Foreword -
« P.P.P. »

Before going any further, I need to explain how this
creation came about.

In my experience, each creation is a puzzle, often taking
shape in an anarchic way, the pieces of the puzzle falling into place over time
and following certain events.

The starting point for this puzzle which was to become
« P.P.P. » first became apparent whilst I was touring the show
« Ascenceur, fantasmagorie pour élever les gens et les fardeaux »
(« Elevator, Phantasmagoria for lifting people and loads ») in
various West African countries, in May and June 2006. I was having problems
performing the show properly because the venues didn’t have air conditioning.
We tried to lower the excessive temperature onstage by using blocks of ice and
ventilators : it was a soggy 
failure !

Despite this, I began to look closely at this
matter which was transforming into puddles of water …

Not long afterwards, a second element of the
puzzle took shape whilst I was moving out of my spacious house and into a
smaller apartment. I rapidly came to the conclusion that I had accumulated too
many things – various, diverse objects which wouldn’t find their place in my
new home. I needed to get rid of this ‘overflow’, but didn’t know what to
choose as each object was full of memories !

How was I going to accept throwing certain
souvenirs out?

One question really bothered me : how does
one continue to live without carrying the burden of too many memories ; or
even without nostalgia?

Maybe I should let the old memories melt away so
that I can hold on to the new ones? …

About "P.P.P." …

I am tracing a form of composition which uses
the simplest of language ; that of an individual alone onstage.

A short break in time, an evocation of transformation in a
piece of choreography bound to the icy elements surrounding me.

A traditional pathway which tells a story.

One person, alone in an empty space. As if the bailiffs had
just torn through their home, taking everything except the freezers ;
heavy vaults containing treasure, but what kind of treasure ?

What exactly is in them ? Objects ? Food ? A
body, maybe ?

This is where we wrestle with our curiousity,
wanting to discover more about ourselves … what intimate secrets are we
hiding ?

Let’s give this solitary being space to question
his/her identity through his/her actions, as if s/he is on a quest to stay
alive. One individual, juggling and manipulating frozen objects which melt and
transform as they come into contact with skin and air. Little by little a pool
of water appears, like a lake of tears … maybe this is a metaphor for the trace
we leave on the earth ?

For the creation of this piece, I have drawn inspiration  from the sensations and questions accumulated
over the past ten years spent touring shows across the world. Moments when
living in the skin of a man became unbearable, when I felt like a woman dressed
up as a man, playing men’s games. Even in my earliest shows, this question of
gender identity kept coming back, as if it were an important part of my
artistic reflection. Certain films such as « In a Year of Thirteen
Moons » by Rainer Werner Fassbinder kept me questioning myself on this

For this intimate creation piece, I wanted to
return to juggling, using it as the foundation of my composition. The idea
wasn’t to go back down an old, worn path but instead to present juggling from a
new angle by using this bewildering matter – ice - which slowly, constantly
transforms from a frozen block to a puddle of water. An icy obstacle course
keeps bringing you back to the Perrilous Parallel Position !

The Reasons for creating
« P.P.P »- A certain point of view

It has now been a good few years since, with the Non Nova
team, I began making shows in which I use juggling as a sort of pretext for
captivating the spectator’s imagination and taking it in a new direction. Each
time I do this it is intentional, I consider it carefully and at length. This
doesn’t stop me from doubting my work when I present it to an audience.

Ever since the creation of « Zapptime, rêve éveillé d'un
zappeur" » (Zapptime, Daydream of a channel-hopper) in 2003, I have
felt trapped by the widespread opinion that juggling should be uniquely a
circus art, a family show, a simple, marvellous, magical presentation of
skills ; it certainly shouldn’t ask us to ‘think’ !

