The company

logo images/bande

What defines us

Playing with words.

Boustrophedon means "the path of the oxen". A slow, tranquil pace – leaving plenty of time to enjoy the scenery … It's a play with words that can be read in both directions. It's also an ancient form of writing which changes direction in the same way that an ox does when ploughing a field. The text starts from left to right and at the end of the line comes back in the opposite direction from right to left. It's an easier way to make headway within the creative space … and to escape from it.

Searching together

We are all – at an equal level – involved in the show we are creating. The writing process draws in the technologies that we explore, the dreams we experience and our perspective on things. The director needs to respect those on stage in order to have an effective inside viewpoint. It’s a question of accuracy, inevitability and simplicity. That’s why we describe it as "directed collective creation". It is neither the work of a single person, nor of an autonomous group. We are constantly aiming to achieve an exhilarating (un)balance.

Handling humour and cruelty

The themes we choose could all be grouped under one title: "Is there a limit where human nature starts to crumble?" Monstrosity, war and handicap, old age and, in the case of Bleu Violon", confinement all have something in common: they encourage us to ask questions about human beings, to revisit our history of weakness, heroic acts or cowardice and to enhance notions of solidarity, empathy and community. We make no concessions but we are indulgent. Our shows can be caustic but with added humour.


The company was created in 2003 after the disbanding of "Remise à 9", which originated at the Lido - Center for Circus Arts in Toulouse. Since then, Le Boustrophédon has been carrying on the work around the circus, puppets and a common wish to create shows which handle serious themes with humour and humans with indulgence.

Christian Coumin

Artistic director of Le Boustrophédon, Christian is also a director and author, songwriter and artistic director of the international circus center LE LIDO (Toulouse-France). He has contributed to, co-authored and directed a lot of circus and street theatre shows with companies such as : The Acrostiches, Léonor Canalès, the Pas en Rond, the Skouts, the Cie Singulière, Triplex, Tibo tout court, Vis-à-vis, Remise à 9, the Cie 111, Vent d’Autan, Marie-Céline Daubagna, the Singuliers, the petit Travers, Alex Saintin, the Dodder’s, Pierrot le fou, IétO, and more.


"La danseuse sur verre"  / The dancer on glass

- Prix coup de Coeur du jury / Worldwide Circus Festival / Festival Mondial du Cirque de demain – Paris 01/2013.

"Court-Miracles" / Short-Miracles
- Marcelino Jacetania Circus Festival Award, Villanua, Spain, 2010
- Fonds d'action artistique 2007, Avignon - Festival & Compagnies, France
- ZKB Förderpreis 2008, Zürich, Switzerland
- DRAC D'OR / JURY / Best show and DRAC D'OR / Audience / best adult show, 2009, Lleida, Spain


- Jury’s Special Award at the 28th Festival mondial du cirque de demain in 2007
- Grant of the Cirque O Présent, Paris, 2006
- "Coup de cœur" Award from the jury in Tournai, Belgium, 2005
- Grockland Award in 2007 - Club du cirque Award in 2007 - Bretagne Circus Award in 2007

PREVIOUS SHOWS by this team

2013  Remix  > 2012 La danseuse sur verre  / The dancer on glasses > 2011 Camélia > 2008 La vieille et son pianiste  / The old woman and her pianist > 2006

Court-miracles / Short-Miracles > 2005 – Pétule