Archibald Caramantran is an international street theatre company specialised in medium- to large scale performances, at fixed locations or on parades.
Combining different art forms, including visual arts, dance, theatre, circus and music, the company utilises giant muppets and aerial dance to create dreamlike and popular shows.
Driven by the desire to surprise every day and reveal its poetry, Archibald Caramantran plays in open areas to meet the public and offer them a theatre of images which are at time sensible and absurd, marvellous and of distinct proportions.
In its creations, the company utilises giant muppets and aerial dance to build a special relationship with the public and act the city out. The aerial space becomes a natural playground for making and sculpting, using various methods: fabrics, mesh, dance in the air or building facades.
Since its creation in 2005, the company has earned international recognition. Its giant muppets have wandered onto the streets of cities and villages, from carnivals to festivals, in the marquees of the opera houses in France and overseas, Europe, Australia, Canada, Cuba, China, Asia, Russia, Africa… .The Artistic Director, Olivier Hagenloch, together with Christophe Evette (Les Grandes Personnes/The Big People) and Stéphane Meppiel (Les géants du sud/The Southern Giants), founded ‘The Big People’ (Les Grandes Personnes) in 1988 at Aubervilles.
For many years, Archibald Caramantran has been the privileged partner of the city of Carpentras and ‘the Unusual X’mas’ Festival. In 2018, the company became the resident company of the city. There, the artists present a new creation every year.
Its studios sit next to the city’s technical service centre, at the ‘Station market’ in a large building provided by the CoVe (The Agglomeration Community of Ventoux Comtat Venaissin). Its wish to bring people together has engendered an immersive experience, a poetic act, and sharing of emotions between the artists and the population.
Trained at the Emile Cohl Animation School, Olivier Hagenloch co-founded ‘Les Grandes Personnes’, the company of giant puppets, in 1998. The troupe and him have since participated in numerous performances and workshops in France and overseas (Europe, South America, Russia, China, Africa.)
The River (Le Fleuve), Grand Parade, Burkina Faso, 2003
Habanos, Large-scale performance, Havana, Cuba, 2004
The Big Family (La Grande Famille), Grand Parade, Burkina Faso, 2005
World Cup Opening Ceremony, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2010.
In 1999, he received training in ‘Kathputli’ puppet operation by Puran Bhatt in India. In 2012, he created ‘Shanty Theatre’ (Bicoque théâtre), a fairground theatre for puppets and other curiosities.
Today, he directs performances and events for Archibald Caramantran, of which he has been the Artistic Director since 2005. He also works for local and overseas circuses, opera troupes and theatre companies.
Since 2017, Marie-Martine Robles has collaborated with Olivier Hagenloch to explore aerial space possibilities for Archibald Caramantran.
Coming from a classical and contemporary dance background, Marie-Martine enjoys crossing artistic disciplines and mixing dance movements of diverse forms with street theatre, circus, the stage and the ambulatory.
After receiving training in classical dance at the National Conservatory of Lyon, Marie-Martine moved on to contemporary and jazz dance with the dance company Jeune Ballet d’Aquitaine.
Since then, she has danced for many choreographers, such as Pedro Pauwels, Harry Albert, Jean Alavi and Claude Magne
In 2007, she joined Zigrolling, a company which combines choreographic sculptures and dancers’ bodies. Together with the company, she worked for Cirque du Soleil and the Finzi Pasca Company and performed in several international festivals: ‘Cienca Na Rua’ (Portugal), ‘Lightning in a Bottle’ (U.S.A.), ‘Exposition sur l’eau et le développement durable’ (Water and Sustainable Development Exhibition) (Spain).
Moreover, for the companies Rêve de singe and Dynamo, she articulates her expertise around aerial space (fabrics and acrobatic dance on facades and tilting). In parallel, she puts up a solo show of aerial dance Un-Dix-Visible with a piece of white fabric attached to a red cord for leitmotiv, as well as a number of nets in which the body and the material merge into one.