Let’s not be fooled, let’s not confuse Culture and its
economic and political needs with art. What I mean is, art as the expression of
artists and their view of the world through their research and compositions. So
let’s be honest, don’t let ourselves be won over by the prevailing
schizophrenia of « Will the audience like this ? ». Instead of
that falsely existential question, I prefer this following one : « Am
I engaged in presenting the audience with the visions and opinions of today’s
artists? »

We are all aware that even though we might not have the same
constraints in life, we are all linked by the business of culture ; it
concerns us all, it allows us to feed and house our families. However, I think
that it’s our passion for the arts which keeps us alive, our love for the
singularity of life seen through the works of artists. The artist is a witness
who thinks and who offers the audience his, or her, own thoughts and words. Not
the thoughts and words of a particular ideology.

Let’s not lose sight of the fact that in this era of
civilisation, defending the freedom of expression, the foundation of our
society and of our art, is each day becoming more and more of an act of
resistance against all the reactionary ideas and retrograde movements which
hamper our freedom. Let’s not forget that art is essential, because each
creation is a fragile step into the unknown, a fight to resist being reduced to
simple consumers of images, a bag of popcorn in one hand and a mobile telephone
in the other…

I have chosen which side I’m on. I prefer to fight for art,
for all forms of art, against the business culture which views a work of art as
a convenience good. I don’t like things to be formatted. I prefer art which
involves thought, reflection, convictions ; art which defends the
singularity and uniqueness of each individual and his, or her, actions.

is a certain point of view, in the form of questions : what can we do when
faced with the difficulty of selling and performing our shows in the national
network ? What do we learn from the standardisation of theatre
programmes ? Is there a place for multidisciplinary artists, outside the « atypical »
performance spaces ? Should shows labelled « circus arts »
necessarily be popular family shows ?

the Non Nova team, we ask ourselves these questions everyday, hoping to find
some answers. Today, the company is subsidised by the French Ministry of
Culture and Communication / DRAC des Pays de la Loire and the Departement de
la Loire Atlantique,
we are supported by the Pays de la
Loire region and the City of Nantes and we work with the
French Institute and the Foundation BNP Paribas.

can’t complain, because all this support and these subsidies are essential for
the creation of our shows, but how do we find the motivation to continue when
our shows are doomed never to find a performance space where they can encounter
the French general public ?

has been a huge multiplication of performance spaces over the past few years,
but this doesn’t mean things are getting any easier for the artists creating
new shows. We hear so much about « the French cultural diversity » but I
don’t believe there is a true cultural diversity ; artists are repeatedly and
systematically confronted with the difficulty of showing their work, of touring
their shows. Companies are subsidised to create a show, but once the première
of a show is performed, it is very difficult to get it programmed. This means
the piece is never really completed ; it never gets to evolve, to fulfill
its potential, as it is not confronted often enough with an audience. I would
like this « French cultural diversity » to become more than just a
beautiful idea. But for it to become a reality, everyone needs to commit to it.

company’s projects are bound to my engagement as an author. I try to write what
I see in the world. To succeed in this endeavour, I am surrounded by numerous collaborators,
each competent in their own domaine. This heterogeneous group is made up of
professionals all working together towards a single aim ; to ensure that
each project is pertinent to its time and to society.

I hope to make each encounter with the audience an experience enriched by a new
way of looking at things.

Ménard - Friday
the 13th of Octobre, 2006

The Team P.P.P.

Artistic direction, choreography and performance : Phia MENARD

Assisted by Jean-Luc BEAUJAULT
Lighting design : Robin DECAUX
Lighting engineer : Alice RUEST
Music and ‘sound space’ : Ivan ROUSSEL
Stage manager: Pierre BLANCHET
Ice engineers alternately : Jean-Luc BEAUJAULT and Rodolphe THIBAUD
Costumes : Phia MENARD and Marilou MEYER
Robot construction : Philippe RAGOT
Set design : Phia MENARD and Jean-Luc BEAUJAULT
Photographs : Jean-Luc BEAUJAULT
Production and administration : Claire MASSONNET
Tour manager and production assistant : Honorine MEUNIER and Clarisse MEROT
Public relations: Adrien POULARD
Video recording: Philippe DEVILLIERS

Compagnie Non Nova

Founded in 1998 by Phia Ménard with the desire to approach juggling from a different angle, through the scenic and dramaturgical structure of each piece. « Non nova, sed nove » (Not new things, but in a new way) is the company’s founding precept.

