Research at the Cnac

Through its research activities, the Cnac has initiated an open conversation in terms of the production and teaching of documentary resources.

To this end, several trans-disciplinary axes are encouraged, as follows:
- the development of innovative projects about and through circus arts practice,
- the construction of links and exchanges with higher education establishments in the arts and several universities at a national and international level,
- the creation of educational measures to be tried out in the classroom and in the ring,
- the organization of study days, symposiums and conferences such as for example, "Reflections by Women,"
- residencies in and the valuing of academic research in the circus arts.

The projects developed and supported, which always have a direct link to circus creation and practice, concern different domains through different tools:

Support and co-operation in research programmes


Evaluation of stress levels and how these are managed by the body

Analysis of movement

Using recorded images, conscious or unconscious movements, which may interfere with practice, are analyzed to improve performance.

The performing arts and Health

Managing situations: a study on carrying out two simultaneous tasks.

Participation or co-organization of study days and symposiums

Collaboration on workshops and laboratories

Circus notation

Creating a transcription tool for specific, circus art acrobatic figures (Benesh notation for the circus arts).

Developing and boosting technical innovation projects - Mechanical engineering

Research into new materials and the creation and construction of innovative apparatus.

The Organization of "exchanges" and invitations to speakers,

Welcoming researchers to the Resource Centre.

Other projects address themes such as:

Documentary IT

A project initiated and created by Clarisse Bardiot in partnership with Buzzing Light and Thierry Coduys, with the support of ministry of Culture and Communication (DGCA), in the framework of a call to tender for innovative digital cultural service projects in partnership with Phénix, the national Valenciennes theatre, Le Fresnoy – national studio for contemporary arts and the International Puppet Institute.

Based on circus shows and some of the Cnac works (e.g.: Échappées), the "Rekall" open source software will be used for documenting and analyzing the creative process. In addition it will then be easier for works to be put on again.

ICiMa Chair for Circus and Puppet Innovation

The national centre for circus arts /Cnac and the International Puppet Institute / IIM are two establishments under the guidance of the ministry of Culture, dedicated to training, resources and research. Based on shared aims, the two establishments have collaborated on creating the ICiMa Chair: a chair for Circus and Puppet social and regional innovation.

A synergy leading to ambitious research programmes - Research axes :

Axis 1 - Exploring the performance, expression and dramatic potential of materials, artefacts, scenography and stage mechanisms.
Axis 2 - Gesture and Movement: the physical experience of the artist, physical preparations, quality of presence, notation, digital mechanisms and the dramatic impact.
Axis 3 - Multilingual terminology of the Circus and Puppetry Arts.