It’s been a tough year for the performing arts in most countries, with virus lockdowns canceling shows and shuttering venues.
But the world’s top circus festival has found a way to flourish between the cracks in the rules — even without the huge crowds that would normally have attended.
Ending Saturday (Feb 13) in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille, the fourth edition of the Circus Biennale (BIAC), held every two years in the south of France, celebrates the injury-defying and spine-stretching arts that fuel the storied spectacle.
More than 110,000 people attended the last BIAC, in 2019. This year it had up to 2,000 visitors, all professionals who work in the circus or are looking to buy shows.
Even that is a testament to the grit and determination of the organisers, who skillfully adapted their festival to the French authorities’ rules and regulations.
“We started with a plan A, then plan B, then plan C, then plan D, and finally we decided to do plan E which was a Biennale for professionals. That was possible, we were allowed to do it,” said BIAC organizer Raquel Rache de Andrade.
The dozens of performances featured upside-down tutus, acrobatic bicycles, multicoloured parachutes and enough contortionism to shock a chiropractor…
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