• Photo: Bertrand Gaudillère

  • Photo: Eoin Carey

  • Photo: Bertrand Gaudilère

  • Photo: Eoin Carey

  • Photo: Bertrand Gaudilère

La Poème

Part of CircusFest 2016 at the Roundhouse.

Cult French artist Jeanne Mordoj is a formidable contortionist and juggler, a mischievous feminist and former bearded lady.

Her mesmerising solo, La Poème, is a joyously strange and personal play that celebrates the fertility, fragility and ferocity of the female body and spirit.

With Mordoj’s amazing physical presence, perfectly in control of her body, La Poème is truly inspirational, and imbued with joy and humour.

La Poème will be preceded by a 15 minute companion piece La Fresque where, in a meditative state, Mordoj creates huge, vibrant images that celebrate the female form.

Salon: Circus & Collaboration

In recent years circus as a pure art form has been through many transformations. We have seen it colliding with other art forms to spectacular effect, the success of which often boils down to an intense process of collaboration between artists from different disciplines with producers and academics in the mix.

Come along to a long table event on 13 April and hear Jeanne Mordoj in conversation with her collaborator and Samuel Beckett specialist Dr Tom Gould (PHD candidate at King’s College French Department) and Richard Mason a Knowledge Exchange Associate from the Cultural Institute at King’s College, London. They will talk about their work together and how the collaboration has inspired new practice for them both. Who better to discuss the hot topic of circus and collaboration?

Crying Out Loud is an Arts Award Supporter


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

    The Scotsman

  • 'Mordoj's physicality and strength are completely mesmerising.'

    The Public Reviews

  • 'La Poème beguiles, surprises and wittily teases at female stereotyping...'

    The Herald

  • 'Every movement is beautifully precise, controlled, imbued with joy and humour.'

    Total Theatre

  • 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.

  • Crying Out Loud Associate Artist

    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.

    Find out more about Crying Out Loud’s work with Jeanne Mordoj as an Associate Artist.