Habeas Corpus Company, created in July 2012 by Julien FOURNIER,
takes its name from the English order of ‘habeas corpus’ which, in the Middle Ages, guaranteed the citizen not to be imprisoned without trial.
Habeas corpus, from Latin ‘that you have body’ (in front of a judge), is nowadays the fundamental right to dispose of one’s body (meaning against any abusive arrest). This statement is the founding act of our artistic approach and gives the body a central position as a creative vehicle of expression, a space of freedom, claim, strangeness and plasticity.

Our approach places experimentation as a place of encounter with the public through:

  • The staging of the performing and theatrical body
  • The confrontation of different spaces and levels of narration
  • Research on the plasticity of bodies, sets, bodies in a set and their narrative, fictional or realistic potential.
  • The perpetual questioning of limits and preconceived ideas.
  • Highlighting uncertain but defensible points of view

Reverso (2014) is the first act of this approach, it explores the chameleon body, like a material that can be transformed at will. Free not to freeze his pace in order to constantly evolve his relationship with others, with objects, vertically and horizontally.
REVERSO has received the MQVE AWARD quality label 2015 and has performed in Denmark as part of the Waves festival.

Before mankind there are only surfaces (2016), is the company’s second opus. In the form of a short dramaturgical essay, it is a resonance of a physical journey with two chairs, miniature landscapes and a voice-over text. The text, a reconstruction and distortion of fragments of lectures (taken from the internet) dealing with architecture, is as much a “pretext subject” as it is an attempt to give meaning. The choreographic body, intercessor (of the text) and manipulator of objects in a closed but constantly evolving space, both object and subject, reveals itself in a virtuosity of precision and “little”.

BURNING (I did not die and yet no life remained) (2018)
BURNING, a singular stage object, continues this approach and this time anchors it in the real world through a burning theme of current events. To the dramaturgical research of Avant l’Homme and the plastic, poetic and acrobatic research of REVERSO is added a documentary dimension, in search of a circus that can be both performing (differently) and political.
Born from a desire to put the individual back to the centre and to cross languages in search of meaning and expressivity, the show intertwines bodywork, image, voice and spirit to tackle the question of burnout and bear witness to the insidious way in which suffering at work is established. The show is created in collaboration with Laurence Vielle, who wrote the text for which she got in 2018 the Maeterlinck Critics’ Prize in the category “best author”. The show itself was also nominated in the “best circus show” category.

"Today Art is more and more contextual and politicised.
What about circus?
Can it take on the major problems of society?
Can it emancipate itself from pure entertainment and astonishment?
Is it possible to create plastic, sensitive, acrobatic and credible forms on themes such as ecology or economy?
More generally, what makes Art?
And more specifically, when physically, you start to get old for an acrobat, what makes Circus?

Motivated by these questions, which are part of a modern approach, and torn by the constraints of time that keep me close to the ground, I try to find answers to some of those questions and not always well hidden subterfuges to others. This unexpected mix between theatricality, reflection and concept on the one hand and declining physical commitment on the other, pushes me to reconsider the field of what "circus could be" at the border between human sciences, dramaturgical and scenographic research and where it is probably no longer totally identifiable".

Julien Fournier