Philippe Gaulier

Pantomime Paris

1980: Founding of my school at 8 Rue Alfred de Vigny, Paris 17th arrondissement.
I was young. I had invented a game which consisted of throwing a ball over the branch of a tree in Parc Monceau. The opposing team had to catch the ball without it touching the ground. Passers-by stopped and watched. They envied us.
1991: The Arts Council of England invited me to install my school in London. I stayed there for eleven years.
1991-93 the first studio, in Highbury-Islington, was ugly, small, and noisy, echoing. All day long, neighbours yelled Shut up’, their voices echoing and booming. What a din! Not that it bothered me unduly My pleasure in working with a splendid team of Chinese from Hong Kong dispelled any basic notions of good manners.
Was it in that year I decided, to everyone’s regret, that in future I would teach in English?
1994: If I hadn’t found two adjoining studios in Queens Crescent, Kentish Town, the inhabitants of Highbury-Islington would have chopped me into little pieces. Queens Crescent is known as the street of thieves. Closing the doors was a problem. I liked teaching in Kentish Town. The games of table tennis after classes lasted for hours, followed by pints of Guinness at the Irish pub opposite Kentish Town tube station.
1999: Cricklewood! The school, despite all odds sleepy solicitors, bishops on holiday, the demise of the archbishop’s secretary — bought a church. The students put on wonderful shows there. The teachers gave wonderful lessons.
When we first moved into the church, bearing a few bottles of champagne to celebrate the event properly, millions of mice were waiting for us.
A company specialised in killing rodents (its workers sported wellington boots and yellow plastic overalls) wiped them out in a flash. They explained to me that, contrary to common belief, mice prefer chocolate to cheese. So they inject a ferocious poison into bars of chocolate.
In London, the school was happy. So was I
2002: Return to Paris.
2005: Anniversary of the school. Twenty five years already.
During these twenty five years, I have taught in:
Argentina, Brazil, United States, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, England, Ireland, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, New Zealand.
In Orlando, Las Vegas and Paris, I taught for Le Cirque du Soleil.
Where have I taught the most? London, New York, Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne, Berlin.

Philippe Gaulier

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