The many multidisciplinary projects of the company have brought together artists, technicians, thinkers from various horizons with diverse experiences. It is not a collective but a professional team, with Phia Ménard in charge of the artistic direction.

To date, the various projects by Compagnie Non Nova have been performed in Africa, Argentina, Austria, Benin, 

Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Canada, Chili, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, Ecuador, Federation of Russia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, 

Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Slovakia, South Korea, South Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taïwan, Thailand, The Republic of Cape Verde, Togo, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Yemen.

The company’s creations …

« Le Grain » (« The Grain »), a piece inspired by burlesque cinema and created in 1998 with the musician Guillaume HAZEBROUK.

« Ascenseur, fantasmagorie pour élever les gens et les fardeaux » (« Elevator, Phantasmagoria for lifting people and loads ») marked the real beginning of the company. This solo piece has been performed 92 times in France and abroad since its première in 2001, notably on tour with the Institut Français (France’s international cultural relations body). 

In 2002, the company created « Le Grand Bazar » (« The Big Bazar »), a cabaret for 12 performing artists as part of the festival « Temps Fort autour des Arts du Cirque ». The festival « Jonglissimmo » and the Culturel Center of St Exupery in Reims gave the company a residency for the creation of their new piece « Fresque et Sketches 1er round « (« Fresco and Sketches, 1st round »), based on the theme of « post-war », inspired by the company’s tour in Kosovo (spring 2002).

In 2003, Compagnie Non Nova was invited to become an artistic associate company for a period of three years at the scène nationale (national theatre) Le Carré in Château-Gontier. There it completed the final version of « Zapptime, rêve éveillé d’un zappeur » (« Zapptime, Daydream of a Channel-Hopper »), a series of sketches created in collaboration with Hélène NINEROLA directing.

« Jongleur pas confondre » (« Juggler, don’t confuse ») was created in December 2004. A show-conference on the theme of juggling, orchestrated by Phia Ménard and Jean-Michel Guy (researcher for the Department of Studies and Future Trends for the French Ministry of Culture and Communication), in collaboration with Paola Rizzi directing, as well as the event « Est-il vraiment sérieux de jongler » (« Is it really serious to juggle ? ») presented in the form of a television studio.

A number of projects saw the light of day in 2005. « Zapptime#Remix » was created at Lieu Unique, scène nationale (national theatre) in Nantes. « Fresque et Sketches second round » (« Fresco and Sketches, 2nd round »), the second part of a project made up of sketches, featured a juggler, a dancer and a musician. Then there was « Ursulines Dance Floor », a one-off extravaganza of heterogeneous performances by exhuberant artists, crazy performers, jugglers, Djs, and dancers, set in a nightclub unlike any other.

Lastly, Nantes City Council commissioned a piece for the commemoration of the centenary of the death of Jules Verne. « Jules for ever » was created in Nantes in August 2005 with artists from the company Vent d’Autan, the musicians from the Sextet « Frasques » and Jérôme Thomas.

2006 marked the end of a three year collaboration with Le Carré, Château-Gontier’s « scène nationale ». The party-event « Ursulines Mushroom Power » marked the occasion. In July 2006 the company participated for the first time in the Avignon Festival with « Zapptime#Remix ».

In 2007, Compagnie Non Nova got back together with the musicians from Sextet « Frasques »  for the show « Touch It ». In November, « Doggy Bag », a multidisciplinary piece about the alienation effect of our globalised world, was presented at « Le Quai » in Angers and at « La Breche » in Cherbourg.

2008 saw the beginning of the project « I.C.E. » standing for « Injonglabilité Complémentaire des Eléments » (Complementary Unjugglability of the Elements) with the creation of « P.P.P. » (Position Parallèle au Plancher / Perillous Parallel Position) at Les Subsistances in Lyon. This was the company’s first exploration using the element « Ice » and based on the theme of identity.

