010, a series of little dances for a man and an object, to J. S. Bach’s Art of the fugue); in 2011 L’Art de la Fugue (the deconstruction of a monolithic block of material by two actors, a man and a woman, at the exact same time Bach’s work is performed); in 2012 Wu-Wei (a creation for the artists of the Beijing Opera inspired by the Taoist action of Non-action.)

That same year the company inaugurated the C.I.R.C (International Center for Circus Research) with many trips to China to establish the genealogy of acrobatic movements. Then, 2013 was a transitional year in which Yoann began teaching and staging his pieces in the upper level circus schools. Convinced that today’s circus artists need to own the history of their art form, this SACD- sponsored project encourages reflection about the teaching of circus arts, as well as the constitution of a repertory of pieces. In 2014, he began a second cycle of creation with the goal of radicalizing his artistic path. He began working with dramaturgy in its etymological sense, weaving actions together. His unique circus vocabulary became an affirmation for him on the relationship between the body/ force as an inexhaustible source of drama. This research led to Celui qui tombe, a work for six performers, which premiered in September 2014 at the Lyon Opera at the Dance Biennial. At the same time, he continued his research on physical structures which allow the individual to “multiply him- or herself,” specifically in creation residencies which will culminate sometime soon in the piece he calls Les Paroles Impossibles (Impossible words).

He was also invited by the Théâtre de la Ville in 2014 to take over the Théâtre des Abbesses in Paris, encouraging him to invent an original dramaturgy which would encompass the staging of a number of short repertory works. Minuit defined itself as a site-specific piece responding in the moment to the technical possibilities of the hosting venue. Each new iteration of the work varies according to the artists performing it and the materials used in the new forms which are in process. Using a circular set, referring somewhat to the tent as a traditional venue for circus performers, interested him as he began working on new projects. Using the circle as a space which would accommodate all points of view, in a non-hierarchical relationship between the participants, also allowed him to re-affirm the popular aspects of his work.

In 2015, he embarked on a new kind of research based on the Tentatives d’approches d’un point de suspension (Attempts to approach a suspension point), with the conception of eight apparatuses in a circular set, with the possibility of a 360° viewing field. A series of new short pieces were added to the existing rep for the creation of Numéros Poèmes (Poem numbers), a collection of eleven poetic objects.

As of January 1, 2016, Yoann was appointed Co-director of the CCN of Grenoble, with Rachid Ouramdame. His many projects in their various forms express his continuous need to reach out.