Audition in Marseilles

A workshop and audition with Anne Le Batard, Jean-Antoine Bigot, Corinne Pontana and Rolando Rocha from the dance company Ex Nihilo was held at the Cité des arts de la rue in Marseilles, France from January 17th to 18th 2017.

This phase was followed by an artistic residency for the creation of the choreographic piece at the Cité des arts de la rue, with all of the 8 participating dancers.

Following the audition, two French dancers were selected for the training program and the creation of the choreographic piece, SHAPERS:

Natacha Kierbel
Aurore Allo






Ex Nihilo [Marseilles, France] is a contemporary dance company, directed by Anne Le Batard and Jean-Antoine Bigot, founded on a common aim: to make public space a favoured space for creation and performance, placing encounters with a particular context and the people using an environment, such as inhabitants, an audience, and passers-by, at the centre of their artistic approach.

in’8 circle

in’8 circle • maison de production is a production powerhouse dedicated to the fields of theater, dance and circus. It is a resource for thinking about development, putting in place an organization or creating management and decision-making tools. in’8 circle engages with artists in the development of their projects and their careers.

Created in 2010, in’8 circle • house of production has set up, through encounters with artists, different working methods, adapting its practices in relation to the realities of artistic teams. From support for “permanent” companies to occasional work days with artistic teams in transition or companies in structuration, a whole range of working methods are thus invented.


A partner within the SHAPERS Euro-Mediterranean cooperation project, in’8 circle • ​maison de production gave its support to all of the partners for the application to the European Union and throughout the project. Ex Nihilo is the lead partner of the SHAPERS project, which is receiving European Union funding from 2016 to 2018 as part of the Creative Europe programme.

Ex Nihilo

Ex Nihilo is a contemporary dance company that co-directed by Anne Le Batard and Jean-Antoine Bigot. Over the years, it has brought together a team of artists around a commun desire: to make public space a place of inspiration, of creation, and of outreach for dance.

Ex Nihilo has been touring several shows from its repertoire in France and internationally for more than 20 years. Convinced that creation is a driving force of human and collective adventures, the company is committed to long-term cooperation projects with accomplices in France and abroad.

Since 2016, Ex Nihilo has been the lead partner in SHAPERS, a Creative Europe training project for contemporary dance in public and singular spaces in the Euro-mediterranean region with a group of young dancers, with its partners Nassim el Raqs (Alexandria)/Momkin-espaces de possibles (Marseilles), the Centre Rézodanse – Egypte (Alexandria), l’Espace Darja (Casablanca), Mes de Danza (Sevilla), ZVRK (Sarajevo), in8 circle – maison de production (Marseilles). The training and artistic residencies throughout SHAPERS were led by Anne Le Batard, Jean Antoine Bigot and the company dancers Corinne Pontana and Rolando Rocha.

Since 2017, the company has moved to the Cité des arts de la rue in Marseilles, with the aim of producing and sharing its choreographic creations on a local level, while remaining permanently linked to its international partners. Ex Nihilo is subsidized by the Ministry of Culture and Communication as a National Company having an international influence.

Two performing choreographers

Anne Le Batard & Jean-Antoine Bigot

After performing in France and Belgium, Anne Le Batard and Jean-Antoine Bigot created their own dance company in 1994 in which they research and explore the relationships between dance and urban or natural landscapes through singular choreographic projects. Both share the same desire to escape from the usual frameworks by using dance as a ‘language’ to meet inhabitants and locations. Favoring teamwork, they have developped a specific writing process involving a close complicity with dancers Corinne PontanaRolando Rocha and Anne Reymann , musician Pascal Ferrari, visual artist Martine Derain. In parallel, they initiate new collaborations with young dancers.

Anne Le Batard, has developed a choreographic writing process focused on responsiveness, from immersion periods on site. Her approach to dance is linked to her practice of photography and video. Jean Antoine’s art works – drawing and painting – resonate with his dance. He designs the scenography of the dance pieces.