The installation-performance piece « L’après-midi d’un foehn Version 1 » (Afternoon of a Foehn Version 1) was created in November 2008 at the Natural History Museum in Nantes as part of their Science Festival and is also part of the project « I.C.E. ». « P.P.P. » was performed at the Théâtre de la Cité Internationale in Paris and toured in France.

In 2009, the company continued its research into matter and transformation. 

In 2010, the company also created the performance piece « Black Monodie » (Black Monody) commissioned by the SACD (« Societé des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques » - Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers) and Avignon Festival, with the artist Anne-James Chaton.

2011, second working cycle about the process « I.C.E. » with the « Plays of Wind », « L’après-midi d’un foehn »     (Afternoon of a foehn) and « VORTEX » were created at the Comédie de Caen, centre dramatique national de normandie (National arts center for theater of Normandy). Invitation of company to the Festival Montpellier Danse.

2012, tours of the « Plays of Wind ».

2013, tours of the « Plays of Wind » and « P.P.P. ». The BNP Paribas Foundation becomes a sponsor of the Company.

2014, the Company Non Nova / Phia Ménard becomes an artist associated with the « Espace Malraux Scène nationale de Chambéry et de la Savoie » for four years.

Tours of the « Plays of Wind » and « P.P.P. ». 

Beginning of the creation of the « Plays of the Water and the Vapor ».

Phia Ménard

Born 1971

It was discovering Jérôme Thomas’ show “Extraballe” in 1991 that nurtured in Phia Ménard the deep desire to study the performing arts and in particular, the art of juggling. She trained in modern dance, mime and acting, as well as in juggling. In 1994 she studied juggling techniques and theatrical composition with Jérôme Thomas, and went on to join the company, performing in “Hic Hoc”. It was during her globetrotting tours with this company that her desire to write for the stage grew and she defined her personal vision of contemporary art forms. As artist and improviser, she created numerous shows for the company up until 2003: “Le Socle” (The Pedestal), “Le Banquet”, “Hioc”, “4, Qu’on en finisse une bonne fois pour toutes… (“4, Let’s finish things once and for all…”)

In 1997, alongside her work with the company, she took more dance lessons and danced in two short pieces choreographed by Hervé Diasnas and Valérie Lamielle. 

She founded the company Non Nova in 1998 and created « Le Grain ». It was with her show « Ascenseur, fantasmagorie pour élever les gens et les fardeaux » (Elevator, Phantasmagoria for elevating people and burdens…), created in 2001, that she first gained recognition and critical acclaim as a creator.

Acclaimed for her original, personal way of working, she was invited to become an artistic associate for three years at the “scène nationale” (national theatre) Le Carré in Chateau-Gontier, France. There she developed her work, downplaying juggling as a visual spectacle in favour of a new relationship with her audience. Numerous creations and events sprang from her research : « Zapptime, rêve éveillé d'un zappeur » (Zapptime, daydream of a channel-hopper), the conference piece « Jongleur pas confondre » (Juggler, don’t confuse) with the sociologist Jean Michel Guy, « Fresque et Sketches 2nd round », and the « Off-the-road Pieces » : « Est-il vraiment sérieux de jongler ? » (Is it really serious to juggle? ), « Ursulines Dance Floor » and « Ursulines Mushroom Power ». In 2005 and 2007, she developed her work around the notion of "unjugglability” and created two pieces: « Zapptime#Remix » and « Doggy Bag » and two cabaret forms, « Jules for ever » and « Touch It » with the sextet « Frasques ».

It was in 2008 that Phia Ménard revealed her new identity with her decision to change sex. 

Her artistic career took a new direction with the project "I.C.E." - “Injonglabilité Complémentaire des Elements” (Complementary Unjugglability of the Elements), having for object the study of the imagination of the transformation and the erosion through natural materials. In January 2008,  she created the show « P.P.P. » at the performing arts centre, Nouvelles Subsistances, in Lyon, play of the coming-out and the first one of the cycle of the « Plays of Ice ». Same year, in October, creation of performance piece « L’après-midi d’un foehn, Version 1 » (Afternoon of a foehn Version 1), first play about the cycle of « Plays of Wind » at the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de Nantes (Natural History Museum of Nantes).

