Au bon endroit au bon moment (In the right place at the right time)

[OBE .OBM] Action-research project

Florent Bergal
Art Direction
+33 (0)6 79 29 87 81

Véronique Dubarry
+33 (0)6 84 13 41 89

Au Bon Endroit Au Bon Moment is a long-term research laboratory on circus writing in public spaces in relation to urgent social issues. It has several aims:
  • Get circus artists to collaborate with the world of socio-architectural research (anthropologists, architects, sociologists, urban planners, ethnologists, philosophers, etc.)
  • Bringing together artists, researchers, residents and cultural actors to create a creative and inspiring assembly
  • Create an adaptable in situ writing protocol in order to write “with” a territory and not “for” it
  • To propose a pedagogy of writing in public space for circus school students and emerging artists
Intent & premise

Despite its vivacity, current circus writing, although present in the public space, struggles to intimately confront the particularities induced by distribution outside theatres and circus tents. How can we make the performance space a true partner in the creative process? What influences does the play space have on the spectacular performance? How can the links between a non-dedicated performance space and a circus work be explored, taking into account its social, cultural, territorial and political influences? In recent decades, art in the public space has redefined the modes of writing and the operating modes of many performing arts. It moves us away from the spatialization of ancient Greco-Roman theatre, placing the socio-architectural space at the heart of the process of creation and performance, and thus developing a democratization and mobility of culture. Increasingly present in the public space, it is becoming necessary for the circus to integrate this dynamic more thoroughly and to open up the scope and impact of its language. The choice of the performance venue, the creation method, the timing of the action, the people involved and the political dimension are all part of the dramaturgical line. La porosité entre les domaines scientifique et artistique est une manière évidente de se compléter pour que le changement puisse avoir lieu.

The aim of this research/creation is not to “tour” a show but an artistic protocol that will call on various artists chosen according to a precise circus language, a researcher on a chosen theme, a rich source of inspiration for each territory of action. Lastly, to respond to territorial issues through creation and artistic action in situ. Acting on reality. Writing with the gestural grammar of the circus as a language in and for the public space with community forces.


A specific team is set up for each laboratory, making it possible to address a specific research theme:

  • An artistic team: professional artists and/or art students/emerging artists. Each time, a circus discipline is privileged: acrobatic lifts, aerial practices, bicycle and unicycle, clown, magic, …
  • An associate researcher: geographer, sociologist, urban planner, philosopher… Rich source of inspiration and facilitator of the “side step”.
  • One or more cultural structures in the area: national circus centres, CNAREP, national or conventioned stages, higher training schools for the circus arts and the arts in public spaces, festivals, etc.
  • Local partners: schools, universities, neighbourhood associations, social workers, etc.

In general and after various consultations and reflections, strong themes are emerging, the idea being to point to existential urgencies capable of orienting/impelling research. The choice of these topics is made in a sensitive way, away from the obvious. A few words circulate and spread out on a map that we draw in real time: [le rythme] – [l’hétérotopie] – [le soin] – [la nuit] – [civil disobedience, artivism] – [l’enfance] – [la dissonance cognitive] – [la saturation]. The list is slowly growing to be a force of proposal and/or reflection with the reception structures.

Identify the territorial issues with the partner structure.

Establishment of the assembly. Target and constitute the group of associated inhabitants.

Preparation time (2 to 4 months before the main event in situ)

Preparation and finalisation of the action: Modus operandi – planning – temporality – determining the places of action – collection of inhabitants’ words by the inhabitants.
Location scouting. Meeting with project participants and the populations concerned to raise awareness/involve

10 days of actions

Days 1 to 8
Joint writing work with the artists. Work in intimate and public spaces. Around the essential characteristics of the circus (risk, absurdity, the frontier between the real and the exceptional, distortion/twisting of reality, danger, humour, etc.), construct/realise tableaux – situations (short or long) – actions announced to the public – unannounced actions of infiltration into reality – determine aesthetics 8 hours workshops with the inhabitants-participants. Involve them in writing for the final performances.
Days 9 to 10
Imagining a route that places all the images and situations developed in the project’s space. These two days are dedicated to a global restitution where the public will be invited. Create an overall increase in the power of the proposed work. Making our presence progressively official. To finish with a final event gathering all the images generated during the week. Moving from unannounced action to subtle information that something is going to happen, and then ending with a formal invitation to the public and project players. Afterwards, a convivial moment in the form of an interactive conference between the inhabitants and the public. Talk about the experience and the issue being addressed.

