Cnac Publications and ICiMa Chair

The projects developed by the CNAC and the ICiMa Chair / Innovation Cirque et Marionnette (Circus and Puppet Innovation) are documented through numerous publications. These cover different pedagogical, artistic and technical fields related to the resource and research activities at the CNAC.
All these publications are in their French version (with specific exceptions in English, as indicated below).

ACROBATES - Exhibition Catalogue (October 2018)

ACROBATES is initially an exhibition that took place from April to October 2018 in Châlons-en-Champagne. It is the result of a partnership between the museums of the City of Châlons-en-Champagne, the Centre national des arts du cirque and Pascal Jacob.

This exhibition was officially granted a national interest status by the Ministry of Culture. It has benefited from the participation of major museum institutions and has also brought to the public's attention a significant corpus of works from the Jacob-William collection.
The ACROBATES catalogue offers a discovery of the circus beyond the standard chronological and geographical landmarks. It presents a varied panorama of artists who have taken over the circus such as Picasso, Rodin or Calder, to name but the most famous. It also allows you to revisit performers from the past. The acrobatic gesture is also celebrated in all its dimensions.

ACROBATES also enables us to fully appreciate that the circus is rooted in our societies and reflects the very expression of historical, social, aesthetic and philosophical positions beyond time and space.

Excerpts in French from the ACROBATES catalogue Excerpts in French from the ACROBATES catalogue

Price 35 euros - Buy ACROBATES

Publications on circus plays

LIGNE DE FUITE - Carnet dramaturgique autour de deux œuvres de Jérôme Thomas

(Colosse, 2012 and Over the cloud, 2014 by Jérôme Thomas)

Let's share a free journey, a walk between the words already spoken.Those of students, and artists called upon on two projects that have mobilised teams and collective energies: one driven by the Fratellini Academy, a Christmas show entitled Colosse (2012); and the other by the Centre national des arts du cirque for the 26th promotion's graduation show, entitled Over the Cloud (2014). Two shows, two troupes, two higher education institutions. In this walk, we discover the words of the project manager of these two adventures, Jérôme Thomas, but also the personal account of Valérie Fratellini, who played Colosse, as well as the views expressed in notes, drawings, student notebooks and also in notes from the technical team...

Excerpts in French LIGNE DE FUITE Excerpts LIGNE DE FUITE

Free - Order Ligne de fuite

Tout le monde est quelqu'un d'autre - Répertoire cirque / théâtre / danse

Guy Alloucherie - Cie Hendrick Van Der Zee (2017)

This book brings together for the first time all the textual materials used for the shows of the Hendrick Van Der Zee Co. (HVDZ), directed by Guy Alloucherie. It is in line with the pedagogical editorial line developed by the Centre national des arts du cirque / Cnac to promote the various circus dramaturgies. This volume, a collection of several plays and articles, is intended for all those interested in contemporary circus and theatre. It is particularly aimed at students, teachers, amateurs and professionals of circus culture.

Excerpts in French Tout le monde est quelqu'un d'autre Excerpts Tout le monde est quelqu'un d'autre

13 € -  Buy Tout le monde est quelqu'un d'autre 


 Pièces de cirque written buy Christophe Huysman

Christophe Huysman / Thomas Cepitelli (2017)

Christophe Huysman's writing cannot be appreciated at a glance; you have to immerse yourself in his rehearsals, understand the humour of the sometimes-comical situations that he can make his characters play. One of the elements that best characterises his writing is the rhythm, far from going back and forth like a game of ping-pong: the sentences, sometimes composed of a few phrases, shout, stun, and explode. Sometimes they are cries of anger, but often they express a lot of joy, a lot of laughter.
It is between the words, through the physical presence of the acrobats, through their bodies that Christophe Huysman describes his poetic world, weaving the links that define the meaning of a play. Without really fully understanding his way of writing, Christophe Huysman manages to bring his text to life through the interplay of his actors or acrobats.

Excerpts in French Pièces de cirque written by Christophe Huysman Excerpts in French Pièces de cirque written by Christophe Huysman

11 € - Buy Pièces de cirque written buy Christophe Huysman 


The Centre national des arts du cirque / Cnac and the Institut International de la Marionnette / IIM are two structures under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture, dedicated to training, resources and research. Around common issues, these two institutions collaborated in the creation of the ICiMa Chair: Chair of Social and Territorial Innovation around Circus and Puppet.
Its research is structured around three areas: Materials - Gesture and Movement - Multilingual Terminology.

