Circus News

Alexis Gruss’ Equestrian Aerial Show Reopens in Paris

163 years of experience in the circus arts, 40 horses, 23 artists, 3 scenes on 3 different levels, and a 10-musician orchestra marks the fourth season of Alexis Gruss’ 2017-18 winter production of Quintessence.

Quintessence is the unique combination of an equestrian and aerial show. This original creation combines the multi-generational horsemanship skills, the mastery of circus and equestrian arts of the Gruss family, and the outstanding aerial acrobatics of the aerial company, Les Farfadais.

The show’s scenic space connects the traditional, 13-meter (in diameter) sawdust circus ring with a mobile aerial apparatus of the same size. Juxtaposing the ring and this enormous aerial globe inspired the staging and artistic direction of the show. Acrobatics on horseback and in the air, juggling, aerial and water ballets, and a 26-horse carousel equestrian scene are presented in a versatile 3-stage performing space.

“Our first artistic collaboration with Les Farfadais started with the show Pégase et Icare in 2014,” says Stephan Gruss. “That show reached over 500,000 spectators all over France. After the success of our first creation, it was inevitable that Stéphane Haffner, leader of Les Farfadais, and I, wanted to continue our collaboration and artistically take the show to the next level.”

“The experience was so enriching for all of us that we did not hesitate for a single moment to continue our artistic alliance,” adds Mr. Haffner. “Quintessence is a beautiful, imaginary show inspired by the Greek mythology. It invites the audience to a journey of the four elements: air, earth, fire and water. To interpret the story, I wanted to use the entire spectrum of the stage. That is how the idea of the mobile structure, an unprecedented aerial apparatus fixed under the dome of the big top, was born.”

Quintessence runs in Paris from October 14th 2017 to March 4th 2018.


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