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In collaboration with The Debussy String Quartet


The Collectif Petit Travers and The Debussy String Quartet plan to join forces in a full-length production, exploring the close links between the intimate and universal realms of their performers (musicians and jugglers) and the way in which these realms shape their relationship to te world. We will integrate each artist’s expression in a piece which will include intimate testimonies and diverse musical and choreographic languages. It will also be an opportunity for us to continue the stage work that we began more than ten years ago with certain performers, as well as to enrich the company with new figures.

After two individual artistic endeavors (the staging of Encore la vie, a piece for four jugglers and the ensemble TaCTuS, with director Nicolas Mathis, and the creation of S’assurer de ses propres murmures, a juggling duet with jazz drummer Pierre Pollet and artistic director Julien Clément), we are keen to discover the richness of working once again on a challenging collaborative artistic project.


We will work with 10 jugglers on stage, some with whom we have been working for 10 years, others whom we will meet for this project.

In a break with certain of our previous works, we would above all like to consider the group as being made up of singular, unique artists, each having an original approach to their careers, their personal relationship to the stage and to their juggling practices.

A juggler works alone to invent his or her relationship to objects; juggling is a practice that develops singularities, each juggler inventing a unique way of using his or her body and its vocabulary, its touch of an object and its sequences, beyond the fashions and major trends that run through this art. Each juggler also has an original relationship to the daily practice – or not – of juggling. This practice can be experienced as a game, training as in a sport, a quest, or an aesthetic construction.

We want to collect the testimonies of each artist, the guiding thread being the “emancipation / alienation” movement found in any demanding practice which encroaches on personal life as much as it enriches it, which isolates as much as it allows us to reach out to others.

We would like to create a series of portraits and then use them as scenic material for the piece, as common threads or zooms that focus on each artist, before they merge into large collective choreographies where the notions of shared time and space take precedence over individuality.

We would like to observe the great back and forth movement that connects the group to the individual and each juggler to the group through the personal, intimate prism of self-development.


The Debussy String Quartet
The Debussy String Quartet has always been committed to fruitful collaborations with the performing arts, and particularly with the circus. It was thus natural that they should reach out to us with a project to put their musical and stage experience at the service of our juggling work. We listened and exchanged ideas over a number of sessions and a repertoire gradually took shape, building a bridge between early music (Purcell, Dowland,…) and the current work of contemporary composer Marc Mellits.

Early music calls on our historical memory, it draws its emotion from the roots of European culture and speaks to us deeply, directly touching our sensitivity and our ear. It takes on a wide variety of forms and tempos, based on patterns that repeat and intertwine. It will be the foundation on which our collective juggling compositions will be built.

Marc Mellits’ quartet music is richly influenced by popular culture, rock and repetitive riffs, His resolutely demanding contemporary music with its richly rhythmic effects draws spaces, making the sound travel from one performer to another as we exchange our balls.  A dialogue is thus naturally established with the juggling. It is also a rich sound universe with sweeps between melancholy and raw energy. His compositions will accompany the words spoken by the artists and the emergence of the singularities of each performer.

Arno Veyrat
Arno Veyrat has been a companion of the company from its early days and has created all of the lighting projects for la Compagnie 111. His keen eye and his knowledge of the constraints of circus techniques make him a valuable collaborator who knows how to shape spaces, making them lively and poetic with minimal lighting setups. His choices in using rhythms and color to create a constant dialogue with living subjects broaden the spectators’ perceptions while also guiding their gaze. This will be his fourth lighting project with our company.


To be Premièred in September 2023 at the Lyon Dance Biennale 2023
Production : Collectif Petit Travers, in complicity of the Debussy String Quartet
Co-production and artistic residence : Maison de la Danse, Pôle européen de création, Lyon ; La Biennale de Lyon ; Le Carré Magique, Pôle National Cirque en Bretagne ; Agora – Pôle National Cirque Boulazac – Nouvelle Aquitaine ; Plateforme 2 Pôles Cirque I La Brèche à Cherbourg et Le Cirque Théâtre d’Elbeuf ; Le Sirque, Pôle National des Arts du Cirque Nexon Nouvelle Aquitaine
Co-production : La Villette, Paris ; La Cité Bleue, Genève ; Théâtre de Saint Quentin en Yvelines, Scène nationale ; Le Carreau, Scène nationale de Forbach et de l’Est mosellan ; La Rampe-La Ponatière, scène conventionnée danse et musique, Echirolles
Artistic residence : Circa, Pôle National Cirque Auch Gers Occitanie ; Théâtre de Privas – Scène conventionnée · Art en Territoire · Centre Ardèche ; Théâtre National Populaire, Villeurbanne.
Supported by SPEDIDAM, Centre national de la musique and the city of Villeurbanne 
Other partnerships are in process.

Collectif Petit Travers is supported by funding from the Ministry of Culture (DRAC Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Council.

Quatuor Debussy is supported by funding from the Ministry of Culture (DRAC Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Council and the City of Lyon. It is equally supported by the Lyon Metropolis, the SPEDIDAM and the SG Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.