In April in Paris the circus world hits a minor alignment as the final presentations of the five CircusNext laureates coincide with the last days of Parc de la Villette's Hautes Tensions festival.
Spread over two days 27 & 28 April 2013 (full schedule yet to be released!) the CircusNext presentations are the culmination of a year-long process that's seen five young companies picked for a programme of residencies and support as they prepare a new artistic project. Composed of grauates of the Swedish school DOCH, the French / Spanish / Danish company Sisters will show Clockwork, a piece that brings a cheerful mechanical ingenuity to its exploration of what the creators call 'human juggling'; the Finnish company Cie Nuua juggle helium balloons in their possibly new-magical show Lento; Oktobre and La boca abierta present work that Sideshow doesn't know much about but which is accompanied in either case by a classically cryptic text (Oktobre: 'It is a “dark” circus, where black is the color by omission. The omnipresent surrealism disturbs as much as intrigues. Simple things, they cannot do it... In despair, because they cannot get what they want, they use extreme measures.' / La boca abierta: 'The essential: the presence, the present moment, being here. It is the improvisation that creates the surprise, the movement. Playing with distances. Finding the “just” distance from each other.'); and, finally, UK dancer / contortionist / visual artist Iona Kewney — whose work has previously appeared more often in the dance / live art fields than in circus — will work with a small company on an untitled project.
Hautes Tensions festival, which opens on 16 April, is in its third edition this year, established originally as a programme mixing circus with various kinds of hip-hop performance but mixing them for the most part like oil and water. This year JTCE laureates Subliminati Corporation have the strongest crossover claim as they incorporate beatboxing into their aggressive and hard-edged piece on migration and international politics, #File_Tone. Elsewhere Rauli Kosonen, the Race Horse Company performer who a few weeks ago took the Subcase plaudits with the work-in-progress of his solitary SF solo O'DD, will perform a seven-minute trampoline piece called Modus 01 as part of the Scène partagée; juggling frontiersmen Les Objets Volants have collaborated with the Académie Fratellini on Liaison carbone, an exploration of ensemble juggling; and Mathurin Bolze's company MPTA will show À bas bruit, which takes some measure of inspiration from the French ethnographer and filmmaker Jean Rouch, and which marks a transition point in Bolze's career (and possibly an emerging generational shift in the sector) as, for the first time, he directs the piece without himself performing in it.
Finally, also falling within the April sweet spot, Hautes Tensions and SACD have organised a roundtable on Writing for the Circus that will take place at La Villette on 26 April 3-5pm and which is open to artists, professionals and members of the public.