At the age of 15, she assisted Claire Chaperot establish the non-profit theater company Théâtre of the Explorateurs that continues to flourish today. A few years later, she began her studies in Paris at the René Simon School, the Conservatory of the Dramatic Arts school, and was accepted by Maurice Sarrazin to continue her theatrical training. After graduation, she performed in a few plays, short films, and in television.
As much as Lili loved to act, she loved to build too. Her time in Paris provided her with opportunities to work in fabrication as well as performance. Her passion landed her a position as a fabricator for the most prestigious scenery company in Paris, Atelier Scenography Simonini. She worked on numerous stages set/scenery projects, which included Disneyland Paris’ Lion King float, sets for the Canal + TV show, the 1989 Chanel Collection, and several scenic design backdrops for various theatrical productions.
Always hungry to learn, her creative energy led her to street theater mixing circus arts. As stilts were a prominent part of her native region’s history, and through her connection with Les Friches Theatre Urbain, Lili discovered the art of stilt theater. She immediately applied her diverse skills into elaborate street and stage performances that incorporated acrobatics, stilts, fencing, trick riding and theater, collaborating with numerous well-known theater companies throughout France in the 1980s and 1990s.
After securing several parts in Jean Marie Lecoq’s production of The Little d'Artagnan, with Universen, as well as with Bruno Boisliveau’s a production at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, Lili was invited by Marjorie Laurent and Julien Gabriel to join les Evenements Nuit Blanche to work on stilt-walking and puppetry.
In 1994, Walt Disney World’s, Epcot Center, invited the troupe to perform France’s unique style of street performance. It was then that Lili relocate with Marjorie Laurent and the cast to the USA. Over the next years, Lili collaborated with woodworking master, JP Michel Valles, to design and build over a dozen stilt puppets known as the “Cirikli” birds as well as few dinosaurs’ stilt puppets. The stilt bird puppets performed at Epcot Center Disney World for few years and with her French coworker, Lili built, performed, and trained new talent in the art of stilts, puppetry, theater and itinerant street performance. In chorus the troupe were invited to participate at the grand opening of the Animal Kingdom Park at Florida’s Disney World. Simultaneously, the French troupe created an additional stilt show for Epcot entitled, The Aviator. Once again with her coworker, Lili built, performed and trained American talent. Right after the French troupe created in collaboration with Julian Gabriel a new company called Dream Hunter.
Five years are passed since 1994, members of the original troupe relocated to Canada or returned to France. Lili elected to remain in the US. She traveled with Jean Francois Gautheur to the west coast and few stilt bird puppets in December 1999 and settled in San Diego, California, clarifying her vision to share France’s unique performance art form with American audiences. In March 2000 Lili founded Dragon Knights, Inc., which allowed her to combine her passions for performance, technical construction, costuming, and teaching stilt theater. Almost immediately, Dragon Knights with new talent trained by Lili was performing regularly at the San Diego Zoo, the Los Angeles Zoo, Sea World, the Getty Museum, and participated in numerous regional Fairs and festivals. As its fame and popularity grew, so did its presence. Lili began creating new design of puppets and new productions for countless events, fairs, festivals, art show and amusement parks across the country. During that time, Lili kept teaching the art of stilt walking, and she introduced in USA the latest design of wooden stilts from her masters. Today, 80% of stilt performers in California use that same design.
Lili and her Dragon Knights continue to perform throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, and Asia, delighting children and adults alike with their fantastically imaginative characters. Two of Lili’s puppets Flamingos regularly appeared in the Mad T Party at Disney’s California Adventure.
As a perfectionist, Lili is relentless in her desire to innovate and inspire. She continues to design and build more sophisticated and complex stilt puppets and stilt characters. She is also actively teaching in the art of stilt and currently collaborating with one of the world’s best stilt acrobat Brice Butane from France to train talent and develop a production that includes the latest design of stilts, allowing performers to do spectacular acrobatic, jump ,run and dance!
Three years ago, Lili started a new production with her troupe, which they entitled Time!. Implementing a Jules Verne aesthetic, With the support of Yan Guerrero, Daniel Doumergue and Christophe Malaval from France Lili produced a series of new machines, including a flying boat, a stilt-driven canoe on wagon wheels, and a pedaling submarine machine. A giant mechanical fish is in the works for the summer of 2017, which will be the largest construction to date.
in 2018 Lili would like let her troupe handle all productions, while her active imagination continues to take her to whole other worlds that have yet be explored!