Shows of the equestrian Academy of Versailles

If, at the Academy, weekdays are dedicated to training, then Saturdays and Sundays are when show is given free rein. All ballet corps need a repertoire. The Academy of Equestrian Arts certainly has one. It is presented in the show called La Voie de l’Écuyer –or ‘Way of the Equerry’

2020 - Way of the Equerry – Opus 2019

La Voie de l’écuyer - Opus 2020

A classical rigor tempered with baroque touches

“When I imagined the academy project, I immediately considered it as an opportunity to share with the public. The equerries must present to the audience the fruit of their daily labor.” Bartabas

Every weekend, the squires present in the beautiful riding arena of the Great Stable, the show “La Voie de l’écuyer”; a repertoire constantly enhanced which evolves through the cavaliers’ experiences, diverse creations, the several artistic disciplines taught at the Academy and renowned artists invited to mix the work of both companies.
This entity allows the audience to feel the precision of the relationship between the equerries and their horses, more than the techniques involved.
Carrousel of the Lusitanians, Sorraias with long reins, fencing on horseback and equestrian improvisations are performed to the sound of selected pieces by Bach.

Simplicity and virtuosity, lightness and subtlety are what equerries are daily looking for, and try to transmit in every performance.

Every representation is followed by a visit of the Grand Stable.

You can attend the show every Saturday at 6pm and Sundays at 3pm, apart from when we are on tour. Calendar is here
Tickets: from 16 € to 28 €. Booking.

NEW: Passport Château de Versailles 2 days + Show “La Voie de l’écuyer”

The 2-day Passport with a show from the Equestrian Academy gives access to a whole weekend at the Domaine du Château de Versailles. It also allows you to attend a performance of “La Voie de l’Ecuyer”, on Saturday at 6 pm or on Sundays at 3 pm.


2018 - Le Sacre de Stravinsky

Le Sacre de Stravinsky

Sacre du Printemps
Symphonie des Psaumes

A BARTABAS creation

With :

The Equestrian Academy of Versailles

The Philharmonic of Radio France, directed by Mikko Franck

The Choir of Radio France directed by Lionel Sow

After the Requiem of Mozart’s success, and fot its second collaboration with the Seine Musicale, Bartabas choses to redo for the Equestrian Academy of Versailles its famous choreographies of the Stravinsky’s “Sacre du Printemps” and “Symphonie des Psaumes”

Created in 2000 in Amsterdam for Zingaro, these two choreographies were a part of the Pierre Boulez’s “Triptyk” show, together with the “Dialogue de l’Ombre Double”. “Triptyk” has been played in the whole world, from Moscow to Los Angeles.

For this second time, the Academy equerries will stand in for the Zingaro acrobats. Indian dancers from Kalarippayatt will engage the telluric choreography invented by Bartabas.

For Bartabas, this is also a first collaboration with two musical ensemble of Radio Franche: the Philharmonic of Radio France, directed by Mikko Franck et the Choir of Radio France, exceptionally directed by Lionel Sow.

Scenography and choreography : Bartabas
Light : Bertrand Couderc
Equestrian Academy of Versailles
Philharmonic of Radio France
Musical direction : Mikko Franck
Choir of Radio France
Choir Direction: Lionel Sow

19 horses
7 indian dancers
12 equerries
1 aerial arist
64 choristers
125 musicians

Tournée Seine Musicale

September 21st 2018 - 20h30
September 22nd 2018 - 20h30
September 23rd 2018 - 16h00
September 25th 2018 - 20h30
September 26th 2018 - 20h30

2018 - Récréation


Horses are just like children. Ponies, particularly so. They like to play, tease each other, squabble, daydream, and enjoy the present without worrying about the past or the future. They are wary of adult bipeds, who think they can order them around with brusque gestures and sharp commands, which, if pushed too far, can give rise to a prodigious resistance that is not devoid of humour. One only has to see them galloping after one another in a field, tussling in the paddock, or nipping each other in a manège, whinnying raucously, to appreciate their ability to have fun and their disdain for the tiresome taskmasters who constantly want to ride them, train them or make them jump to order. It is this moment of freedom that the highly-skilled horseman Bartabas, transformed here into a sort of schoolmaster, sought to foster for this all-new Récréation, which offers a swift response to Hermès’ instruction: Let’s play!

