Cie Non Nova
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, China, 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 ».
In 2013, The « Pièces du Vent » (« The Wind Cycle ») kept touring. « P.P.P. » was put back onstage. La Fondation BNP Paribas became the company’s sponsor.
In 2014, the Company Non Nova / Phia Ménard became associated artist at l’Espace Malraux, the Scène Nationale in Chambery for four years. The « Pièces du Vent » (« The Wind Cycle ») and « P.P.P. » kept touring. 2014 also saw the beginning of the creation of the « Pièces de l’Eau et de la Vapeur » (« The Water and Vapour Cycle»)
In 2015, the Company Non Nova became associated artist at the Théâtre Nouvelle Génération – Centre Dramatique National in Lyon and the Centre Chorégraphique National in Caen / Basse-Normandie. They will be associated artist in both structures until 2018.
In June 2015 « Belle d’Hier » (« Yesterday’s Beauty ») was premiered at Montpellier Dance Festival at the Opéra Comédie. This piece was the first in the Water and Vapour Cycle.
In 2016, « Les Pièces du Vent » (« The Wind Cycle »), « P.P.P. » and « Belle d’Hier » (« Yesterday’s Beauty ») kept touring.
The first part of the creation « Saison Sèche » (« Dry Season ») took place, to be premiered 2017-2018, and research began for « Contes immoraux » (« Immoral Tales »); a creation for la documenta 14 (April to September 2017). The creation process for « Les Os Noirs » (The Black Bones ») was also initiated ; the show will be premiered in 2017-2018.