During the 2009/2010 season, she toured the show « P.P.P. » throughout Europe and South America. She also collaborated on the project “Coyote Pizza” with the collective “La Valise”, creating  the performance piece « Iceman ». Invited by Avignon Festival with SACD in the « Sujets à Vif » program to perform there in July 2010, she created with the sound poet Anne-James Chaton the piece « Black Monodie ».

Since October 2011, with the creation of « L’après-midi d’un foehn » (Afternoon of a foehn) and « VORTEX », second chapter of « Plays of Wind », she has been traveling the national and international stages.

She’s for the initiative in CIFAS - Bruxelles (International Center of the Formation in Performing Arts) with Beatriz Preciado, a philosopher, a work call name « In the Mood », on questions of Gender and Humors. 

She has a dialogue with the criticism Anne Quentin for the publishing of an artistic manifesto of the Gender. 

She intervenes regularly in colloquiums around the questions of Art and Gender.

In January 2014, she received the decoration of Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight Order of Arts and Letters) by the French Minister of Culture and Communication, Mrs Aurélie Filippetti.

She becomes an artist associated with the « Espace Malraux Scène nationale de Chambéry et de la Savoie » for four years.

She prepares for June 2015 « Belle d’Hier » (Yesterday’s Beauty), first creation of « Plays of Water and Vapor ».

Fiche technique: 

The technical conditions can be very different from one tour to another. Do not hesitate to contact us, so that we can give you precise information.

Technical requirements outside Europe

The technical set up of « P.P.P. » is
not complicated although it involves to deal with ice. Except providing
freezers, some blocks of ice, flaked ice (see below) and a quiet low
temperature in the theatre, the organizer will have nothing else to deal with
ice. Furthermore, Company Non Nova has a long experience of tours in foreign
countries and can adapt. The best is to ask us if something is a problem.

Scenary :

The scenary is composed of 3 factice robotic
and radio freezers which are controlled from the side scene, a ceiling made of
hung ice balls shared out on pipes, a block of ice on the stage and a carpet
made of flaked ice (around 60 kgs).

The set up of the ice (hung balls, block and
carpet) is done before public gets in and it is precisely timed. The ideal
temperature in the theatre is between 17° and 20°C, and must not exceed 25°C anyway.

Stage :

> 13
pipes, with 9 pipes - among them - which can be either mobile or easily
accessible with a scale to hang the ice balls (if not, the company brings its
own pipes, i.e. the equivalent of 5 pipes of 8 m)

> 1 black dance carpet recovering all the
floor (including the side scene because of the water) with gaffer tape

> 5 stage curtains « à
l’italienne » (black leg and border)

> 1 black drop

> 5 borders (teasers) + 1 more
for the top of the frame

> 1 video monitor or a television
which can be used as a monitor, with a video connection (RCA)

The stage should have no inclination
(thanks to contact us if your stage has a slope of more than 1 %).

Ideal dimensions: 12 m width (opening) and 11 m depth from wall to wall –
minimum height : 5m50. If you have smaller dimensions, please contact us.

To manufacture the ice balls used during the
performance, we ask the organizer to provide :

- in the morning of D-5 before the first show :

> 7 big chest freezers of 500 liters (we need a
global capacity in the freezers of 3500 liters). The freezers have to be connected
on D-6.

> 140 kgs of flaked ice (as you can
see on the photo below)

> 30 kgs of ice cubes

- on D-4 in
the morning

> 2 blocks of ice (100 cm x 50 cm x 25 cm)

- on D-2 for each performance
(every day)

> 100 kgs of flaked ice

In the morning of D-5, the ice manager should
make a visit to the ice supplier in order to check ice pieces before delivery.