At the sound of the bell signalling the end of lessons, Bartabas releases seventy young Welsh ponies – all originally from Wales – into an arena resembling a basketball court or hopscotch squares suspended between earth and sky, ready to fight it out under the glass roof of the Grand Palais. It would seem unlikely that these hairy four-legged schoolchildren could play bulldog, skipping games, tag, marbles or jacks, or swap football cards. But anything can happen, as these young ponies, assembled for the first time, have never met before and will start by sniffing and assessing each other, weighing each other up before enjoying the freedom that Bartabas, false rigorist, true rebel, grants them in front of the audience at the Saut Hermès. Will they then launch into a mad frolic or, on the contrary, roll voluptuously in the white sand? Will they rival each other with their levades and croupades? Will the older ones sharply impose their law on their juniors? Will they be able to curb their desire to leave the Grand Palais as a wild pack, and bolt hell for leather up the Champs-Élysées? No-one yet knows. For there can be no Récréation without improvisation. No amusement without mishap. No leisure without surprise. By letting go of the bridles of his unruly youngsters, the lord of the horses knows exactly what he is doing; but he does not yet know where this live performance will take him, and us, and what its impromptu choreography will be. A roll of the dice, a game of chance…

It is five months since the creation of Ex Anima, at the equestrian theatre Zingaro in Aubervilliers, in which Bartabas demonstrates his love for his cavalry by unbridling, unsaddling and releasing them, whereupon they turn away from culture and return to nature. His latest piece is a further demonstration of his new philosophy (indeed, adding a simple hyphen to ‘recreation’ gives ‘re-creation’): to glorify the beauty of horses without human interference, to honour the animals with movements of absolute purity, to prompt piaffes without a whip and Spanish trotting without spurs. Even the horsewomen of the Equestrian Academy of Versailles, whose remarkable displays have for years graced the interludes of the Saut Hermès at the Grand Palais, are invited to take part in this Dionysian festival and to join the ponies of Récréation in celebrating the infancy of the art form. These talented actresses here become innocent spectators. Meanwhile in the shadows, the master of ceremonies, a little over sixty years of age, laughs up his sleeve with the laughter of a streetwise rascal. It certainly seems that the older Bartabas becomes, the younger he grows.


Saut Hermès 2018 - Grand Palais

From the 16th to the 18th of March 2018

2017 - Mozart’s Requiem

Le Requiem de Mozart

Each year around the time of Mozart’s birthday in January, the Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg hosts the “Mozart Week” with opera performances, orchestra and chamber concerts as well as soloist recitals. World-renowned artists, soloists, orchestras and ensembles specialized in the interpretation of Mozart stand for the unparalleled reputation of this unique event. This concert series, inaugurated in 1956, invites visitors from around the world to rediscover Mozart’s works from ever-changing perspectives and to hear them anew.

Far from the hustle and bustle of the big Summer Festival, the winter is more conducive to intimacy. The city’s high places of music are shared, including the legendary Felsenreitschule and its ninety-six arcades, dug out of the rock of the mountain.

In 2015, Marc Minkowski and Bartabas had imagined a unique show. For the first time since several centuries, horses had walked on the stage of the Felsenreitschule within the Grand Festspielhaus of Salzburg and had given three representations of “Davide penitente”.

This opera, which received a tremendous reception of the public, was broadcasted on Arte on June 21st, 2015 and edited in DVD (Production: BFMI production, in coproduction with the ORTF and Arte / Distribution: C Major Entertainment).

