l’avant courrier


JunE 2023

1# anaïs veignant wears her aorta on her sleeve

We welcome a new one-woman show at the Avant Courrier created and performed by Anaïs Veignant. For those who haven’t met her yet, she’s a circus artist from Trentemoult who specializes in trapeze, punchy and quirky videos, and photo comics.

Louise-Michèle will be the one working closely with Anaïs on the tour management of this solo show entitled L’Aorte. Premiere at ONYX in December 2023!

The traditional two days we organize at the start of every collaboration took place at the end of April, during which we worked hard and giggled even harder. Long live the project and this new team!

For a deep dive into the universe of the show, come right this way.

2# les petits bonnets tough touring

Last February, Les Petits Bonnets performed in different venues in the presence of Karita, as she was covering for Pauline, who was about to give birth.

It gave the team a chance to meet and talk about the show tour. Nonetheless, the situation is a bit tough, as there are just a few dates lined up. It is disappointing (and hard to understand) for us and for the team, especially after the series of shows in Avignon and the twenty-ish contacts with venue programmers we got there. We were also especially enthusiastic regarding the ONDA grant for the big top tour (TACSI).

But stay the course! As an encouragement to hang on are the life stories shared with Nolwenn by some audience members at the end of the show. One person was a trade unionist and had supported the Château-Gontier’s workers in their strike against the time clocks! Another came to tell her how moved he was, and how his nearly ninety-year-old mom, who came along to the show, was a worker who won her battle against cancer but lost her breast in the fight.

3# elsa is now on (the) board

As mentioned in our previous gazettes, our intention is to associate outside members to the reflections that concern the Collective. Therefore, Sandra Ribeill has been accompanying us since last year on the stakes of human resource management.

We recently felt the need to review the framework of the Avant Courrier and to rewrite its outline with the five of us involved based on what the project has become today, ten years after it was created.

To help us out, Elsa was asked to facilitate our meeting. One strong element that emerged was the need to more clearly assert the experimental component of the Collective. We have always been keen on experimenting and trying new things out, and that’s actually how we started offering trainings. Today, it is regarding the matter of the audience and our role as producers that we feel restless, that we cogitate, that we get trained.

Making this aspect of our job visible is an important step!

After getting our foot in the door, we took the opportunity to ask Elsa if she would accompany us during the whole process of rethinking the Avant Courrier’s framework. Elle a dit oui! We celebrated the news at the bar Le Printemps and now take the chance to congratulate Louise-Michèle and Clémence, who correctly guessed the total weight of our team members and therefore won the Dalby Football Club soccer ball! Oh jeez.

4# + trainings for + human warmth

We ain’t the type to rest on our laurels. After working on the rules and regulations of the Avant Courrier, our desire to be inclusive and to protect our working conditions met with our lack of training and skills regarding these issues. To overcome this, three of us will be trained in mental health first aid in June in Rennes — how exciting! Then, within the year, all five of us will be trained in SGBV (sexual and gender-based violence) so we can learn additional tips to destroy the … I mean … collectively defend ourselves against patriarchy in the arts and culture field. The Rennes-based NGO La Grenade will train us. Check it out!

During the year, we will also train in the Feedback method, which focuses on feedback in the field of the arts. We often hear you say that we don’t give enough feedback. It’s always a tough one for us, as it raises questions like: Is it legit for us to do so? What kind of space does it take within the project? How we do it, at what time, and in what way? It was while talking to Cécile from Chouette Diffusion and the Latitude 50’s partner at CIRCa that we heard about this method. After being trained, their team now practices the method with all their artists in residency. We then quickly got in touch with Lucie Yerlès, who trains people in this field. We now have to set a date, and we can’t wait!

Also in progress right now is the redesign of our yearly evaluation interviews (a once-a-year time where together the team analyses each member’s job description, missions, work load, etc.). Sandra is accompanying us on it, allowing us to improve the framework and therefore the quality of our exchanges. As a reminder, we conduct these annual interviews between the five of us in the Collective and Sandra.

