La Barrière de dégel is a one-venue mini-festival, stretching over four days and roughly half a dozen performances. It's held at Châteauroux's Equinoxe Scène Nationale, a large theatre / arts centre which from the outside is one of those low, metallic, flowing buildings popular in the 90s, and which inside has large and small theatres, an exhibition space and a library.
For 2011, there's an early opportunity to see João Paulo Dos Santos' À deux pas de là-haut, working again with Chinese pole, his speciality, but this time bringing in another pole artist, Guillaume Amaro (c.f. an interesting bit of video, plus Sideshow's review of João's darkly introverted solo Contigo); Collectif Petit Travers' juggling symphony Pan-Pot, a precise and deep and extremely intelligent exploration of the abstracted qualities of music, movement and time; and avant-garde cirque legend Jérôme Thomas' 2008 collaboration with the musician Roland Auzet, Deux hommes jonglaient dans leur tête, a piece somewhere between object theatre and juggling. Also in the programme there's puppetry/circus with Cie La Concordance des Temps' Pisteurs; a prototypical juggler's juggling piece, Bach en balles (title says it all); a six-way exploration of the nuclear family, 6 clowns, 6 jours, 6 familles, led by France's clown-sociologist, Proserpine; and music, light satire and spectacle with Circa Tsuïca's Fanfarerie Nationale.