"GESTURE AND MOVEMENT" axit of the ICiMa Chair

Benesh movement notation for circus arts

The Centre national du cirque/CNAC has made the notation of circus arts into an important part of its research. The establishment of the ICiMa Chair places this activity within a broader research on notation tools and scoring of performing arts.
With Katrin Wolf, choreologist, the CNAC has developed the Benesh notation for circus arts. Katrin trained at the CNSMDP (Conservatoire supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris) in the 2000s. She carried out her research on the basis of a notation created by Rudolf Benesh in 1955 to transcribe the human movement, mainly applied to dance movements.
Circus arts notation is part of the process of creating a written circus heritage, enriching the circus repertoire. By leaving a written trace, scores allow performers to repeat passages and create a new way of conveying information to circus artists.
The Benesh Movement Notation for circus arts is also a tool to accompany creation.

These Benesh Notation booklets edited by CNAC with the support of the ICiMa Chair outline the progress of research in different circus disciplines, starting from individual artistic projects by CNAC students presented to the public in ÉCHAPPÉES :
- the "Carnet de recherche" (Research Booklet) 1 (2016) and 2 (2017) introduces the method and objectives,
- the following notation booklets are devoted to a specific circus discipline: 
Straps: issue created by Dimitri Rizzello/27th intake at CNAC (2016) 
Acrobatic bases: issue by Anaïs Albisetti and Pedro Consciencia/27th intake at CNAC (2017) 
Chinese pole: issue by Cathrine Lundsgaard Nielsen/27th year at CNAC (2018)


Excerpts in French Carnet de recherche n°1 - Notation Benesh Arts du cirque - Katrin Wolf Excerpts in French Carnet de recherche n°1 - Notation Benesh Arts du cirque - Katrin Wolf 

Free - Order the Benesh research booklets 1 and 2, Straps, Acrobatic bases and/or Chinese pole 


CNAC is interested in other notation systems invented by circus artists in order to develop their disciplines.

Jonathan Lardillier participates as a juggling teacher. He devised his own system, which was inspired by Benesh notation amongst others.

The notation developed by Katrin Wolf at CNAC and Jonathan Lardillier’s system are actual tools to accompany creation.

 Excerpts in French Carnet de recherche sur la notation en Jonglage - Jonathan Lardillier Excerpts in French Carnet de recherche sur la notation en Jonglage - Jonathan Lardillier

Vidéo Teaching video to discover the juggling notation developed by Jonathan Lardillier   Vidéo didactique pour découvrir la notation en jonglage développée par Jonathan Lardillier / Centre national des arts du cirque / CNAC Châlons-en-Champagne

(2018) Free - Order the research booklet Exemple d'une notation en Jonglage - L'exemple de Jonathan Lardillier

LEARNING FROM YOU BODY - An emersive method at the CNAC

Editions PURH - “Body ecology and sport environments” collection
Bernard ANDRIEU - Translated by Catherine SCOTT (2018)

Learning from your living body is now possible. This book brings together films recorded on GoPro cameras, complied on a DVD produced by Raoul Bender, our photographs taken at training sessions and our interviews with artists from the National Centre for Circus Arts (Centre national du cirque, CNAC) in Châlons-en-Champagne.
Each person can recognise three types of movements in their bodies: the involuntary, gestures integrated by techniques and learning, and intentional gestures.
This book is about the analysis of these movements.
Bernard Andrieu, a philosopher, is a professor at Paris Descartes University, Director of the Body Technics and Issues Laboratory (TEC EA 3625) and coordinator of GDRI 836 CNRS.

Excerpts Learning from your body Excerpts Learning from your body

Price Book + DVD 25 € - Order Learning from your body

ENTRE LES CORPS - Une méthode émersive au CNAC

Editions L'Harmattan (2017)

Proceedings of the conference held on the 7th and 8th of October 2016 at the Centre national des arts du cirqueUnder the direction of Bernard Andrieu and Cyril Thomas

Living art involves the body in the creation of an inter-body aesthetic: direct relationship with the public, exchanges between partners, emergence of intimate sensations. Through tactile contact of hands, bodies and skins, invisible information is activated in the nervous, hormonal and brain networks. Thus, artists identify themselves by the projection of their body space, which is based on empathetic sensitivity, emotional recognition and motor resonance.Bernard Andrieu is a professor of Sports Social Sciences (STAPS) at the University of Paris-Descartes and director of the EA 3625 TEC. The book is supported by the GDRI836CNRS Body Ecology by Physical Adapted Sportive Activities.

