Fugue VR

  • Michel Reilhac et Yoann Bourgeois


    circus in virtual reality

  • 20mn
© Maison de la danse
© Maison de la danse
© Maison de la danse
© Maison de la danse



With Fugue / Trampoline, Yoann Bourgeois created a vertiginous dance performance of a man moving on a staircase leading nowhere. Now, after enjoying worldwide success, the artist invites audiences to immerse themselves in the heart of this iconic show.

Working with Michel Reilhac, one of the iconic figures of virtual reality, he shares the "vertigo" intrinsic to this work by proposing a mixed reality experience set to the music of Philip Glass.

More than a simple film, Fugue VR is a mixed reality that provides a collective experience for ten participants. We find ourselves on a sinking spaceship as the captain tries to save the crew we are part of...

This film, to be experienced through a VR helmet, also has a physical component with dancers accompanying the audience and weaving together real and virtual worlds. As a result, the spectators are no longer mere observers of this dizzying dance, they take the leap and become dancers themselves!

A moment of absolute weightlessness situated in a space between circus, dance, and poetry...

Director Michel Reilhac
Choreographer and performer Yoann Bourgeois
Dancers-mixed reality mediators Sarah Silverblatt-Buser, Bruno Maréchal
Music Philip Glass, Metamorphosis II performed by Lisa Moore, Bernard Prosperi, Rosemine Safy-Borget, Éric Soubelet, Véronique Vallet, Paul Warnery
Assistant director Fouzi Louahem
Shooting, editing, VFX, 3D virtual reality calibration Fouzi Louahem
Camera assistant and post production Martin Bessin
Sound designer Côme Jalibert
Director of photography Emmanuel Théry
Head electrician Sylvain Chetail
Intern electrician Théo Reeman
Costumes Nawelle Aïnèche, Michel Reilhac
Storyboarders Xavier Guyomarc’h, Fouzi Louahem
Producer and director of creation Pierre Cattan
Executive producer Alexandrine Stehelin
Production director Fanette Martinie
Head of development and distribution Hannah Bellicha
Production coordinator Pauline Pinçon
Business development Charlotte Lestienne
Legal affairs Alice Giran
Administrative and finance director Olivia Boutineau

Production Small Bang

Co-production Maison de la Danse / Biennale de la Danse / CCN2 national choreography center in Grenoble / Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Cinéma – Le Lab
Support CNC national cinema and image center / Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes / Foundation BNP Paribas


"Virtual reality offers the possibility of breaking the Fourth Wall that separates the show from the audience... Virtual reality disrupts the definition of a performance as a ritual where audience and performers are hermetically separated."

– Le Monde 

Yoann Bourgeois grew up in a small village in the Jura area of France, and the rest went by very quickly... He trained at ENACR (the national school of circus arts in Rosny-sous-Bois), then at the CNAC circus arts center in Châlons-en-Champagne, while also following the contemporary dance program at the CNDC national dance center in Angers. After his time as a permanent performer in the company of the choreographer Maguy Marin from 2006 to 2010, he set up his own company in 2010.

In recent years, he and his accomplices have been using an uninterrupted creative process to implement a program that consists of defusing time and is called "Attempts to Approach a Suspension Point".

His work is marked by in-depth knowledge of games, in particular games involving vertigo and simulacrum, which he explores and shares through his player’s workshop. His creations are unique because they reinvigorate the traditional artistic number by incorporating various inventions and eloquent physical devices. These spectacular and autonomous devices allow him to perform anywhere, particularly where he is not expected. As a result, in recent years, his Fugue Trampoline performance has become one of the most emblematic shows of the new generation of circus artists.

An outstanding acrobat, he expands his practice by designing multiple devices that seek to make the point of apogee perceptible. Each of his devices revolves around the notion of being suspended, and over the years, he has developed a growing body of work that forms "Attempts to Approach a Point of Suspension". This work is part of a more comprehensive search for a universal and technically rigorous language.

An enthusiast of wide-open spaces, in 2017 he produced an in-situ creation at the Pantheon called La Mécanique de l’Histoire, which was an attempt to approach a suspension point, thanks to an exceptional carte blanche offered by the Monuments Nationaux agency. Amateur videos of the event have become viral sensations and cemented his international reputation.

A tireless explorer of new horizons, in 2018, he and Michel Reilhac created one of the very first choreographic works for virtual reality and mixed reality: the Fugue VR.

Since 2016, he has been co-directing the CCN2 – Grenoble National Choreographic Center with the choreographer Rachid Ouramdane. This unique leadership combination is based on openness to the territory and the decompartmentalization of disciplines.

Yoann Bourgeois, whose life is dedicated to the performing arts, is the first circus artist to lead a national choreography center.