Professionals and amateurs from the audience encounter for an unforgettable moment of mime and improvisation.

Dordogne Libre

A battle that delimits barriers!

Etienne Bonduelle, Centre de Nouveau Mime

Started in June, 2010, Mim’provisation grew out of the personal necessities of mime artists to improvise and challenge themselves and their craft. While contact improvisations, improvisational theatre, and breakdance battles already exist; Mim’provisation fills a gap and breathes fresh light air to the universe of physical expression. On this stage of corporeal improvisation, the intensity of a battle in front of a very critical audience results in poetic construction and unique expression. Rather than virtuosic performance measures, improvisational play focuses more on how the imaginary springs to life.

We are living in a post-modern era of mime where the original modern masters like Etienne Decroux, Marcel Marceau, Jacques Lecoq, and Henryk Tomaszewski have passed away, and where the art of mime has evolved into budding interdisciplinary variations such as mime-dance, clown mime, abstract mime, and physical theatre. Mim’provisation offers an encounter for today’s vast array of artists and their unique forms, personalities, and talent to come together to witness, share and play together. And through this live challenge and dialogue, a more heightened level of beauty and creative surprise blooms.

For the unsuspecting audience, Mim’provisation will awaken the imagination and touch the soul from laughter to amazement. Witnessing some of the best mime artists, they participate in the process of evolution of the contemporary mime that yearns to redefine itself beyond the dominant stereotype of the “white-masked pantomime”.

The event takes place in two parts:

In the first part, a group of selected or “invited” mime artists demonstrate their skills. They are guided by an invited master of ceremony.

In the second part, the public become the actors and are invited to improvise, in duo, trios according to a given theme.

From a spectator’s perspective

The excellent initiative of the companies Pas de Dieux, Autour du Mime and Mime de Rien played to a full house on June 17, 2010 at the Akuarium. It is in a very hospitable atmosphere (thanks to the talent of the host of the venue, Maxime Nourrisat) that the professionals were thrown into the fray of a corporeal improvisation in front of a watching audience. Grouped in three hats, the themes, the rules of play, and the number of mimes and musicians on stage, are drawn by chance by the members of the audience. Orchestrated rigorously with the utmost simplicity and with a huge generosity, the mimes, who come from all parts of France, present themselves to the joy of the audience both novices and experts alike. The first part is consecrated to professionals to kick off a rich show of movement supported musically to the extent of supplanting the corporeal conflicts of visual and sound dialogues between actors –and muscians.

The second part, open to amateurs of all ages, were not only nourished by themes emanating from the public but were mixed with the professional mimes and musicians of the first part. Pas de Dieux and Autour du Mime have succeeded, at the Akuarium, in creating a magnificent intergenerational overture that crosses the practices of many horizons well beyond the chapel arguments of the summer.

-Etienne Bonduelle, Centre de Nouveau Mime, Lettres d’information n°43 – 44


Poster: Pierre-Yves Massip

Photos: Jemina Boraccino, Stéphan Piera, Guisy Pignotti

Event Dates:

November 20, 2015 at 8pm
26 rue André Joineau 26, Le Pré-Saint-Gervais, Île-de-France
Metro Hoche (line 5) 5 mins walking

Biennale des Arts du mime et du geste
visit website

Other Event Locations

Mimos Festival, Périgeux
Théâtre du Samovar, Bagnolet
Micadanses, Paris
MPAA, St. Germain, Paris
Théâtre Diagonal, Lille France
Physical Fest, Liverpool
UK BE Fest, Birmingham, UK

Past Events

20 November 2015, Akuarium, Le Pré St- Gervais

22 June 2014, Akuarium, Le Pré St- Gervais

28 novembre 2013, Akuarium

19 octobre 2013, Micadanses

23 March 2013, MPAA/St. Germain

9 February 2013, MPAA/St. Germain

18 January 2013, Théâtre du Samovar

14 December 2012, Micadanses

23 November 2012, Théâtre du Samovar

2-4 August 2012, Mimos Festival, Perigeux

2 July 2012, BE Festival, Birmingham, UK

15 June 2012

5 May 2012

23 March 2012

24 February 2012

18 November 2011

7 October 2011

15 July 2011, BE Festival, Birmingham, UK

14 May 2011

9 April 2011

18 February 2011

17 December 2010

30 October 2010

17 June 2010