Art school & scenography


Training young creators in visual art and stage design in a suitable and dynamic environment was the right answer to the matter of teaching art in Monaco. Indeed, heirs of the Ballets Russes dance company, who initiated cooperation between artistic fields at the beginning of the 20th century, the different cultural institutions of Monaco perpetuate a tradition turned towards the dialog between artistic identities. The art of designing a stage or an exhibition is at the heart of reflections and processes of all the cultural actors of the Principality, who have naturally become great partners of the School.
When the Compagnie des Ballets de Monte-Carlo offers collaboration between its dancers and the School’s young stage designers for a series of “Imprévus” _ Unforeseen Events_ it is about to build an experimental area conjoining stage design and choreography.

An offer by the Compagnie des Ballets de Monte-Carlo for a collaboration collaboration between its dancers and the School’s young stage designers for a series of “Imprévus” _ Unforeseen Events_ involves for both establishments to build an area conjoining experimentations, encounters and sharing auround a cenic and choreographic expression.

Inspired by a similar intention, the music festival “Printemps des Arts” solicits the students’ intervention on different areas of the festival, offering a stimulating context to reflect upon public space design and demonstration issues.

The New National Museum of Monaco, also related to the School regularly implies the students in the activities of its different departments. This year, on the occasion of exhibition Danse, Danse, Danse, at the Villa Paloma, the research program “Habiter l’Espace” will take the form of an in-site research and creation workshop (ARC). This material will then supply the topic of this year’s colloquium, organised by the ESAP.

Moreover, in order for the students to carry out research and make a restitution of an ocean expedition, both through its former and contemporary forms, the Oceanographic Museum has given them access to its photographic fund.

At last, within the framework of the Colloque International des Rencontres Philosophiques de Monaco, an exchange with the photography studio will be established for the second time in a row.

Alongside these collaborations, which participate in building the coherence of a State, the school has implemented international networks.
Within the mainlines of the research programs, they gather universities and art schools such as the Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris 4), the Toneelacademie in Maastricht or the Réseau Ecole(s) du Sud. Moreover, the projects unfold thanks to collaborations with national theatre venues and cultural institutions. For instance, the Théâtre National de La Criée in Marseille, the Teatro Due in Parma and the Centre Chorégraphique National de Montpellier through its Exerce training, cooperate within common projects.

The different partnerships of the ESAP therefore contribute to broaden the school’s project. They are both conceived as a geographic extension of the studios and as activators of thought. Consequently, the pedagogical programs take shape in a professionalizing context, conferring dynamism to the research.

These collaborations have not only allowed a geographical extension of the workshops towards partner locations. Their success through time also encouraged the School to implement new exchanges.

The School’s project is included in the continuity of a historical and a cultural context. In that way, it has grown within a network of competences. Updated through an inventive teaching process, it is therefore open towards close and distant potentialities.



The stage designer’s tasks are changing thoroughly. Its fields of competence and ways of action nowadays broaden out beyond theatres : exhibitions, urban areas, installations… Originally commissioned, scenography is now becoming autonomous. Its practice has become hybrid : the approaches which question space and dramaturgy feed contemporary creation. The latter, in a symmetrical process, taps into the range of scenography to either enrich or reflect upon its means of expression.

The presence of the students at the Festival d’Avignon or in the workshops lead within theatre venues, in Monaco, France and Italy, constitutes a great opportunity for training. Indeed, stage design stems from the relationship between what is given to see and the audience, as well as a significant management of the space in which they are shown. Its history and practice reside in theatre, both as concept and space.

For that reason, it is essential to focus the training on the relationship between space and text, space and body, as well as space and sound. Beginning of course exercises based on the stage, the way it works and its relationship to the house are translated, replayed and interrogated outside its conventional framework through different situations.

They summon scenography as a profession, an artistic discipline and a genuine practice, along with a way of thinking and questioning the world.


During the 20th century, the definition of artistic media broadened. Its creative process was notably asserted as a translation and a transmission experience. It now builds through a relationship to time, not as a material. Marcel Duchamp’s radical works, such as 16 Miles of String (1942), or his participation in the Surrealist exhibition in Paris in 1938, are a fundamental heritage. Regarding this, research in ESAP is placed within the hinge of an artwork’s conception and its experimentation through an exhibition.

It is about accompanying the students in a reflexion of the status of the object and the artistic action, interrogating the idea of autonomy to on the contrary encompass all the contexts that inform them.

The practice of installation ignites research that reflects upon the codes of exhibition along with the visitor’s track and ways of reception of works.

The various partnerships allow the students to lead projects, from their first requirements to their final realisation. In that frame, research on scenography for exhibition are lead through the ARCs. At last, an exhibition of the 3rd years students at the Quai Antoine Ier gallery in Monaco is an important opportunity for them to take over a site, think about collective exhibition necessities and invent new relationships with the visitors.

Transversal Extensions

Scenography is fed by the encounter between disciplines. A contemporary approach of its practice could not be envisaged without opening the two mainlines (stage design and scenography for exhibition) to conjoint questionings and research.


The laboratory confronts different practices and invites to the use of tools belonging to the field of scenography (lighting, building, machinery and devices) in the perspective of experimentation and production. It is a place where concepts, objects and processes are elaborated in the aim of settings, performances, installations…

It aspires to being a space of reflection upon the plural forms of scenography and their imbrication on stage or within the space of an exhibition as well as in the city and public space. Bearing these destinations in mind teaches the analysis of a place, refines technical skills and consciousness of production processes.

The laboratory gathers several teachers with 3rd, 4th and 5th year students in order to underline interactions between the school’s two mainlines.