• Jeanne Mordoj

  • Photo: Eoin Carey

  • Credit: Geralidine Arestanu

  • Photo: Eoin Carey

  • Photo: Eoin Carey

  • Biography

    Jeanne was born in Paris in 1970. She spent her childhood in the countryside where her parents, former sculptors, raised goats. She has always had a special relationship with objects: strange attachments, rituals, collections of stones, carefully selected then put into separate bags with labels, and making little sculptures. She has always had a strong relationship with painting materials, the line and the word. As a child she began to juggle objects, often hand-sewn balls. She discovered circus aged 13, at the school of Saltimbanques in Chenôve, and immediately fell in love with the artform. Attending the school for 4 years, Jeanne learned juggling, acrobatics and contortion.

    At the age of 17, she entered the National Circus School of Châlons-en-Champagne which she left after a difficult year. She then started learning by taking small roles for the cinema, opera and theatre. Some encounters are significant: Lan N’Guyen, pedagogue as a teacher at the Cirque Plume school, who taught her contortion through games and creativity, with Jérôme Thomas who influenced her work and encouraged her projects. There were also significant workshops with Marc Michel Georges, Yoshi Oida and Guy Alloucherie for the theatre; the use of drawing, BMC (Body Mind Centering) with Lula Chourlin and Janet Amato; and more recently, a workshop entitled “Transmettre”, with Benedicte Pavelak.

    Jeanne first toured aged 18 with the Bidon Circus, travelling in horse drawn carriages throughout Italy. She performed with the street company La Salamandre, between 1990 and 1998 where she experimented with the specific requirements of street theatre: how to adapt to any kind of place. She practiced improvisation and creation on the show Caroule with the musicians Matthieu Léon and Patrick Sapin. With the Jérôme Thomas Company, she participated in the GR12 research group from 1995 to 1997 and was in Le Banquet, a play for ten actors, jugglers and dancers. In 1993, with the juggler Vincent Filliozat – founding member of the Cirque Plume – and the musician Bertrand Boss, Jeanne created the Maracassé Trio. Between 2002 and 2006, with the Cahin Caha Company, there was the Imprudent Cabaret with Arthur H and the creation of the show Grimm for the big top.

  • Repertoire

    3 Little Coins, 2000
    My Place, 2001
    In Praise of Hairiness (Eloge du Poil), 2007
    Goodbye Dolly, 2010
    La Poème, 2012
    La Poème+La Fresque, 2016

Jeanne Mordoj

Ghoulish ventriloquism with the skulls of a ram and a badger first drew us into the world of Jeanne Mordoj, along with her mysteriously mischievous humour and serious undertones. Her work has an insouciant vitality, more profound than it first appears, she goes deeper as she ventures into areas rarely touched on by most physical theatre and circus performers. We are reminded of old-style circus traditions from the freakish to the illusionary, yet none of her skills are deployed in a traditional way.  From her sensual sliding of egg-yolks on her flesh to the animalistic contortion around her handbag she is dealing with the fragility of life and the inevitability of death.

In partnership with Summerhall, Crying Out Loud premiered Jeanne Mordoj’s La Poème at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013 and presented it as part of Currency 2013 at The Place, London. La Poème is a joyously strange and personal play in with Jeanne Mordoj utilises her body to freely celebrate the feminine.

The next stage in our work with Jeanne was then to assist in the exploration of the next part of her show La Poème, through a series of interactions with academics at Kings College Institute. It was ‘erotic, existential, poetic and off-the-wall,’ (well said Donald Hutera).

In August 2015, Jeanne Mordoj spent 3 weeks between the Southbank Centre and Hackney City Farm, researching ideas for her next piece, looking at her fascination for chickens, eggs and transformations.
Read here what Rachel Clare has to say about the residencies.

In April 2016, Jeanne presented a new version of La Poème at the Roundhouse as part of Circus Fest. It now also features La Fresque, a live drawing experience where in a dancelike trance, Mordoj creates, blindfolded, huge and vibrant images of the female form.


  • ‘…it’s a gem that underlines in a very particular off-the-wall and fresh fashion, the fertility, fragility and ferocity of the female body and psyche.’

    The Times

  • ‘There’s music and sound effects, there’s object manipulation. But mostly there’s Mordoj and her amazing physical presence, so perfectly in control of her body in this space, so beautifully in communication with her audience, that it feels as through the whole world is here in this journey.’

    Total Theatre

  • ‘La Poème beguiles, surprises and wittily teases at female stereotyping…’

    The Herald

  • ‘..the theme, subtext and visual images Jeanne Mordoj creates will stay with you long after you have left the theatre.’

    The Scotsman