Philippe Gaulier founded his school in 1980. Travel shapes young people. As does freedom.“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.”
1980 Paris; In Paris, Francoise Dolto et Madeleine Milhaud assisted in the creation of the school. They lent the remaining funds that were required .
1991 London; The Arts Council of England invited me to install my school in London. I stayed there for eleven years.
1991-93 Highbury-Islington; 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! Was it in that year I decided, to everyone’s regret, that in future I would teach in English?
1994 Kentish Town; 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 I was.
2002-05 Montreuil; Return to Paris. School was opened in Montreuil, in an ordinary studio, with nothing special about it. It was very helpful for the school, as, coming from London to Paris at great haste, it didn’t know where to go.
2005 – 11 Sceaux; Then came the time at Sceaux. A beautiful studio. But the people working in the town hall make you weep with despair.
2012 – Étampes; For its 30th birthday (October 2010), the school is giving itself a new studio, one which it will own at last. Where is it? In Étampes
Étampes is the capital of Sud-Essonne. Post code 91150. 45 minutes from Paris, on the Orleans road, taking the RN 20.
From the metro Saint-Michel: 55 mins by the RER C.The walk from the RER C Étampes station to the school: five minutes.
The town is known as Little Venice, because so many rivers cross it. Very charming medieval town.
2020 OCT We celebrate 40 years aniversary