Circusstad Festival: Circa Tsuïca

Circa Tsuïca is a French circus. Not sure that explains anything, but it’s a starting point. Both Circolombia and Racehorse Company used recorded soundtracks for their performances, but not so Circa Tsuïca. They do their own live soundtrack.

Imagine a marching band with drums, tuba, clarinet, trumpet and horns of every description. Then add in a Chinese pole, teeter boards, a giant wheel, hoops, a very French bicyclist, and a lot of costume changes. The show was called La Fanfarerie Nationale and the theme was France, or rather stereotypes of France, and particularly military subjects. It began with a great deal of flag-waving, handstands on poles, and some near-nudity (well-built males, I’ll have you know) before it launched into a surprisingly somber depiction of battle scenes from La Première Guerre Mondiale (WWI). Then began a wild romp through sex, wine, women, song, haute couture, venereal disease, Obelix, and the Foreign Legion. Never at any point did the music stop or miss a beat.

I’m sure I didn’t understand all the references to France and its history, but it was impossible not to be transported by the infectious band and the sheer unique zaniness of the whole thing.

This 5-minute video clip on Myspace is a medley of the music and a taster of what the circus looked like on stage. No acrobatics, unfortunately.


2 thoughts on “Circusstad Festival: Circa Tsuïca

  1. did it have anything about soldiers …running away?
    Not that I am a gallant soldiering type or anything bit it IS part of the stereotype, non?


    1. Soldiers running away? Probably, it was that kind of show! The whole thing was a very ironic, tongue-in-cheek, absurd take on French military history and the stereotypes that go with war and soldiery (is that a word?). This is where I felt a bit lost because I didn’t quite understand everything they were getting at, and I’m sure it’s my lack of knowledge of the cultural context. There’s a video and interview (in French) on this page.


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