French fine artist, puppeteer and performer. Jean-Pierre Lescot founded the Compagnie Jean-Pierre Lescot – Les Phosphènes in 1968. A pioneer in the rebirth of the shadow theatre in France, he started with glove puppets and marottes until he discovered the shadow theatre, wayang kulit, of Indonesia. After several trips to Asia to learn about these ancestral forms, he explored their emotional potential, particularly experimenting with the mobility of light sources.

As a storyteller Lescot finds inspiration in the legends of the entire world and in contemporary mythologies, with strong emphasis on texts intended for young people or for a public of all ages: Pierrot cherche son ombre (Pierrot Searches for his Shadow, 1972); Drôle de fête (An Odd Festival, 1975); Rose des sables (Rose of the Desert, 1987); Monsieur Clément ou la Bonne Humeur des coquillages (M. Clement, or the Good Humour of the Sea-Shells, 1983) that borrows from the aesthetics of animated books; La Sentinelle des miroirs (The Guardian of the Mirrors, 1990), a trip through a myriad theatrical figures such as Punch, Arlecchino (Harlequin), Venetian masks; Coeur d’horloge ou la Belle embellie (Heart of the Clock, or Beauty Beautified/Embellished, 1992); La Nuit du tendre (1995) from a Chinese tale; and La Reine des mirages (The Queen of Illusions, 1997), inspired by the life of Nefertiti.

He also makes shows for adults, particularly notable among them Taema ou la Fiancée du timbalier (Taema, or the Drummer’s Fiancée, 1981) whose aesthetics was a breakthrough for the shadow theatre; Le Jardin pétrifié (The Petrified Garden, 1985), a modern adaptation of Dante’s The Divine Comedy produced with the Compagnie Daru. He then staged Quelques images pour Vincent (Some Images for Vincent, 1999) in which he recreated the universe of Vincent Van Gogh, and Clair-obscur (Light-Dark, 2002), a silent poetic fantasy made with the contemporary music ensemble FA7.

Since 1988, Jean-Pierre Lescot has been the director of the Théâtre Roublot in Fontenay-sous-Bois (Val-de-Marne) where his company is in residence. From that date until 2003, he has organized the biennial festival, Voyages en Marionnettes (Travels with Puppets). The event grew and in 2003 became the “Pôle de la marionnette en Val-de-Marne” (Pinnacle of Puppetry in Val-de-Marne), with a yearly programme and a mission to support and mentor young artists.

A visiting lecturer of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts de la Marionnette (ESNAM) in Charleville-Mézières, Jean-Pierre Lescot owns an important and valuable collection of shadow puppets, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and Turkish, which he exhibits regularly.

(See France.)