Pioneer of original forms of expression, combining equestrian art, music, dance and acting, Bartabas has invented and directed with tact, spirit and intuition, a new form of performing arts: equestrian theatre.
With his company, founded in 1985 under the name Theatre Equestre Zingaro, he has captured the hearts of hundreds of thousands of spectators around the world as well as at the Fort d'Aubervilliers where he decided to set up home in 1989 in a wooden big top designed and made-to-measure by Patrick Bouchain.
His creations: Cabaret Opéra Equestre, Chimère, Eclipse, Triptyk, Loungta, Battuta and Darshan are events that mark their era and show an incessant, sometimes mystical but always deep search for authenticity. With time, the company has become one of the largest in Europe. Its shows triumph everywhere it goes, from New York to Tokyo, Istanbul to Hong-Kong and Moscow.
Eager to pass on his artistic know-how, he founded in 2003 the Académie Equestre de Versailles. This is a one-of-a-kind ballet corps that performs in the ring of the Chateau’s Royal Stables, and for which he has directed shows - from the Chevalier de St Georges, to Voyage aux Indes Galantes and the Juments de la Nuit - performed as part of the grand Fêtes de Nuits at the Château de Versailles. He also invites his Academy to collaborate with artists from very different backgrounds, such as Alexandre Tharaud, Philip Glass, Behat Achiary, and Carolyn Carlson. His original creations often have original and unusual settings such as the Abbey of St Ouen in Rouen as a backdrop, for which he imagined a bewitching equestrian Liturgy.
In 2013, on the occasion of the Académie's 10th anniversary, he is the guest of La Villette from June 7th to 30th.
In a constant search, Bartabas regularly presents more intimist pieces he both writes and performs, such as Entr'apergu at the Théâtre du Chatelet, the Lever de Soleil or the Centaure et l'Animal with dancer Buto Ko Murobushi.
He has directed two feature-length films: Mazeppa (1993) and Chamane (1995), produced by Marin Karmitz. He has also been filming his own shows for the past quarter of a century. His latest opus, Galop Arrière, is much like a “memory journey” and a questioning of his entire career and body of work. This notably includes a number of works, such as Bartabas, a book by Jerome Gargin, Zingaro Suite Equestre by Andre Velter, with drawings by Ernest Pignon-Ernest, published by Gallimard, La voie de l'Ecuyer by Alfons Alt and Sophie Nauleau (Actes Sud), as well as albums by Antoine Poupel. In 2009, a retrospective work with a number of original documents and eight DVDs, entitled Zingaro 25 ans, was published by Actes Sud.