Ascenseur, fantasmagorie pour Ă©lever les gens et les fardeaux

Open letter about juggler’s desires

Ladies and gentlemen, members of the audience, jugglers or not, artists…

The art of juggling lasts for centuries. Men and women throw objects
in the air, up and down, and these objects fall back in the palms of
their hands. From the art of going to war to the art of juggling, a
long evolution of the posture and of the insignificant gesture.
Remember the fantastic story of those jugglers, sometimes taken for
magicians or wizards, but since the beginning of time considered as
imagination-makers and poets.
I have been juggling for ten years.
My way of juggling and my opinion on this playful and uncompromising
art have been formed by ten years of an initiatory voyage around the
world with Jérôme Thomas and other artists. Now, I’m trying to follow
the road to writing. As a designer, I’m trying to approach juggling in
a daily research of commanding an art and handing it down to people
before thinking about its rewards.
The artist is the one who makes art, an imagination-maker who practises
life and feeds on the society so as to understand its pictures,
movements and emotions. Therefore, I work more on developing an
artistic approach which can lead to discussion than on creating
ordinary shows. I am a witness and I follow several paths, my
imaginative path, untouchable proof of liberty named « legitimacy of
the instinct » by Tadeusz Kantor.
Music, juggling, movement, laughter : old recipes that make our lives happy.
I took the lift as a means of transport and I met some men, some women,
some old and some young people, all colours, in a sense I met billions
of the world’s faces.
It was the most beautiful journey I have ever made.

"Ascenseur, fantasmagorie pour Ă©lever les gens et les fardeaux"
The combination of sketches from the play Ascenseur… is series of acted
scenes and filmed projections. They reveal an actor performing
different characters / jugglers in a quirky and singular vision of the
art of juggling. A phantasmagoria of a man and his skills, inspired by
the history of juggling, loses himself in the “extravagances of the
juggler”, in the real and unreal, the fantasies and challenges against
the law of gravity. He leads the audience into a fantastic yet
disturbing world which flits from the sensual to the amusing.

Philippe MĂ©nard
He discovered juggling in 1991 with the Archiballes Company. In 1992,
he started to learn juggling through JĂ©rĂ´me Thomas. At the same time,
he studied contemporary dance with Hervé Diasnas, Dominique Petit and
Cécile Borne. He also learnt acting with Frédéric Herrera and Claire
Heggen. In 1995, he joined the JĂ©rĂ´me Thomas Company as an
actor/juggler for the plays Hic Hoc and Le Banquet, then for the play 4
in 1998. In 1998, he founded the Non Nova Company and created Le Grain,
first part of a trilogy. He collaborated with the companies Eclats,
Nomades and Carcara, among others.

Rémy Balagué
Trained at the National Centre of Circus Arts, he’s an acrobat who
worked with the following companies : Pierre Doussaint, JĂ©rĂ´me Thomas
and Les Héros Multicartes. He founded the Vent d’Autan Company and
created the performance Pas touche terre in collaboration with Babeth
Gros. He directed Ascenseur…

Hervé Diasnas
Dancer, choreographer and inventor of a technique, he created many
works among which we can mention Naï, Mort d’un papillon, Le sourire de
l’aube, Portraits mouvementés, le premier silence, une nuit de clous
d’or dans l’étain, le tabloïd des anges …
Hervé Diasnas is an uncompromising artist who uses all the resources of
performing arts (he makes the music as well as the lights) to serve
exploration, mystery of others. In that sense, he supports young
choreographers, singers, jugglers during meetings called “artistic
accompaniment”. He made the background music of Ascenseur…

« Ascenseur, fantasmagorie pour élever les gens et les fardeaux »


  • Production and performing : Philippe MĂ©nard
  • Direction and films makers : RĂ©my BalaguĂ© - Philippe MĂ©nard
  • Background music and soundtrack : HervĂ© Diasnas
  • Coach and assistant : Florence Rondeau
  • Stage design and scenery : Julien Malardenti
  • Lighting : Robin Decaux
  • Sound control : Ivan Roussel
  • Stage and video control : Fabrice Gueno
  • Photography and filming : Fabrice Gueno
  • Juggling assistant / filming : Lucas David
  • Production manager and administration: Claire Massonnet

With many thanks to Nelly Richardeau, Sandrine Detoc, Josette and
Jean-Claude Ménard, Monsieur Garrigues, François Fauvel, Denis Cormier
and the Lieu-Dit.

