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Creation at the Orchard Hall, Tokyo, August 1998


Choreography and staging   Kader Belarbi, 

inspired by The Family of Saltimbanques by Pablo Picasso (1905) 

Original Music   Max Bonnay

Musical programming  Sergio Tomassi

Music performed on stage by Elena and Max Bonnay 

Costumes  Elsa Pavanel 

Lighting  François Gaunand

Duration 55’


"But who are they, tell me, these travellers ?"   Rainer Maria Rilke, Fifth Elegy, Duino Elegies

Close, prohibited, present, absent, the Saltimbanques carry their banished soul in the fairground condition and wandering life, between earth and sky. Picasso's painting, The Family of Saltimbanques (1905), and the Fifth Elegy from Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke led me to take a look at these nomadic jugglers, to gloriously evoke the infinitely fragile appearance of the human being, through these "penitents" in leotards. Who are they?

They know the impermanence of the world and the grace of the present moment; they are the movement and the unexpected. They are wandering and discovery to infinite aspirations. Victims of a suffering, body pain takes off, dazzles and sinks. They are the many metamorphoses in this nowhere, lost in the universe. 

Deserters of earthly life, these dropout beings wear their body as a disguise and expose themselves to the strollers, on their worn carpets, in a real and holy pain. In the greatness of the act and in the impulse from the heart to the body which wastes it, the saltimbanques transform insufficiency of being into overabundance of being.


Picasso said: "... I paint them the way I see them but also as I dream them."


« …even more transient than we are ourselves, urgently, from their earliest days, wrung out for whom – to please whom, by a never-satisfied will? » 

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