Phia Ménard

Phia Ménard is the artistic director and performer of the Compagnie Non Nova, which she founded in Nantes in 1998 with the desire to take a different look at juggling and its scenic and dramaturgical treatment.

When Phia Ménard discovered Jérôme Thomas's show “Extraballe” in 1991, she was inspired to train in the arts, and juggling in particular.  She trained in contemporary dance, mime and acting. She studied with juggling master Jérôme Thomas, then joined his company as a performer in several creations until 2003. At the same time, in 1997, she took classes in “la pratique du danseur” and performed in two short pieces by choreographers Hervé Diasnas and Valérie Lamielle.

She founded Compagnie Non Nova in 1998 and created “Le Grain”. Her solo “Ascenseur, fantasmagorie pour élever les gens et les fardeaux”, created in 2001, established her as an author. Supported for her singular approach, she was invited as an “associate artist” for three seasons at the national stage Le Carré in Château-Gontier. With her team and that of the national stage, she developed a scenic work where the spectacular image of juggling is questioned in favor of a new relationship with the audience. This has given rise to a number of creations and events: “Zapptime, rêve éveillé d'un zappeur”, the “Jongleur pas confondre” lecture-show with sociologist Jean-Michel Guy, “Fresque et Sketches 2nd round”, and the “Hors-Pistes”: “Est-il vraiment sérieux de juggle?”, “Ursulines Dance Floor”, “Ursulines Mushroom Power”. In 2005 and 2007, she developed her work around the notion of “unjuggability”, creating two pieces, “Zapptime#Remix” and “Doggy Bag”, and two cabaret forms, “Jules for ever” and “Touch It” with the “Frasques” sextet.

In 2008, her artistic career took a new direction with the “I.C.E.” project, which stands for Injonglabilité Complémentaire des Eléments (Complementary Injonglability of Elements), a study of the imaginary of transformation and erosion through natural materials. In January 2008, she created the show “P.P.P.” at Les Nouvelles Subsistances in Lyon, the first piece in the “Pièces de Glace” cycle. In November, she created the performance “L'après-midi d'un foehn Version 1”, the first of the “Pièces du Vent” series at the Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle in Nantes.

In 2009, she collaborated on the ‘Coyote Pizza’ project by the La Valise collective, creating the performance ‘Iceman’. 

In 2010, at the invitation of the 64th Festival d'Avignon and the SACD for the ‘Sujets à Vif’, she created the performance ‘Black Monodie’ with sound poet Anne-James Chaton, the second part of the ‘Pièces de Glace’ series. 

In October 2011, she created two new Pièces du Vent: ‘L'après-midi d'un foehn’ and ‘VORTEX’. At CIFAS (Centre International de Formation en Arts de la Scène) in Brussels, she initiated a project with philosopher Paul B. Preciado: ‘In the Mood’. Preciado: ‘In the Mood’, a work on gender issues and moods. 

In 2012, she was awarded the Edinburgh Fringe Physical Theatre Prize for 'L'après-midi d'un foehn Version 1'. 

In January 2014, she was promoted to the rank of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by Aurélie Filippetti, Minister of Culture and Communication. She becomes associate artist at Espace Malraux Scène Nationale de Chambéry et de la Savoie. 

In 2015, she became associate artist at Théâtre Nouvelle Génération - Centre Dramatique National de Lyon and companion artist at the Centre Chorégraphique National de Caen en Normandie for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018. In June 2015, she created “Belle d'Hier” at the Festival Montpellier Danse 2015 at the Opéra Comédie. In 2017, she became associate artist of the Théâtre National de Bretagne in Rennes. She is a guest at documenta 14 in Kassel, where she creates “Contes Immoraux - Partie 1 : Maison Mère”. She creates “Les Os Noirs” at the Espace Malraux, scène nationale de Chambéry et de la Savoie (September).

She gives her name to the 79th graduating class of ENSATT. 

In 2018, she imagined and directed “Et in Arcadia Ego”, based on the music of Jean Philippe Rameau, at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, with Christophe Rousset, founder of the baroque music ensemble “Les Talens Lyriques”, to a libretto by writer Eric Reinhardt. She creates the play “Saison Sèche”, about violence against women, co-written with Jean-Luc Beaujault, at the 72nd Avignon Festival in 2018. Creation of the performance “No Way” for the Veillée de l'Humanité at the Théâtre National de Chaillot, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She takes part in the “Art Lab for Human Rights and Dialog” at UNESCO on December 11.

In 2019, she received the Prix Topor/SACD de l'Inattendu for “La vie dans tous les sens” and the Grand Prix du Jury at the 53rd Belgrade International Theater Festival 2019. She becomes President of the Rennes TNB School Association.

In 2020, she creates the play “Fiction/Friction” with the X class of the TNB school, and an edition entitled “La Démocratie, qu'est ce que c'est amusant” with the 79th class of ENSATT in Lyon. On June 22, 2020, the Syndicat de la critique théâtre, danse et musique awards Phia Ménard the Prix de la critique in the Dance - Performance category. 

In January 2021, she performs in A D-N by choreographer Régine Chopinot. In 2021, she creates “La Trilogie des Contes Immoraux (pour Europe)”, first performed at the Festival d'Avignon in July, and at the Wiener Festwochen in August. 

In 2023, creation and first performances of “ART.13” at the Lyon Biennale de la danse in September... 

His creations have been presented in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Burma, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, Brunei, Ecuador, Finland, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Haiti, Croatia, Ecuador, Scotland, Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United States, France, Gabon, Greece, Haiti, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Laos, Mauritius, Lebanon, Latvia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Portugal, Republic of Serbia, Russia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Yemen.