5# anais/paulinE/Viivi  associated artists’ at onyx

Gaëlle Lecareux wants to make Viivi, Pauline, Anaïs, and us the associated artists/structure of ONYX for the next four years. We are so glad to be able to continue working closely with Gaëlle and the ONYX team, who have been supporting us for a long time. The brainstorming on the content of these four years to come is just starting, but between the work steps, the residencies, the labs, the premieres, the tour dates of the three projects, the professional day Les Avant Curieux 2024, the possibilities of cultural actions, and the various bridges in connection with the experiments that we wish to lead, the agenda will be quickly filled. For the moment, we enjoy the news and have a meeting planned at the beginning of September to discuss the projects more precisely. We shall keep you informed for sure.

6# shooting ahead

JUNE 19-20-21! Save the dates!

Part of the program this year is to shoot a recruitment video for tour managers, in the style of what the army does: epic music, close-ups on faces, and E-MO-TION. But we’ll also shoot its counterpart, job centre style: blah decorations, bad acting, and 2010s fashion.

We’ll probably need your help on some scenes to create the emotional sequences our cause requires. Soon you’ll know more! We hope you can make it!

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a good chuckle from your couch, have you noticed that we’ve gathered all of the Avant Courrier’s offbeat videos on a new page of our 90s website?


7# news from pan

Remember PAN? It’s the project of a physical space in Nantes dedicated to circus arts and street performances.

It goes on, yes it does, though it feels outlandish to work on a project that will see the light of day in 2026 for the big top space and 2029 (…….) for the physical location and its training space.

We attended a meeting at Quai des Chaps that was open to all employees and volunteers of the organizations that will be part of PAN. It felt good to get a sense of collective identity and to recruit in different committees. Nolwenn, who is a member of the steering committee, can tell you more about it if you are interested.

8# New action-training in 2024

Louise-Michèle, Lisa, and Nolwenn have worked on a new production/tour management training formula that will be hosted by different partners in 2024, for four sessions of two days each (8 days in total). We had to rethink and develop the program that we usually present in a two-day format.

Here, the goal is to be able to go further into the transmission and to be able to go back and forth between theory and practice across the two sessions.

The training will be offered for two days at Archaos in January 2024, two days at Espace P in March 2024, two days at Le Plongeoir du Mans in May 2024, and the last session is scheduled in October at CIRCa during the festival (to be confirmed).

Let’s give it a try! There we’ll provide ALL the best tips for production and tour management. >>> Spread the word <<<
This training can be funded by the AFDAS!

9# EMPANADAS CHILI slide show evening

In January, Nolwenn took off for Chile. It was an emotional trip for her because even though we had been working with Chilean artists since the beginning of the Avant Courrier, she had not been back there since 2012.

In early May, she told us about her trip through the pictures she took. Anaïs Veignant, Natalie Oleinik, Victoria Delarozière, and Thomas, our treasurer, were there. For an hour Nolwenn told us (a bit) about her meetings with artists, (a little more) about the places she visited, and about the social context in Chile since the big events of 2019. We ate empanadas, and unfortunately several motivated people dropped out along the way (because of tours, the flu, and other last minute things coming up), but Nolwenn is available for a phone call if you’d like to chat about her trip.

As of now, it’s about sorting out some elements and reflecting with you on what could be the connections to create for the future. There is a desire to share on the laboratories rather than on tour management and to build projects little by little.

To conclude, here is a quote from Kiki de Subtopia that Nolwenn likes and that sums up the intention of this project: « Taking root is the key to calling somewhere a home or territory. How much we can make the earth shake under our feet depends on how deep our roots are. It’s usually not the visitors who fly by and are gone the next day that make the real revolutions happen. On the other hand, if we are very deeply and firmly rooted, it becomes difficult to shake hard enough to stir the ground. »


It was a month ago, we received an email from the franco-quebecois’ office for the youth which supported the travel costs to Montreal for young producers and touring managers from France in order to participate to the MICC (International Market of Contemporean Circus) during Montreal Complétement Cirque or Montral Fully Circus !
We fully decided to apply and we’re fully received !

It’s from the 10th to 13th of July. We’ll be there to represent the 15 projects of l’avant courrier, meet north american professionals, participate in workshops and enjoy some circus shows. Ostie d’calice !

Here the programme