Transe Express Company

Inventors of imagination

The company Transe Express performs in outdoor spaces to meet the audience. The combination of theatre and music is used as a melting pot of spectacular sciences: visual arts, dance, fire, prowess’s…

Shock creations which at times invest a stage, non-conventional spaces but principally the streets; intriguing the public in their everyday lives; unique adventures to transform a city, to create a memorable moment in time.

Brigitte Burdin, choreographer, and Gilles Rhode, visual artist, founded Transe Express in 1982.They created over the years a style, an esthetic “Aerial Art”; they also included many others in the adventure and formed artists and designers, to whom they transmitted the artistic direction in 2015.

This team of creators is co-led by Rémi Allaigre, Hélène Marseille and Eléonore Guillemaud, with the willingness and the pleasure to continue and grow The “Transe Express Spirit”.


A repertory of a dozen of shows, many giant machinery and
ephemeral creations …

Large scale aerial shows – Fantastic parades
Intervention theater – Walkabouts – Custom-tailored creations – Participation of local volunteers – Life music

Based in its permanent residence “la Gare à Coulisses”, base of street arts open to local and passing companies, Transe Express is employing today 160 artists and technicians.

It is in this “artistic Workshop factory” in Eurre in the Valley of Drôme that the team Transe Express invents and carries out its ephemeral creations or repertory shows with a predilection for Monumental and Aerial Art, but without forgetting the pleasure of the proximity with the public.

theatre above the city

During the middle ages the buffoons juggled in the court of their Masters. In the XVIIIth century, the travelling acrobats played their comedies on their trestle stages. At the beginning of the XXth century, the saltimbanques harangued their public on the very pavement! In the 1970’s, the public amusers conquered the agglomerations and outskirts of the cities. Today, man has turned towards the skies. In the 1990’s, inspired by Calder, Transe Express invent Celestial Art.

This new form of expression produced strong images perfectly adapted to large scale audiences, where the public just lift their eyes to enter in a surprising universe: “At last, a show where everyone can see perfectly, even if there are 10 000 persons…”

An alternative to the eternal fireworks display to close traditional, large scale, popular celebrations. Transe Express proposes creations of grand format that address the city whilst chatting to the Architect.

A deept and active motivation:
Encounter the Audience
and perforrm in Public Spaces

« Celestial Art »… A Baroque or naïve expression ? A bazaar of accessories? Of too-heavy Angels hissed by groaning pulleys, blue golden skies, cotton clouds stuck to Columbus of escaped voices from the Sistine Chapel. Celestial fireworks? Machinery invented to overcome the Peasants? Plumes of nacre or the first wings of articulated wood… A genius deployed to rule the surrounding space does not escape the burlesque. Could this be a dare for space shuttles or sputniks?

Sylvie Meunier, Extract of book « L’Art Céleste, théâtre au-dessus de la ville »

Transe Express has explored the length and breadth of the city with parades and processions, playing with the mobility of the public. Their experiences with the masses, especially for the occasion of grand celebrations pushed Gilles Rhode to re-examine the conditions of visibility offered to the public.

 Thierry Voisin, Extract of Rue de la Folie, juin 99

This naturally led to the quest of finding unnumbered spaces where the show would be perfectly visible as a whole conserving each drop of integrity for each spectator. Suddenly, he passed the urban horizon line and opened the celestial vault. After the City, the skies have become the new artistic territory, a new arena. For each show, Gilles Rhode invents a mobile on which he suspends his characters. He creates a world in movement, playing with the fluidity of air. Each mobile is an airborne structure. A poetic machine transporting the imagination of the spectator, lifting their regard and their emotions.

Pluridisciplinary

Without any limitations, the artistic genres and modes of expression are used by this team of creators. Music, fine arts, acrobatics skills, circus, fire, literature, mechanics, metallurgy, rock, lyric art, etc. with one constant: theater to reveal the resolution of our spectacular adventures. This is why we’re calling it Intervention Theater.

Urban space

This rough space not always adapted to outdoor shows requires much rigor. Being seen and heard by the audience, whether 200, 2000 or 20000 people, implies specific choices. As the function makes the object, from these problems will arouse shrewd solutions and innovations imagined by our creators and built by our teams.

The shows of Transe Express seduced the public of 72 countries around the world, on the 5 continents.

It was illustrated in particular
for the opening of the Albertville Olympic Games in 1992,
in Paris – Beaubourg with Les 2000 Coups de Minuit,
with Roue-Ages in Paris for the year 2000,
for the opening of the Sydney Festival in 2002 and 2005,
for the opening of the biggest South American festival, the Santiago a Mil festival in Chile in 2011,
as part of Marseille Provence 2013,
for the Chinese New Year in Hong-Kong in 2015,
at the Sziget Festival in Budapest in 2016
and in Montreal for the 375th birthday of the city in 2017.

Cérémonie d’ouverture des JO Albertville, 1992

Clôture des Jeux Méditerranéens, Nîmes, 1993

Feux, Parc de la Villette, Paris, 1995

Inauguration du tunnel sous la Manche, Calais 1996

Célébration des Capitales Culturelles Européennes

Stockholm, 1998 / Weimar, 1998 / Patras, 2006 / Sibiu, 2008 / Marseille, 2013

Roues-Ages, opération « aux portes de l’an 2000 », Champs Elysées, Paris, 31 déc. 1999

Clôture de l’Exposition Universelle, Hanovre 2000 et Saragoza 2008

Les 2000 Coups de Minuit, passage au 3e millénaire, Beaubourg, Paris, 31 décembre 2000

Ouverture des Olympiades de Théâtre, Moscou 2001

Boulevard d’Hugo, bicentenaire de la naissance de Victor Hugo, Besançon 2002

Olympiades Culturelles des JO d’Athènes, 2004

Ouverture du festival de Sydney, 2002 et 2005   La Grande Muraille de Chine, Année de la France en Chine, 2005

Sziget Festival, Budapest 2006 et 2007

La Note Bianca, Rome 2007

Ouverture des Championnats du Monde de Ski, Val d’Isère, 2009

La Caravane des Rois Nomades, Année de la France au Brésil, Brésil 2009

Ouverture du pavillon Rhône-Alpes pour l’Exposition Universelle, Shanghai, 2010

Ouverture du festival Santiago A Mil, Chili, 2011

Concerto Céleste, Aix en Provence, 2013

Chevauchée Fantasque, Ouverture des jeux équestres mondiaux à Caen, 2014

Sziget Festival, Budapest, 2016

375 e Anniversaire de la ville de Montréal, 2017

Bonjour India, tournée indienne avec l’Institut Français, 2018

PIFA, Philadelphia international festival of arts