Further to the incredible success of this creation, Bartabas and Marc Minkowski collaborate again and propose the “Requiem” of Mozart, from January 26th till February 3rd, 2017, for four exceptional representations.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“Requiem” in d minor for four solo voices, choir and orchestra KV 626

Direction and choregraphy: Bartabas

Académie équestre nationale du domaine de Versailles (equerries and horses)

Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble
Conductor: Marc Minkowski

Assistant in direction: Anne Perron

Light: Bertrand Couderc

Costumes: Sophie Manac’h

Stables manager: Philippe Boué Bruquet

Technical direction: Stéphane Cargnino

Production: Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum, in collaboration with the Académie équestre nationale du domaine de Versailles


Choir: Salzburger Bachchor

Choir direction: Alois Glassner

Soprano: Genia Kühmeier

Alt: Elisabeth Kulman

Tenor:  Julien Behr

Bass: Charles Dekeyser

Equerries:  Emmanuel Dardenne, Laure Guillaume, Emmanuelle Santini, Maïlys Frougneux, Mathias Lyon, Zoé San Martin, Émilie Tallet, Charlotte Tura

Horses: Balestra, Botero, Chagall, Mercure, Miro, Neptune, Passa di Sotto, Quilate, Soutine, Uccello, Uranus, Vivace

Extras: Julia Bougon, Valentine Diquet, Laura Kuczwara, Marie Morel, Rémi Rodier, Stephanie Schönleitner

Tour 2017

Creation at the Mozartwoche in Salzbourg

January 26th at 8:00 pm
January 29th at 3:00 pm
January 31st at 8:00 pm
February 3rd at 8:00 pm

From the 15 to the 17 of september 2017 : The Seine Musicale, Boulogne-Billancourt (92) / Musical direction Marc Minkowski, with the Musiciens du Louvre, the children choir of the Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine
Solistes : Ana Maria Labin – soprano / Anthéa Pichanick – mezzo-soprano / Fabio Trümpy – ténor / Callum Thorpe – basse

From the 15 to the 20 of may 2018 : Grande Halle of La Villette, Paris (75) / Musical Direction Michel Piquemal, with the choir Vittoria d'Ile-de-France

2016 - The galloping nature

La nature au galop

For the fourth time in seven editions of the Hermes jumping, the National equestrian Academy of Versailles was present under the glass roof of Paris’ Grand Palais. The riders realized a magnificent show with all the magnificence and the atmosphere which only Bartabas can create.

2015 - Davide penitente

Davide penitente

For this spectacular production of Mozart’s “Davide penitente” on the vast stage of the Salzburg Felsenreitschule at the Mozart Week 2015, Marc Minkowski and the equestrian choreographer Bartabas used dancing horses and thus restored the former riding school to its original function.
Horses, riders from the Académie équestre de Versailles and Bartabas himself, whose successful productions are unique in the world of art, perform their elegant dressage arabesques within this exceptional setting. Soloists, chorus and orchestra are ranged over three levels on galleries cut from the bare rock. The result is a unique synthesis of the arts.

“A festival of beauty” – Munich Abendzeitung
“Minkowski and Bartabas have created a great piece of theatre” – NMZ


A Mozart’s opera

Stage director and horses dressage:  Bartabas
Musical direction: Marc Minkowski
With the squires of the Equestrian Academy of Versailles
Lighting Design: Bertrand Couderc
Pictures: © Mathias Baus

Created in Salzbourg ein January 2015 – 3 performances

Orchestra: Les Musiciens de Louvre – Grenoble

Choir: Salzburger Bachchor

Soprano: Christiane Karg
Mezzo-soprano: Marianne Crebassa
Tenor: Stenislas de Barbeyrac

2014 - Metamorphosis


A vast army slept, motionless and impassive, deep in the ground, waiting several centuries to honour the first Emperor of China whose posthumous glory required an imposing military parade, and whose terror of finding himself alone for all eternity called for the company of a close-knit troop of guards. It is to the uncompromising Qin Shi Huangdi that we owe the Great Wall of China and the reunification of his country.
He was buried in 210 BC to the east of the city of Xian in a mausoleum that spread for some 35 miles, but long before that he had his entire army, including the generals, sculpted in terracotta, and ordered that they be arranged around his monumental tomb. This meant thousands of life-size warriors and horses, each one unique, down to their facial features, forming impeccable legions in the clayey bowels of Shaanxi province.

