‘L’Empreinte’, by L’Attraction Céleste

Review from: CIRCa Festival, Auch; October 2022

This review was written as part of a module on the BA Circus degree at SKH. You can read more student reviews from CIRCa here.

This text is a review, a review for your eyes, your eyes wandering on thecircusdiaries.com…

Itʼs in a little circle that an audience of a big hundred people gathers.

When we entered the building that was hosting the stage, a little line appeared: the two artists, Servane Guittier and Antoine Manceau are very warmly welcoming each group and attributing the right seat for them. Already through the pre-show a very friendly atmosphere settles, people speak to each other while the duo keeps welcoming new audience. This show reminds us the goals of circus: to gather in an ephemeral community in order to experience a ceremony: the show.

In the show, we are touched by a very diverse range of effects and objects: the music compositions, the clown play, some tap dancing, the hand-crafted Calder-esque mobiles and kinetic sculptures, collaborative poetry… The accent is not on a circus discipline, neither a demonstration of skills. The show is cut in chapters where secrets are revealed, with the help of the audience. The sometimes active audience is the key stone of the ceremonyʼs proceedings: without the audience there is no show. The little tent-like circle of rows of seats is more than the space of the show. It is the object of the show, and is full of little details and dramaturgic objects of the piece.

Antoine firstly studied clarinet and then shifted into comedy and got interested by clown, tap dancing, circus… Servane started performing in the street learning by herself the fundaments of performance, slowly fading in clown and composing and interpreting with her accordion and her voice. They worked together for 24 years and founded their company L’Attraction Céleste in 2006. Here they pursue their research on clown comedy and music but they discover dramaturgy, writing and find a space to create their own artistic universe. They stand by the craftmanship part of their work with a global artistic approach: music, clown, movement… but also writing, directing, costume design, hand-crafting sculptures, hand-printing posters…

Itʼs in a little circle that an audience gathered, witnessed, and built a collective memory.

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