Within one month of the action

Debriefing with all participants – drawing up a summary – talking about the methodology, strengths and points for improvement – imagining/formulating desires and ideas for the future in this area – bringing out other issues.

Various tools of restitution are envisaged: writing, photos, videos, conferences. Keeping a trace so that this experiment promises to be followed up, in line with a continuous thought in the long term, listening to the changes it induces.

Study and evaluation of the impact on the territories, the public and artistic creation. Creating an innovative methodology. Créer des outils d’échanges, de réflexions et de restitution. To bring out inclusive and innovative writing.

Updating a methodology to follow up on this feedback in conjunction with the CNAC documentation and research centre (under feasibility study). Create a study booklet for young circus artists to generate a desire to explore this modus operandi.

Anticipated impacts
  • Test, renew, find new methods and new timeframes for action
  • Writing with others (inhabitants, researchers, cultural structures, social actors)
  • Increase awareness of current and future territorial and social issues
  • To become aware of the multiple challenges of cultural structures
  • Finding intellectual openness and inspiration through contact with associate researchers
  • Working in teams with different sectors: bridging these activities with artistic writing
  • Mapping out common issues
  • Sharing and transmitting with the inhabitants
  • Create a universal circus grammar that can be transmitted and shared
  • Acting/thinking as an artist-citizen
  • Seeking new incentives for creation
  • Work/learn with professional and international artists.
  • Awareness raising, practice of writing in public spaces.
  • Knowledge of the challenges of cultural structures.
  • Notion of experimentation and artistic research in relation to reality.
  • Sharing one’ s language with the inhabitants/actors.
  • Putting theory into practice, images and situations
  • Applying visions to reality
  • To give a dimension, an artistic extension to one’ s study topic
  • Working on the field in relation to the population
  • Building bridges between different fields of research, linking public space, artistic action and cultural law
  • Nourish and be nourished by the expertise and territorial realities of local experts/social actors
  • Using the cultural sector to develop research
  • Reclaiming one’s body. To appropriate one’s body is to appropriate a space
  • To create a new awareness of citizenship through this sensitive development of the self, the other and the public space
  • To be included and actively participate in territorial issues
  • Participating in a multidisciplinary assembly
  • Develop an artistic practice with experienced professional artists
  • Exchange with social and scientific experts
  • Take advantage of this artistic and intellectual knowledge to express and formulate needs, demands, issues and solutions
  • Being an actor in one’ s territory
  • Developing a poetic and political vision of public space
  • To be a relay of this experience to the local population, a role of intermediary
  • Create a strong and sustainable link with local cultural and social actors
  • Projecting a sensation of reality into an artistic act
  • Identify, confirm, question and open up its observations/reflections on the problems of its territory with a diversified team concerned at different levels
  • Bringing together different angles of action towards an innovative cultural action
  • Rely on local researchers and experts / local actors to develop one’ s expertise in the field
  • To participate actively and creatively in the development of targeted artistic actions in conjunction with artists and residents
  • Writing for its territory
  • Strengthen its links with the inhabitants. Nurturing and cultivating these exchanges
  • Gathering, confronting and studying the reactions of the public and politicians
  • Work and think in the long term on a chosen issue
  • To contribute to the development of new methods of writing and creation, but also of new ways of production and distribution formats
  • To contribute to the evolution of contemporary circus in public spaces
  • Bringing together diverse local teams to generate artistic action specific to their territory
  • Create sustainable links with local social actors, for a direct impact on reality
  • Developing artistic infiltration in the territory
  • To take a commonly created methodology and develop it in the future
Art Direction

Florent Bergal

Thought Developer

Pascal Lebrun-Cordier

Stage management

Rémi Bernard


Véronique Dubarry

A team is set up specifically for each project and includes 2 to 10 circus artists, 1 to 2 researchers and 1 to 2 cultural operators.

Depending on the context, residents are invited to actively participate in the project.

Production and partners

Le G. Bistaki


Specific to each time and place of action.

Tancarville spectacle G. Bistaki


Bel Horizon
PhotoAccueil-1 ©Cousin-1280

Bel Horizon



La Loterie Fabuleuse (The Fabulous Lottery)

La Loterie Fabuleuse (The Fabulous Lottery)

Au bon endroit au bon moment (In the right place at the right time)

Au bon endroit au bon moment (In the right place at the right time)