It was not until 1974 when some peasants were digging a well in their fields that this fantastical imperial army captured in clay suddenly saw the light of day once more. Some figures were covered in lacquer but the colours had faded, some equipped with gilded bronze chariots, with swords, armors, helmets, caparisons and harnesses.
Along with eight thousand cavalry, foot soldiers, archers, crossbowmen and grooms, there were also the remains of the men who had built the necropolis and had been walled up inside it. Exactly forty years after those horsemen and their silent chargers reclaimed their freedom and stood paralyzed to discover the bustle of the modern world, the majestic doors of the Grand Palais are opened to them by Bartabas (and, by strange coincidence, a previous Bartabas show – “Entra’perçu” at the Châtelet – was a beautiful calligraphy-like celebration of Immémoriaux by Victor Segalen who, it turns out, visited Emperor Qin’s tomb in 1914). Picture them now after a five thousand mile journey, these warriors with no war to wage, still covered in clay, imprisoned by time which has petrified them, hieratic escapees of an abolished dynasty.

Now they are rallied by Bartabas, the peaceable emperor of equestrian showmanship whose kingdom reaches from Japan to Rajasthan, from Moldavia to Kerala, from Korea to Mexico, not forgetting valiant Tibet. These men and horses from eternity will slowly metamorphose beneath the glass roof of the Parisian Palais, shedding the clay that paralyzes them, the weapons that burden them, the history that weighs them down. They will resume all their colors, become lighter, more human, more fluid, more approachable, and more feminine too, thanks to the graceful horsewomen of the Versailles Academy and their young four-legged dancers. In the realms of the centaur Zingaro, the magisterial director of endlessly recurring themes, there is never a show without reincarnation, never a celebration without metamorphosis.
Bartabas does not often frequent show jumping competitions, but this is the third time he has agreed to put on a performance – a unique, living work of art – for the already legendary Saut Hermès at the Grand Palais. This year China inspired him, the horses of Xian bore him on his journey, and Qin’s archers escorted him. For he too comes from the mists of time, the mists of China and of intoxication to dazzle and reinvent our own era, and to set free the resolutely immutable to gallop outside time.

Created by Bartabas
With the riders of the Academy of equestrian arts
Grand Palais de Paris – part of the Saut Hermes event
March 2014 / 3 performances

2014 - Night of China

Nuit de Chine

On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the diplomatic relation between France and China and in premise of the Chinese New Year placed under the sign of the Horse, the event Night of China organized in the Grand Palais of Paris, welcomed a new and eponym creation of Bartabas for the equestrian Academy of Versailles.

This show is inspired by the army of 8000 soldiers of terra-cotta of emperor Qin Shihuang, armed buried discovered in 1974 to Xian in China, which by the magic of the show relived under the windows of the Grand Palais.

“This very hieratic image of these physical characters who put themselves little by little in movement until arrive very wild, represents a little the exchanges from now on, when everything accelerates all over the world.”


2012 - The time in front of one

Le temps devant soi

“[…] So, in the heart of Paris, Lusitanians cremellos with blue eyes and grey Argentine Criollos ridden by cosmopolitan equerries are going to dance on a French music of Arab-Andalusian inspiration, under the direction of a fantastic centaur who represents at the same time Quichotte, François Baucher and the king of gypsies.
That’s an understatement that we are going to gallop in the space and time. The unlimited space of the riders who never turn around; the infinite time of horses, by which the prodigious memory seems to precede the birth. The hardest will be to return then to the real life and to the city of the pedestrians.”

Jérome Garcin – extract

2011 - We were horses

We were horses

Two creators passionate about their art, Carolyn Carlson and Bartabas, are combining worlds and joining forces in dance and visual magic.
The first brings poetry in movement, embodied by her dance company, and the second a fascinating energy borne by the Equestrian Academy, moving like a corps de ballet. Both make use of instinct, sensitivity and achievement in creation led by a deep, inner need. There is no need for further explanation: the artistic flow in itself states the obvious.
Viewpoints intermingle and enrich one another in this original experience: orchestrating together twelve riders and sixteen dancers in grace and power. The repetitiveness of Philip Glass; Music in Twelve Parts echoes the horses infinite movement around the dancers, a hypnotic spiral evoking a growing trance-like state.

