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Article – The Transe Express Company: when the imagination rises up

The Transe Express Company is enchanting and engaging the 5 continents with poetic and imaginative overhead shows.

In an increasingly global market, the exported shows have produced a massive phenomenon. Many performing art companies are spreading their wings and introducing their cultures and their particular and often specific pieces of work to the world. 

Transe Express is one such company and has produced some wonderful work using powerful imaginary and beautiful poetry. These pioneers of street performing arts, and creators of the theatre of intervention, continually chant and promote the notion that art is public. Over the last 30 years this art performing company have travelled around the world, utilising public urban areas to create art while engaging people and open spaces and creating an environment of play and enjoyment.

The theatre of intervention is characterized by its militant motivations, often political. For Transe Express, meeting the audience is crucial and performing in public spaces results in performing arts bursting into everyday life.

Transe Express aims to be a factory producing enchanting urban and street performing art, where impacting and innovative artistic creations are dreamt up. The itinerant artists have a mission to export the company’s specific world all over the 5 continents. The company and all involved have an intense, poetic, but commendable goal, which is to transport the spectator in a sensational world they have created.

Since 1982 they have built a repertoire of 26 plays and the Transe Express crew has introduced their creations to over 57 countries with spectacular shows and gigantic and sophisticated installations. The company has acquired an international recognition thanks to its participation in major events such as the Channel Tunnel inauguration in 1994, the second millennium celebration in Paris and the Shanghai Universal Exhibition in 2010.

So Transe Express is promoting a very specific art form to the world, but they are also eager to pass their knowledge on. This is one of the major objectives for the company in 2012. They are offering training for arts disciplines and teaching techniques to amateurs and professionals working within this genre. Transe Express also wants to encourage awareness and action with school audiences and will provide help for emerging and small art performing companies to become more professional. With the opening of the Gare à Coulisses in 2007, the Transe Express Company confirms its desire to establish itself in the Drôme territory, creating a performing and residence venue.

Based in rural Drôme, is an organization that has been in operation for a number of years and has grown due to the successful development of public and private partnerships. Transe Express has 15 permanent employees in addition to artists, technicians, manufacturers and contributors. Presently there are around 150 people employed by the Company. In 2011, Transe Express produced over 80 shows, of which 40% were exported and performed abroad. Notably the performance's went to Philadelphia in the United-States, Malmö in Sweden, Abu-Dubai and Santiago in Chili with audiences of over 300 000 people.

At the same time they continued to perform locally while touring internationally, Transe Express is introducing its shows to the whole world, while establishing an artistic reputation in a rural area.

In 2012 the priorities are to broadcast and transmit their knowledge while celebrating the 30 years birthday of the company. A new creation named “Diva d’eau” is being prepared and Transe Express plans to carry on travelling all over the globe, in order to perform its shows to Kiev, Acapulco or Perm.


A contribution of the University of Avignon, by Sarah Phénieux

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Source : Compagnie Transe Express
Photo credits  : Sarah Phénieux