From the circus to the circus arts


The art of acrobatics has existed for six thousand years, juggling for four thousand years, and the clown and equestrian arts date back to the dawn of civilization. At the end of the 18th century these disciplines and some others that were spawned from them, were progressively drawn into the circus ring, where they found an unprecedented momentum and received the labels of circus art.
In the 1980s, for the sake of developing the new circus, one by one these arts feed themselves of the circus ring and gave birth to full-length, mono-disciplinary shows, generally intended for the stage.
Jugglers and clowns were the trailblazers, with solo and duo performances, and eventually presented pieces bringing together a large number of performers. We might classify these pieces as “ballets”, as Jérôme Thomas has categorised with his Rain/Bow, arc après la pluie.
Assuming the air of a manifesto for some performers, this autonomy within the circus arts aims to establish their individual, expressive strength. It is from hereon in a custom, and is present in even the most unique specialities (Chinese pole, BMX, diablo, cloud swing, etc.).