A space (around 40 m2) near the stage is
required to keep the freezers and to handle with ice. Please provide water
faucet, 2 big pots with a capacity of about 20 liters used to heat
water, electricity (for the 7 freezers and 4 more plugs to be able to heat
water with equipment that we provide) and 2 large tables. This workshop can be
separated in 2 or 3 spaces (back, stage, side scene).

Some water will be on the stage at the end of
the show (50 l
maximum), that’s why we will need some wooden sticks or tubs in order to keep
water and ice on the black dance carpet (or another means).

So that the factice freezers can move easily on
the stage it is important that the dance carpet is perfectly slacked.

Lights : desk has to be set in theatre

1 lighting desk 24
memory circuits with crossfade

6 cycliodes

9 pars 64 CP 62

3 profiles 714 sx

22 fluos brought by the company: please provide
5 small PC (500 W) to balance the power supply of the fluos.

Lighting patch :






714 SX


118 lee +119 rosco


714 SX


118 lee +119 rosco



Sol face cour

203 lee



Suspendue à jardin

203 lee +101 rosco



Suspendue à jardin

203 lee +101 rosco



Suspendue à jardin

203 lee +101 rosco



Suspendue au lointain jardin

203 lee +101 rosco



Suspendue au lointain jardin

203 lee +101 rosco



228 lee + 250 lee



228 lee + 250 lee



228 lee + 250 lee



228 lee + 250 lee



228 lee + 250 lee



Perches de glace



Perches de glace



Perches de glace








714 sx


203 lee






228 lee + 250 lee



228 lee + 250 lee



228 lee + 250 lee



228 lee + 250 lee



Sound :

Régie : desk in the theatre only

1            desk Yamaha DM 1000 / DM2000 / O2R 96 with 16 in and 10 out physical

3        stereo
egalisers 31 b (type Klark Technic DN 360)  

3       CD
players with autopause

1       FX
type Lexicon PCM 70

2       D.I.

2       micros SM

3       intercoms
stage/lights and sound

Address sound system : see schedule (for around 300

center downstage : 2 x L Acoustique MTD 115
with hang

-    front  
:  2 x L Acoustique MTD
115 /112 with hang

-    Theatre  :  2 x L Acoustique MTD 115/112 with hang

SUB : 
L Acoustique MTD 218 with hang

Planning et staff

D-3 :
the company crew needs access to prepare the ice, but no staff is necessary.

set up : stage/lights/sound

Day -1

3 services

Day D

2 services



1 service


1 technician +1

1 technician

1 technician

1 technician +1


1 technician +1

1 technician

1 technician

1 technician +1


1 technician +3 machinists

1 technician +2 machinists

1 technician +2 machinists

1 technician +3 machinists

Dressing rooms :

dressing rooms equipped with warm shower

catering : water, fruit juices, fruits

Contacts :

Please contact the
person responsable for :

Sound :                        Ivan
Roussel                00 33
(0)                 ivanroussel@club-internet.fr

Stage :                         Pedro
Blanchet            00 33 (0)6.07.33       pedro.blanchet@wanadoo.fr

Lights :             Alice Rüest                  00 33 (0)         alice.ruest@yahoo.fr 

Ice :                             Rodolphe
Thibaud       00 33 (0)          rodoff.t@orange.fr

Conditions de tournées: 

Please contact us.


“P.P.P." is a Company Non Nova’s production.

Produced in
collaboration with Cirque Jules Verne in Amiens, Les Subsistances / Lyon /
France. Created with support from the Théâtre de la Cité Internationale
in Paris, the Institute Français in South Africa and Culturesfrance
(Culturesfrance / DRAC / Région des Pays de la Loire’s partnership), the national performance
centre Lieu Unique in Nantes, Arc, scène conventionnée de Rezé (44), le Grand
R, national stage in la Roche-sur-Yon (85), the city of Segré (49) and the Hippodrome in Douai (59).

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).
This project also received  help for its
creation from the Conseil Régional des Pays de la Loire.

In 2014, the Company Non Nova / Phia Ménard becomes an artist associated with the « Espace Malraux Scène nationale de Chambéry et de la Savoie » for four years.

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