© Géraldine Aresteanu

Program Information

Genre / City Theatre, Dance, Circus / Paris
Dates 27 April at 13:00, 28 April at 13:00, 29 April at 13:30
Venue At Shizuoka Arts Theatre
Duration 60 minutes
seat Reserved seating
Conceived, directed and stage design by Yoann BOURGEOIS
Production Les Petites Heures – La Scala-Paris
© Géraldine Aresteanu
© Géraldine Aresteanu
© Géraldine Aresteanu


The performers’ bodies seem to float suspended in ESCHER-like optical illusions in this work first created for the Scala theater in Paris.

Appropriately, since “scala” means “staircase” in Italian, a flight of steps rises from the stage and a man throws himself off the top — only to shoot back up there again a moment later as if time had turned backward. After this the sense of unreality grows as strange phenomena are repeated one after another on stage. In what is a worldwide trend, many artists with a circus background are attracting followings in the theatre world. Among them, the French creator of “Scala,” Yoann BOURGEOIS, is well known for his magical choreography and direction of illusional performances that seem to exist free of space and gravity. A video showing his performers moving backwards on a rotating staircase, then falling off and reappearing — as well as a clip from a show at the majestic Pantheon in central Paris — became widely popular both in Japan and around the world. Now, these stagings of “Scala” offer a great opportunity to enjoy first-hand the wonderful theatre experience created by these superbly acrobatic artists.


There is a white, maze-like set on the stage, along with a bed and an endless-looking staircase. A person rushes out from a door, but returns back in an instant. Is he or she alone? Or are there more people there?

Director’s Profile

© Géraldine Aresteanu

Acrobat, actor, juggler, dancer: Yoann BOURGEOIS is first and foremost a player.

Growing up in a small village in the Jura, he discovered vertigo games at the Cirque Plume, later to graduate from the Centre National des Arts du Cirque de Châlons-en-Champagne alternating with the Centre National de Danse Contemporaine d’Angers. He researched weightlessness with Alexandre DEL PERUGIA, and Kitsou DUBOIS and became a member of the Maguy MARIN company at the Centre Chorégra-phique National de Rillieux-la-Pape, where, over four years, his work centered on the theme communal being. After revivals of “May B” and “Umwelt” and two new works, “Turba” in 2007 and “Description d’un combat (Description of a fight)” in 2009, he began his own creative practice in 2010.

Accompanied hitherto by Marie FONTE, he founded l’Atelier du Joueur (The Player’s Workshop), a nomadic resource center for performance. This workshop, uniting artists across several disciplines, was to provide the basis of Compagnie Yoann BOURGEOIS. The group settled in Grenoble, BOURGEOIS birthplace, with the intention of exploring the hidden ties between the games of mimicry and vertigo. A commission from Grenoble’s art center MC2 allowed the group access to the Vauban belvedere, ancient fortifications perched high over the city, resulting in the site-specific work Cavale. The show played with the impressive views to giddying effect. An initial creative cycle began with a number of large musical works focu-sing on the figure – a key element of classical Circus repertoire – in conjunction with the ‘motif’, allowing for a new form of writing liberated from the need to be spectacular. This resulted in 2010 in Les Fugues short dances for a man with object written for J.S Bach’s The Art of Fugue ; L’Art de la Fugue in 2011, the deconstruction of a monolithic block by two performers, male and female, alongside Bach’s eponymous work, and Wu-Wei in 2012, created for the artists of the Beijing Opera and inspired by the Taoist principle of non-action. This same year the company inaugurated the C.I.R.C (Centre International de Recherches Circassiennes) with a number of trips to China aiming to establish the ancestral roots of acrobatic movement.

In 2013, a year of transition, BOURGEOIS launched a new program for circus academies based on a body of his own work. Convinced that performers should appropriate their own interpretations of circus wri-ting, the project, backed by the SACD, aimed to reflect upon the conditions of circus apprenticeship with a view to establishing a true circus repertoire.