Cyril Thomas is Head of Research and Development at the Cnac, co-holder of the ICiMa Chair.

Price 24 € / 17,99 € in digital version - Order Entre les corps


Alternatives théâtrales (2018)

The inanimate puppets and figures dear to puppeteers, as well as the holograms or apparitions specific to magicians, roam the territories of illusion in different ways. How do these non-human beings-presences live on sets and stages where nothing is real? What do they reveal about our unquenchable need for illusion(s) ?
In this book co-published with THEMAA – Association nationale des Théâtres de Marionnettes et des Arts Associés (THEMAA - National Association of Puppet Theatres and Associated Arts), the Institut International de la Marionnette (International Puppet Institute) and the Centre national des arts du cirque for the ICiMa Chair, we explore the poetics of illusion by combining the words of illusionists and animators across various fields in addition to the work of magicians, mentalists, puppeteers, manipulators, playwrights and performers, scenographers and lighting designers..., also with those of thinkers in the contemporary scene or specialists in perception.

Excerpts in French Poétiques de l'illusion Excerpts in French Poétiques de l'illusion

Price 12 € - Order Poétiques de l'illusion

"MATERIALS" axis of the ICiMa Chair


For several years now, the Centre national des arts du cirque (CNAC) has been developing a reflection on clothing for the training of circus students and on scenic costume for acrobatic practices. This work is part of a vast research project to consider a more global approach both to reducing the risks of injuries and to enrich new dramaturgical developments in contemporary circus performances.
This book focuses on the precious words of contemporary costume designers and of a modern circus costume designer. This was compiled by the ICiMa Chair during interviews designed to collect, from those who make them, the specific know-how and expertise required to create the costumes worn by the artists on stage. This know-how is often developed by the costume designers themselves according to their experience, by listening to acrobats, clowns, jugglers, etc., and is an integral part of the dramaturgies developed within the creations.

Excerpts in French COSTUMES DE CIRQUE Excerpts in French COSTUMES DE CIRQUE

(2018) Price 9 € - Buy Costumes de cirque


L'évolution de l'acrobatie contemporaine - Regards croisés sur les pédagogies

For several years now, the Centre national des arts du cirque (CNAC) has been developing a new approach to composition and new acrobatic forms.This interest is most often reflected in the diversity of stakeholders and educators and in the acro-dance meetings, which took place at the CNAC on April 2017.
Acrobatics constantly enriches its gestural alphabet and reinvents itself, recomposes itself, hybridizes itself even thanks to its performers. Thus, we asked the pedagogues and specialists of the CNAC (Karine Noël, Damien Fournier, David Soubies, Julie Tavert, Arnaud Thomas, William Thomas) to develop a comprehensive and concise approach that would summarise their thoughts and impressions on contemporary acrobatics.

Excerpts in French L'évolution de l'acrobatie contemporaine Excerpts The evolution of contemporary acrobatics

Free - Order L'évolution de l'acrobatie contemporaine



Arts du cirque et spectacle vivant - Volume 1 - Under the direction of Tony Froissart and Cyril ThomasEPURE – Éditions et presses universitaires de Reims, 2018

This book is an extension of the workshops organised in partnership with the CNAC of Châlons-en-Champagne, the ICiMa Chair and the société française d’histoire du sport (SFHS) (French Society of History of Sport (SFHS)). This opus is much more than a series of acts. The book is also enriched by contributions from other scientists and the subject has been reorganised to present the dynamics of circus and circus arts training and more broadly artistic physical activities, in a plurality of territories (Europe, Canada), and in different training and educational processes.


Price 15 € - Order Formations Cirque et Activité physiques artistiques


Arts du cirque et spectacle vivant - Volume 2 - Under the direction of Marine Cordier, Agathe Dumont, Emilie Salaméro, Magali SizornEPURE – Éditions et presses universitaires de Reims, 2018

This book brings together contributions from two workshops organised by the Group of Circus Researchers between 2015 and 2017, with the support of the CNAC.

The first workshop took place at the CNAC in 2015. Entitled "Thinking professional careers in the circus world", its purpose was to question the biographical and professional careers of circus artists.The second took place as part of the second Biennale internationale des arts du cirque (International Biennial of Circus Arts) in Marseille in 2017, organised in partnership with the ICiMa Chair and Archaos-Pôle national cirque Méditerranée. Bringing together researchers from several disciplines (sociology, performing arts, literature), it was entitled "Circus and comparative approaches. Professionalisations in question : issues, identity, processes".


Price 15 € - Order Cirque en transformation