Four works on the circus bring together styles and generations. While Alexis Grüss, figure of equestrian art, recites in The dictionary of my life (Calmann-Lévy, 2022), an alphabet retracing his career with horses in his family company, Circassian (L’Atelier du Poisson Soluble, 2022), children’s album signed by director Coline Garcia and designer Kämy Dobi, unfolds the story of Noûr, who discovers, through his new friend Charlie, whose mother is an acrobat, the marvelous universe of the circus.
The collective work The Prato. An international neighborhood theater (Invenit, 192 pages, 25 euros), under the direction of Patricia Kapusta, former deputy director, leafs through the impetuous saga of this Lille scene co-founded in 1973 by the clown Gilles Defacque, who directed it until 2021. For almost fifty years, this radiant and finely rebellious personality has not only designed unforgettable, burlesque and subversive plays, including Cute Palace (2006) and Gala (2013), but it has also supported the creations of many artists. About sixty of them find themselves elbow-to-elbow in this detailed and provided book to recount their experiences at the heart of this offensive Prato.
Interviews on transmission connect the testimonies of contemporary circus personalities, including Camille Decourtye and Blaï Mateu Trias, Chloé Moglia and Jean-Baptiste André. Tasty memories punctuate the unfolding. David Bobée, now director of the Théâtre du Nord, collaborated with Gilles Defacque to Gilles, in 2009, and now welcomes him to give clown lessons. The director Tiphaine Raffier remembers taking part in workshops with him where she discovered “the powerful adrenaline linked to the ability to make people laugh”. In eight chapters, the trajectory of Defacque embarks a procession of artists in its starry train.
Another historical adventure, that of the Archaos company, rock legend of the circus of the 1980s. It is told in detail by Raquel Rache de Andrade and Guy Carrara, co-directors of the International Biennial of Circus Arts in Write the circus (Second period, 144 pages, 25 euros). Born in Brazil, Raquel Rache de Andrade recalls the day when, a young actress, freshly entered the National Circus School in Rio de Janeiro, she asked where the circus library was, which… didn’t exist.
Since then, she has developed an obsession with the theme of writing and traces of circus shows. She has developed a method, called Ancar, like Andrade and Carrara, of which she puts together a series of exercises. Linking the writing of texts, drawings and circus gestures, this technique weaves a framework where each parameter feeds on the other to stimulate a dynamic of free and daring creation. Raquel Rache de Andrade now transmits this tool all over the world.
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