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Horses of the Wind

Horses of the Wind
Horses of the Wind
Concept, Design and Artistic Direction Bartabas

Bartabas, the soul and the head of 'Zingaro', the only equestrian theatre in the world, was born in 1957. At the age of 19 he founded the first wandering troupe «Theatre Importe» (‘theatre that is carried away') where voltigeres flew around and clowns played sketches in the spirit of the commedia dell'arte. Then he created with friends the vagrant circus ‘Alligre’ where, besides the already then adored horses, there were ducks and rats. His strange, 'disrespectful' shows frightened, bewitched, and eventually conquered the spectators. And when this experience also seemed exhausted for Bartabas, he conceived the equestrian theatre 'Zingaro', naming it after his favourite horse (with whom he worked 17 years until its death. The genre of the first three productions (1984-1990) he defined as equestrian cabaret that combined the hospitable, unchained atmosphere with circus magic. The genre of the fourth show was an equestrian opera (1991). Subsequently he created the dance theatre productions Chimera (1994, with Indian-gypsy motives) and The Eclipse (1997, with the theme of Korean ritual).

The first productions of 'Zingaro' became sensations. Success and reputation grew further. The Avignon Festival, in which 'Zingaro' participated for the first time in 1987, has considered it an honour to represent each new premiere of Bartabas. All of Europe and America waited for his arrival as a celebration. Meanwhile Bartabas and his 'people-horses’ still continued to camp. Even if since 1989 the camp has strongly tended to be located in the Parisian suburb Aubervilliers, this has not changed his ways. Bartabas has made films for cinema and TV of many of his performances. He is the author of two feature films: ‘Mazepa’ (1992) and ‘The Shaman’ (1995), for which shootings took place in Yakutia.

'Zingaro' loves what it does, and does what it likes, not asking for anything apart from the right to go its own path...

We do not want to be just a circus or a theatrical troupe. Rather we are a tribe with a certain spirit, which induces us to aspire to the absolute harmony between daily life and production, to live our art outside of career interests, to destroy with our everyday work the borders that separate the birth of one production from the next, to search constantly; we do all this because people and horses live and grow old together... 'Zingaro' is more than simply good performances. It is first of all the desire to live the present, a "total" adventure, as if being inside a timeless story born by a vivid imagination. This is the creation of a tribe of actors, actors to the end of their toes, the end of their hoofs. Due to all these remarkable qualities ‘Zingaro’ turns from a myth into an impudent reality.
In this theatre the creator is not the word, it is a theatre of images that are born in silent sensuality, shared by a vibrating silence in the audience. In the performance the horse and the person are born from this mythology as brothers with a uniform soul.

May 23,24,25,27,28,30,31/June 01,03,04,06,07,08,10,11,12
Open-Air State Museum Kolomenskoye