Created by: Carolyn Carlson and Bartabas

Produced by: Centre Chorégraphique National Roubaix Nord-Pas de Calais
In partnership with the Equestrian Academy of Versailles
Co-produced by Nuits de Fourvière/ Département du Rhone; Monaco Dance Forum; Le Colisée-Théâtre de Roubaix

Tour 2011 - 2013

• Created in May : 5 performances in Bruay-la-Buissière (Plastic Omnium)
• June : 4 performances at Festival des Nuits de Fourvière in Lyon
• juillet : 4 performances at Fontvieille bigtop, for Monaco Dance Forum

• June : 13 performances at La Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris (23600 spectators)

2010 - Equestrian Charivari

Charivari équestre

Two performances alone will be given of this equestrian Charivari given in artificial light on the Saturday night and in board daylight on the Sunday afternoon. A Bartabas choreography for the Académie du Spectacle Equestre in Versailles, as well as a show performed with the help of horses and riders from the Theatre Equestre d’Aubervilliers.
“Six movements, a dazzling, pure, and simple half-hour, always in astonishing movement, even if based on what one could call “Bartabas syntax”. The two teams rehearse together once on the Friday and this enchanting burst of horses… two at the opening of the show and nearly forty at the end. (…)”

Armelle Heliot – – 5 April 2010

“The riders of the Académie du Spectacle Equestre de Versailles and the Zingaro theatre have also marked this equestrian return to the centre of Paris, a stone’s throw away from the Champs-Elysées. Under the great nave perched 60 metres from the ground and the Reseda green of a hundred-year-old metallic structure, the equestrian Charivari skilfully orchestrated by Bartabas was bewitching. An intoxicating whirlwind, made up of light and controlled twists, musical and circular flights, a moment of grace and subtlety, a timeless parenthesis… Stunning!”

Vincent Lasseret – Cheval Magazine – May 2010

Created by: Bartabas
With the Equestrian Academy of Versailles and the Théâtre Equestre Zingaro
Grand Palais de Paris – part of the Saut Hermès event
April 2010 / 2 performances

2009 - Equestrian Liturgy

Liturgie équestre

“[…] With equestrian Liturgy, Bartabas has adapted himself magnificently to the unique architecture of the venue, offering a show that combines artistic beauty and elevation of the soul. The horses’ dance steps never appear unseemly at the foot of the pillars around which they whirl in an ethereal ballet. (…) The equestrian movements are in harmony, with a breathtaking sense of rhythm and music from the Cavaille-Coll organ, an internationally-renowned historical monument. Under the fingers of Vincent Dubois, delighted to get his musical instrument of the “paths well troden”, Bach, Prokofiev and Messiaen make for an atmosphere of deep contemplation in this special venue. The figure of Francis of Assisi, incarnated by the wonderful Basque singer Befiat Achiary, is the perfect choice to accompany this celebration of beauty. […] The singer is right to marvel at the fact that Bartabas has left room for silence, in amongst the majestic music and the galloping of horses on a rubber-covered floor.
[…] “In my opinion, says Bartabas, man is above everything, but I have always introduced a sacred dimension to my work. You have no doubt heard of my megalomania, and for years I dreamt letting horses into a cathedral”. Under the celestial vaults of the Abbey in Saint-Ouen, he celebrates the union of the secular and the sacred.”

Bruno Bouvet – La Croix – 22 October 2009

Created by: Bartabas
With the Equestrian Academy of Versailles
Beniat Achiary and Vincent Dubois
Abbey of Saint-Ouen in Rouen
Part of the Automne en Normandie festival

October 2009 / 8 performances

2008 - Equestrian partitions

Partitions équestres

“Now accustomed to the theatre as a venue, Bartabas has given his all and you can understand why the Versailles rider has chosen Glass and his bewitching, haunting pieces: the arithmetic of his music coincides perfectly with the geometry and symmetry of the equestrian ballets tightly led by the riders of the Académie Equestre de Versailles, and the roman theatres starts to resemble gardens designed by Lenôtre.”