Fiche technique: 

Technical requirements

The touring team :

Juggler : Philippe MĂ©nard
Tour and light manager : Robin Decaux
Sound manager : Ivan Roussel or Olivier Gicquiaud
Video and stage manager : Fabrice Guéno

Stage :

Minimum dimensions :
10 m width (opening)
10 m depth
7 m under the pipes
Legs : 5 streets 2 meters depth
Black borders : 3 minimum (1m50)
Black dance carpet
Black stage curtain
Front stage curtain
Interdependant and not supple stage (for the bouncing balls a homogenous floor with no different levels is necessary)
Please provide a wood board of 18 mm depth and with dimensions 2 m10 x 2 m 50 on the stage (it will be located with the scenary)

Lights :

Light desk wished in theater

1 lighting desk 48 memory circuits
48 dimmers 3 Kw
35 PC 1 Kw
10 cycliodes ADB 1 Kw
8 Par CP 62
10 profiles Juliat 614 S
1 gobo holder
8 projectors booms (height 1m20)
15 floor stand for projector
All profiles are provided with knives

Gels :

6 x 201 Lee Filter for the PC
5 x 068 Lee Filter for the cycliodes
1 x 200 Lee Filter for 1 PC
2 x 352 Lee Filter for 2 PC

Sound :

Imperative to have the sound desk in the theater
- sound desk 24 mono input with 4 post-fader aux.
- 4 stereo groups (or 8 mono groups)
- 4 equalize Klark technique DN 360
- 1 ligne delay type D 2040 (or 2 x 1030)
- 3 MD players Sony with autopause
- 2 FX Lexicon PCM 70 (or LXP 15)
- Y cable to multiplicate the 2 MD four times and to double the third MD at the in sound desk (20 In cables)

Adress sound system :

Front stage : 2 HP (2 x 1 Kw type C. Heil MTD 115 or MTD 112 with sub), hooked in the theater from part to part of the scene
Downstage : 2 HP (2 x 1,5 Kw same type + sub) in front of the backstage curtain on a cube
Backstage : 2 HP (2 x 1 Kw same type) downstage
Public : 2 HP (2 x 1 Kw same type) hooked in the theater from part to part of the public

Intercom :

3 posts (light desk, left and right stage)

Video :

1 small TV monitor with PERITEL
All videoprojectors and cables are provided by Cie Non Nova

Staff needs :

2 light managers, 1 electrician, and 1 stage manager durind 4 times
4 hours for the set up, the focus, the set up of the scenary and the
machinery, and the rehearsals.
1 sound mamanger during 2 times 4 hours for the set up, the balance and the rehearsals.

IMPORTANT : a stage manager is required during the performance to do some manipulations.

Miscellaneous :

1 dressing room with heating, shower and mirror.
Mineral water, dried fruits etc….

Conditions de tournĂ©es: 

Nous contacter.


Création 2001

Produced in collaboration with Le lieu unique, national stage in
Nantes. Production help from Cultural Affairs of Pays de la Loire. With
support from the City of Nantes, Capellia – La Chapelle s/ Erdre, ARC
in Rezé, the Champilambart – City of Vallet, and the Cultural Agence of

La Compagnie Non Nova is subsidised by the Ministery of Culture and Communication - DRAC des Pays de la Loire, le Conseil Régional des Pays de la Loire, le Conseil Général de Loire-Atlantique and the City of Nantes.The company is supported by the Institut Français and the Foundation BNP Paribas (Fondation BNP Paribas).

VidĂ©o HD: 
Information photos: