From 2021 to 2023, thanks to Focus France, we intensively strengthened our ties with France for three years to promote Flemish circus. In the publication 'This is not the end - Focus France in retrospect: the facts, the rumours and the dreams', you will discover the story of this successful bilateral cooperation in words and images.
The first initiative in the Focus France project was launched at the street theatre festival "Chalon dans la rue". This annual festival in Chalon-sur-Saône has become one of France's leading artistic encounters in the public space. Over the course of five days, nearly 160 companies perform here. For circus companies, it's a prime venue for attracting the attention of programmers. A number of Belgian circus companies have formed a collective to create a Belgian space at the festival. "La Cour des Belges". Revisit Chalon dans la Rue.
Plateau flamand, the second initiative in the Focus France project, was launched in November 2022. Under the name Plateau flamand, a selection of Flemish circus creations will tour France. Over the period 2022-2023, a number of circus companies will be included in the programme of renowned festivals and venues in France.
Alexander Vantournhout/Not Standing launched the Flemish Plateau at the Cirque-Théâtre Elbeuf on 26 November in the presence of a delegation of Flemish and French circus professionals, a symbolic choice given that Yveline Rapeau, director of the Platforme 2 pôles cirque en Normandie (La Brèche in Cherbourg and Cirque-Théâtre d'Elbeuf) was at the cradle of the international career of this Flemish circus artist. Cirque-Théâtre d'Elbeuf, which is part of the Plateforme 2 pôles cirque en Normandie, is a venue that promotes both the development and support of artistic creation and training on an international scale.
On 12 December, the SPRING festival programme was presented to the French national press at the Flemish representation in Paris. This festival of new artistic forms in Normandy is run by the Platforme 2 pôles cirque. Thanks to the collaboration between this platform and Circuscentrum, it is presenting a festival programme for 2023 with the participation of Plateau flamand, focusing on Flemish circus talent with the creations Circus Katoen, Sinking Sideways and the Collectif Malunés/ MOVEDBYMATTER..
Alongside the Flemish Plateau, we were part of the Spring Festival's professional programme. The presentation "Circus in Flanders: an evolving ecosystem" by Circuscentrum gave a more global view of the Flemish circus field and its management framework. The professionals present were given an overview of the results of the survey on circus careers in Flanders. Be Flat, Detail Company, Circumstances en Amoukanama presented their creations to the French professionals.
On 21 March the Flemish Plateau was at the Prato (Pôle National Cirque-Lille) with a double bill by Circus Katoen en Post Uit Hessdalen. The Prato pays special attention to up-and-coming artists and links with local and regional residents.
For the last edition of Plateau flamand, we collaborated with CIRCA in Auch. This time, Plateau flamand presented:
Murmur - Grensgeval (20-22 October)
Sono io? - Circus Ronaldo (21-23 October)
Cécile - Sinking Sideways (23-25 October)
EXIT - Circumstances (26-27 October)
In addition to Plateau flamand, French and international circus professionals were able to enjoy a Soirée flamande, a Flemish-themed event at the festival bar, and three Flemish companies presented their creations to professionals during project presentations.
Want to know more about this project or have any questions. Please email Séverine.
The project was coordinated by Circuscentrum, commissioned by the Flemish government, and was assisted in this by a steering committee composed of the circus creation centres Miramiro (Celine Verkest), PERPLX (Aukelyn Allary), CIRKLABO (Jonas Van Soom), Circuswerkplaats Dommelhof (Martine Linaer), the structurally funded companies Circus Ronaldo (Danny Van Den Broeck), Side-Show (Quintijn Ketels), Rode Boom (Kurt Demey), external experts Jan Daems (Codarts Circus Arts), Alexandre Fray (Cie Un Loup pour l'homme), Cultural Advisor to the cabinet of Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon (Wouter Rogiers), general Delegate of Flanders in France (Gaetan Poelman), Department of Culture, Youth and Media (Andries Clement-chair steering committee & Lore Goovaerts) and Circuscentrum (Noemi De Clercq / Nele Vertriest / Séverine Van der Stighelen / Gab Bondewel).