In 2014, a second body of work was to radicalize his thinking yet further. Taking the etymology of drama as a weaving together of actions as a starting point, and applying it to the circus, he was drawn to the dramatic possibilities of the relationship between the body and the forces acting open it. This resulted in “Celui qui tombe (He Who Falls)”, a work for six performers created in September 2014 for the Lyon dance biennale. In parallel, research on physical devices, allowing the individual to multiply into many sub-jects, resulted in the creation of “Les Paroles Impossibles (Impossible speech)”.

Also in 2014, an invitation to perform at the Théâtre des Abbesses in Paris encouraged the creation of a new work from a constellation of pre-existing ideas. “Minuit (Midnight)” is a site- specific programs written « in situ » with the technical and special particularities of each host theatre in mind. Each edition of the show varies according to the artists invited to perform and the different material objects they bring with them on stage.

The idea of a circular stage, in reference to the traditional circus Big Top, is at the centre of BOURGEOIS’ thinking when imagining new projects. Offering perfect site lines to the audience and allowing a non-hierarchical rapport between performers, the circle affirms the popular dimension of his work. In 2015, he began new work on Tentative approaches to a suspension point, involving eight pieces of apparatus and a circular stage design allowing for a 360° view.

Since beginning January 2016, he direct the CCN2-Centre Chorégraphique National de Grenoble with Rachid OURAMDAME.

These many and varied projects express his pressing desire to embrace and experiment with life in all its forms. Yoann BOURGEOIS’ life is dedicated to the performing arts.


◎Pre-performance talk: Starting 25 minutes before each performance
◎Post-performance talk by the artists: 29 April

Cast / Staff

Conceived, directed and stage designed by Yoann BOURGEOIS

Cast: Mehdi BAKI, Valérie DOUCET, Damien DROIN, Olivier MATHIEU, Emilien JANNETEAU, Florence PEYRARD, Lucas STRUNA

Artistic assistant: Yurie TSUGAWA
Lighting: Jérémie CUSENIER
Costume: Sigolène PETEY
Sound: Antoine GARRY
Design and realization of machineries: Yves BOUCHE, Julien CIALDELLA
Scenographic advise: Bénédicte JOLYS
Technical director : Albin CHAVIGNON
Costume intern: Pauline HERVOUET

General stage manager: François HUBERT
Assistant stage manager: Bartosz POZORSKI
Lighting operator: Virginie WATRINET
Sound operator: Olivier MANDRIN
Production manager: Juliette KING

Production: Les Petites Heures – La Scala-Paris

Co-production: Théâtre de Namur, Printemps des Comédiens – Montpellier, La Criée-Théâtre National de Marseille, CCN2 – Centre chorégraphique national de Grenoble, Célestins –Théâtre de Lyon, Le Liberté – Scène nationale de Toulon, Mars – Mons arts de la scène and Théâtre National de Nice

<SPAC Staff>
Stage manager: MURAMATSU Atsushi
Stage: FURUYA Kazumi, KIKUCHI Monami
Lighting: HIGUCHI Masayuki, SHIMADA Chihiro
Sound: MIGITA Soichiro, TAKESHIMA Chisato
Wardrobe: TAKAHASHI Kayako
Interpretation: ISHIKAWA Hiromi
Production: KEIMI Aoi, OTAGAKI Yu
Volunteers: SUZUKI Rumiko, OISHI Yumeko

Technical director: MURAMATSU Atsushi
Lightning manager: HIGUCHI Masayuki
Sound manager: MIGITA Soichiro

With the support of Ambassade de France / Institut français du Japon Ambassade de France / Institut français du Japon

Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan


●Shizuoka Arts Theatre has a special room with seats for three adults with pre-school children. To see a performance from there, please contact our ticket center* to make a reservation.
●On Sunday, April 28, GRANSHIP volunteers from Shizuoka Convention & Arts Center will provide free childcare at GRANSHIP during the performance for pre-school children aged 2 years and over. To make a reservation, please contact our ticket center* by April 21.
*For your request mail to with following information;
title: RSV special room or free childcare

Name of Parent
Name of Child
Age / Gender of Child
Contact of Parent
Any Special Notes
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