Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain

Mar 1, 2023Aerial Straps

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42nd World Festival of the Circus of Tomorrow – Silver Medal.

Three years of process, rehearsals, questioning, which allowed me to be entirely me, alive, whole, on one of the most beautiful stage of the world, that of the Cirque Phénix during the 42nd World Festival of the Circus of Tomorrow, for 5 minutes and 48 seconds of artistic expression.

Today I went to the end of a beautiful path. There was no objective of result, but a search for sensation, feeling, freedom. I managed to live a fully awake dream. And I’m sure I couldn’t have hoped for more.

If I lived this dream in the flesh, it is only because I was not alone in living it. The circus, the show, the stage is about sharing and mixing skills. I lent myself to others with confidence, and gave myself with passion.

Je tiens à remercier Laurence Auerswald qui m’a donné les clés pour m’exprimer authentiquement et librement sur scène. Laurence’s magic is to “see the beauty in each of us and to sublimate it. Then she sharpens the diamond”.

The good thing about paths is that even when you reach the end, they lead somewhere else…

Genesis of the adventure, which led me to the World Circus Festival of Tomorrow

In May 2019, I will drop everything and go into the show business without knowing anything about it (with my high level gymnast bases). I touch a little bit all the disciplines, and I feel almost immediately an attraction for aerial straps. To quench my thirst for learning and perfecting my skills in this specialty, I am going to Canada to train for 2 months, until December 2019.

Following this training, I challenged myself to create a solo act, with no other ambition than to prove to myself that I was capable. To do this, I contacted Laurence Auerswald, who was going to accompany me until the end as choreographer in the creation of this aerial number. We start an in-depth work, she questions me, I answer her. We aim for accuracy, we focus on the intention and the relationship between music and movement… She asks me “where do you want to play this circus act? what is the goal? The crazy goal?” I answer naively “to participate in the World Festival of the Circus of Tomorrow”.

It is the beginning of the year 2020: Covid. Break.

When the lockdown ends, I am pumped up. The impediment made me understand the urgency in me to express things on stage.
To feed this need I am desperately looking for a place to practice, rehearse, test moves, continue to progress on aerial straps. I find a small tent in Fontenay-sous-bois, not far from my home, which gives me this possibility.

Cancellation(s), Covid, or how to work on patience…

At the end of the summer I have a first draft of my number, which I film. I am sending my application to the festival at the end of September 2020.

In November I received a call announcing my selection for the 42nd edition of the Festival du Cirque de Demain to be held in January 2021! But that this one would be postponed in January 2022, because the restrictions of gauges and the uncertainties related to the pandemic did not allow the festival to be held. I’m a little disappointed but in retrospect it almost worked for me! Because honestly I wasn’t ready, I lacked practice, stage experience. So I had a whole extra year to continue on this path towards the realization of a strapping act that I would be proud of.

2021, I do stage, straps, stage, more straps. I drop my act a bit, to try new things, but I always come back to it, with new ideas. From December 2021 I start the final preparation for the festival. I feel ready, I work a lot, and don’t spare myself too much, to be as serene as possible when the time comes. At the same time that I enter my “festival” bubble, the covid resurfaces without my worrying about it… And two weeks before the event, I get a call to tell me that the festival will not take place. This time, the disappointment is enormous.

The best things need patience

One year to go… I let it go. But don’t give up. I am well accompanied. The number evolves, changes, I keep the intentions in mind, but the form moves. I’m looking to deconstruct more and go where I feel best. At the end of 2022, I start the final preparation… But without really believing it, for fear of being mowed down by disappointment again.

On Monday January 23, 2023, I am in the tent of the circus phoenix. The rehearsals begin, I am there, for real, for good.

“Now, the present is enough for me”, my leitmotiv.

Below is the video of the act I performed at the 42nd edition of the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demainon the evening of Saturday, January 28, 2023. The show was broadcast live on Arte Concert.

An aerial straps act specially designed and created for this major contemporary circus event.

This issue is a kind of quest for truth against a background of personal accomplishment: how to find one’s place and inhabit it poetically? An ambition that is written through the corporal expression of lived experiences.

In the beginning of the number I go from a state of stupefaction, frozen, prisoner of weightlessness to a state of struggle: fighting on the ground against myself to look for possible ways out.

After the resistance phase, comes the letting go. It is the acceptance of who you are in the eyes of others and yourself. A state of reminiscence follows, like a purgatory, to wash away our limiting beliefs, those that strangle us.

I thus pass from the dream to the dreamed reality.

In the second half of the issue, I open. Totally free to inhabit the space that surrounds me: happy wanderer of the stars transported in a form of cosmic fury.

Everything becomes possible. It is the explosion, the joy, the CLIMAX.

At the end, there is a refocusing, similar to an inventory…
I collect my memory, my ordeal which is the source of my development, the case of my density. It is an invitation to make one’s own journey, to find one’s line, one’s place, one’s axis. Mine is up there: above ground.

Finding your place is the aspiration of a lifetime, but it is possible to be aligned, in the right place, for the time of a passage. No matter how short it is.

Here are some pictures taken during the different performances on Thursday, Saturday and the winners’ show that took place on Sunday.


Sangles Aériennes - 2023 - Festival du Cirque de Demain - @ Marie-Thérèse Cardoso

« Je n’ai plus besoin des raconteries du futur - Maintenant, les présents me suffisent. »