Pilsen is preparing an extensive season of Le Cirque Nouveau for the year 2015
Nine leading ensembles from France, Italy, Spain, Canada and Switzerland, more than sixty performances, eleven months from January till November, more than twenty thousand spectators… That, in a nutshell, is the season of Le Cirque Nouveau which will run in Pilsen in 2015 as part of the European Capital of Culture project.
These “dry” numbers do not, however, reveal the unrepeatable experiences for everyone who likes theatre combining supreme acrobatics, juggling and tight-rope walking with suspense, amazement, humour, clownship and poetics. “We have chosen performances that rank among the best of new circus and that are mostly without language barriers and able to entertain the whole family,” says Petr Forman, the Pilsen 2015 Artistic Chief, who is behind the programme. In the year 2015 Pilsen will thus host the ensembles Cirque Trottola with Petit Théâtre Baraque, Cirque Aïtal, PSiRC, Cirque Alfonse, MagdaClan, L´Illustre Famille Burattini, Bêtes de foire, Akoreacro, and the tight-rope walker David Dimitri. Thanks to these artists, many different locations in Pilsen will be enlivened by colourful marquees and small and grown-up spectators alike will experience something of the atmosphere of old times, when travelling troupes toured squares and entertained audiences with their art. The season of Le Cirque Nouveau will be ushered in by one of the largest carousel artworks for both children and adults courtesy of Le Manège Carré Senart, hailing from the suburbs of Paris, who will be in Pilsen’s main square from September to November 2014.
The art carousel Le Manège Carré Senart offers rides to children and adults on giant puppets and has visited only eight places in the world to date. Their author is the French artist Francois Delaroziere, Artistic Director of the La Machine theatre company. “Over the course of fifteen years he has created dozens of giant puppets and carousels which have brought life to the streets and squares of many different European cities,” Petr Forman explains.
New circus will also be a part of the Pilsen – European Capital of Culture project’s opening ceremony on the 17th January 2015 in the Pilsen’s main square. The audience there will see, among others, an adrenaline piece of theatre by the Swiss tight-rope walker and acrobat David Dimitri. “Dimitri comes from a famous circus and clown family. He is one of those few considered both a representative of classical circus art and a pioneer of Le Cirque Nouveau,” Forman says by way of introducing the artist.
David Dimitri will follow up his opening ceremony performance with a solo family show L´Homme Cirque, combining acrobatics, live music and dance, and Dimitri will, for example, be shot out of a cannon or walk on a thin wire high in the air.
Cirque Trottola is probably the most peculiar and original ensemble of the New Circus Season. “The connection of its members with the equally well-known duo Branlo & Niglo – Petit Théâtre Baraque – produced an original show Matamore with its own specific poetics, all the while not sacrificing any of the highest standard of acrobatic skills,” Forman declares, enticing spectators . The audience will thus witness a surreal circus with fragile and burlesque clowns and acrobats, who juggle or fly high in the air as if defying the laws of gravity.
Another troupe being hosted in Pilsen in February is the French Cirque Aïtal. Their language barrier-free show will offer superb acrobatics and wit as well as fine poetics. “Besides the acrobatic skills, humour is one of the greatest assets of this young duo,” Forman adds.
The Acrometria performance by the Spanish PSiRC ensemble, which will be on in April, illustrates the power of simplicity “The lightness and emotion with which this Catalan trio of performers carries out the most difficult acrobatic numbers gives us a glimpse into their relationships and world rather than just making us admire the perfect and exact moves,” Forman provides as a description. The audience will experience visual poetics based on work with objects and, of course, demanding circus techniques – juggling, acrobatics, dance and music.
May in Pilsen will be devoted to the Italian MagdaClan group, probably the youngest exponents of Le Cirque Nouveau participating in the season. Fresh graduates of the Turin circus school, they have charged their first joint work with a lot of energy and ideas. The result is a clown-like, endearing show full of supreme acrobatics infused with intimate gestures. “They clearly manifest the will and need of the circus world’s younger generation to combine supreme acrobatic performances with the quest for a story,” Forman explains.
Burat and Rita Burattini, who will arrive in Pilsen in June, are true street artists. They travel to their audience from town to town, from village to village. They play in the street, in a tent, in squares or in a caravan. Their show Le Jabberwock is full of rough humour which is lightly offensive and exciting at the same time. “It touches upon our vanity and pride while disarming us with its truth, sincerity and humour. It evokes bursts of laughter and moves us with its poetics,” states Forman. The performance is aimed at both children and adults because, as the ensemble claims: “There is only one humour.”
In July Cirque Alfonse will bring its performance Timber! to Pilsen. Its name – “wood” in translation – implies what it is based on: the scene is full of boards, clogs, wooden wheels and furniture. Everything breathes with the smell of freshly cut material, which is the platform for unbelievable acrobatic displays, for which the actors use also real tools from a rural farm. “Original theme, excellent live music, perfect acrobatics, simplicity, intelligibility, humour, joy and great playfulness,” Forman offers as a characterisation of this family show.
The husband and wife team of Laurent Cabrol and Elsa DeWitte will arrive in Pilsen to deliver a chamber performance of Bêtes de foire in their own marquee. “You will see a show relying not just on juggling and puppetry skills but also on the experience they have accumulated during their rich nomadic lives with many major European troupes,” Forman adds.
Six acrobats, five musicians and one skittish piano – these are the foundations of the Klaxon show of the French Akoreacro group, which will offer top-class acrobatics in its marquee in Pilsen in November. “Reality meets imagination – all at an incredibly fast pace,” Petr Forman says.