The Big Top

Each show involves a new scenography, inevitably heavy and expensive. To fly forty five horses by plane over to Hong-Kong or to Los Angeles; to build up our big top in Manhattan, at the foot of the now gone Twin Towers; to settle in the Kolomenskaya Park in Moscow, in the footsteps of Andreï Roublev; to perform in Tokyo in a two thousand seats, earthquake-resistant theatre, built especially for us, and dismantled just after…


There are considerable financial risks which make us say that Zingaro is undoubtedly an unreasonable adventure. I would say even more heroic now than in our early stages, when I see today the fitters raising the brown cloth of our gigantic four poles big top, battling against the wind and the rain, like sailors in the storm.
We try not to think of it every day, but there is the real fearlessness, today still, of us building such an adventure on something as fragile as the public interest for our work. The tastes, the fashions, the relationship with live performance can change. The financial risks we take for every show are sometimes nerve-wracking, they rely on a single thing: confidence in the curiosity of tens and tens of thousands of audience members who come and come back again to see us.
Bartabas, in Manifeste pour la vie d’artiste, Éditions Autrement, 2012.



“Even if the constraints of my craft force me to meet the outside world, still my internal rhythm is that of the track. There, the time does not tick by, it turns, endlessly, dial of a watch which says nothing of months and years, always going back for every new creation to its starting point, as nothing or no one is seemingly getting older.
From then on, in this ring, the artists and horses of Zingaro are ageless. Well, I, for one, do not know their age. All of them are often here for ages. That’s the word: for ages. It is enough to live and describe our company.
At Zingaro, neither the men nor the horses are hired for a given duration. Here and now, they live their common history as much as they wish. As much as they can. Here, time is never a reaper, it is a simple nest in which we create.”
Bartabas, in L’Almanach Zingaro, Éditions Actes Sud, 2014.

©Antoine Poupel