Françoise Monnet – Le Progrès – 9 June 2008


“Indeed at the heart of the New-York musician’s pieces, there are circles, melodic spirals that coil into one another, producing a feeling of dizziness and hypnosis. Poetry also fell in naturally with the circular ring in which Bartabas has staged his horses, rhymes that have pride of place in this promising show. Glass’ eddies of sound answer the concentric circles formed by the Académie’s twelve riders and Bartabas’ dialogs with each of the saxophonists. (…) You could at times call it dance: at other moments, you are watching a meditative march, as if Glass’s notes awake of form of meditation in animals. You then see how obvious the encounter was between the music and this equestrian theatre, both able to combine skilful research and authentic popular infatuation.”

Christophe Chabert – Le petit Bulletin – 4/11 June 2008

Choreographed by: Bartabas

Music by: Philip Glass
With the National Equestrian Academy of Versailles
And the Ossia saxophone ensemble

June 2008

2008 - Night Mares

Les Juments de la nuit

“Les Juments de la Nuit (Night Mares) is the third show staged by Bartabas in Versailles, using the combined talents of the equestrian Academy of Versailles and of the troop of Zingaro.

But for the first time, after “The Chevalier Saint-George” and “Voyage aux Indes Galantes”, the theme of the show is not connected to the court of king of France.

In “Les Juments de La Nuit”, Bartabas imagined a universe off the wall, closer to the shows of Zingaro. He drew this time his inspiration from the cinema: the version of Macbeth realized by Orson Welles, and the transposition of the Shakespeare’s play in Japan of the warlords of the Castle of the Spider, by Akira Kurosawa. “Les Juments de la Nuit” announces as a series of epic and baroque visual poems, staging lady Macbeth’s dreams, and making merge two places and two periods: the Scotland of the XIth century and Japan of the XVIth.

A fusion of colors also, mixing horses “cream”, Argentine or Lusitanian.

A talented fusion, finally, gathering dancers, riders of the Academy and the acrobats of Zingaro.

Created by: Bartabas
With the Académie du Spectacle Equestre,
the Theatre Equestre Zingaro, Larrio Ekson, Miyoko Shida
and Bernard Quental
As part of the Fêtes de Nuit at the Château de Versailles

2006 - Equestrian Recital

Récital équestre

“It is the opening show of the Nights of Fourvière, multidisciplinary festival of Lyon which celebrates its sixty years […]. To the program, Alexandre Tharaud, pianist virtuoso in rocker’s looks, which reinterprets the Italian Concertos of Bach, and Bartabas, rider-director on stage. […] In what can appear as a show of compulsory faces – where become famous ten young riders of the Academy of Versailles which manages Bartabas-, impossible not to be impressed by the requirement and the relevance of the images […].”

René Solis – Libération – 16 juin 2006

Choreography: Bartabas

With Alexandre Tharaud and the National Equestrian Academy of Versailles

June 2006

2005 - Journeys in courteous India

Voyages aux Indes galantes

This show evokes the improbable epic of René Madec, a young foams been born in 1736 in Quimper which, in the course of its journeys and of his military exploit, is named a nabob in India in 1769 and ennobled in 45 years by Louis XVI.



Designed and directed by: Bartabas
With the Académie du Spectacle Equestre
And the Théâtre Equestre Zingaro

As part of the Fêtes de Nuit at the Château de Versailles
August – September 2005 / 6 performances

2004 - The knight of Saint George – An African in court

Le chevalier de Saint-George - Un Africain à la cour

Bartabas invites us to discover the outstanding fate of the knight of Saint George, a man of exception, mulatto, who knew how to be appreciated by his multiple talents of violinist, fencer and rider. Celebrate under Louis XVI, he then sinks into oblivion during two centuries.

Bartabas finds his inspiration in this with a ruddy complexion character, and this equestrian and pyrotechnic symphony evoking the tradition of the festivities formerly given to the Castle, made this hero of cape and sword live again with more than fifty horses and after riders, after percussionists, after comedians, after dancers and after musicians.

Created and directed by: Bartabas
With the Académie du Spectacle Equestre
And the Théâtre Equestre Zingaro

As part of the Fêtes de Nuit at the Château de Versailles
August – September 2004 / 6 performances

Ouverture estivale
Chers spectateurs, 
L'Académie équestre est ravie de vous annoncer sa réouverture ! 
Retrouvez ici la programmation exceptionnelle de cet été, en attendant la reprise
du spectacle "La Voie de l'écuyer".