Created in 2003 by Bartabas within the Royal Stables, the National Equestrian Academy of Versailles is a unique “corps de ballet” in the world.
“I wanted to create a school; a new kind of school, a kind of company-cum-school at the heart of which a “community” spirit would develop, a school where horses would teach us how to work in harmony, fully respecting each other, a school in perpetual movement, without any pre-established rules, curricula or diplomas.
I devised this Academy as a top-level school, capable of training artist-riders, but also as a place to blossom, a place where beautiful people can bloom. I never considered the act of passing on as simply amounting to communicating your technique or expertise to others.
In order to do this, the Academy’s deep-seated originality is to give every rider a full education incorporating dance, stage fencing, voice training, traditional Japanese archery, as well as horse work. Yehudi Menuhin said that “the violin soon becomes a body-related matter” for musicians, since you have to work on the body in order to retain or regain suppleness and proper breathing. The same thing applies to horse-riders. Thus broaching other disciplines making for a “suppler” body and mind is key. Learning all of these techniques only has one purpose: a better understanding of equestrian work by developing the rider’s feeling.”
Extract from “The Manifeste pour la vie d’artiste” by Bartabas
Film extract from “Les Amazones de Versailles” by Jackie Bastide
The National Equestrian Academy of Versailles, hosted by the Public Establishment of the Museum and National Estate of Versailles, has the support of the general direction of artistic creation of the Ministry of Culture and Communication and the City of Versailles.