SMELLS LIKE CIRCUS
From January 16 to 20, 2024, circus conventions are being questioned with a surprising program full of circus, performance, music, dance, theater, and talks. The festival juggles with the boundaries of contemporary circus through stunning performances, occasionally zooming in on the figure of the clown this year.
Six Impossible Things Before Breakfastwith Geert Belpaeme / Micha Goldberg & co.16.01
Set your alarm clock! We serve breakfast with a short film and some interesting speakers.
Guests are Geert Belpaeme, Micha Goldberg, Rosmary Velasquez, Giulia Piana & Castélie Yalombo.
Moderation by Valentina Barone
Micha Goldberg, Rosmary Velasquez, Giulia Piana & Castélie YalomboClownscape like a landscape16.01-20.01
Micha Goldberg, Rosmary Velasquez, Giulia Piana and Castélie Yalombo research the old and looked down figure of the clown. Often full of clichés and commodified for all kinds of purposes, including commercial, the clown figure mainly appears today as a weird provocation at kids birthday parties or used as a mask for violent acts.
The research also focuses on the links between clowny and queer aesthetics, leaning towards a more than human representation. Both universes operate outside the norm and have the capacity to open imaginations, fantasies and dreams.
During the residency in the context of SMELLS LIKE CIRCUS, they will disseminate actions before and after the shows of the festival and work towards a group performance to be created in the future.
Zeli Bauwens‘IF TREES WOULD JUGGLE, WE WOULDN'T HAVE ANY FRUITS TO PICK’16.01-20.01
A playful and poetic sculpture inspired by the local landscape with a nod to Belgian surrealism.
Inbal Ben Haim‘PLi’16.01and17.01A circus UFO not to be missed
Inbal Ben Haim is both a circus artist and a visual artist. This dual education has led her to devise an original, poetic and virtuous show in which she creates her own device of paper — folded, twisted, connected, kneaded... An incredible duel arises between the artist and the paper. Material to dance with, to hang on to, and to dream about. Inbal Ben Haim has created a striking aerobatic work that deploys paper as a metaphor for our vulnerability in a show that simply amazes. 'PLi' is a circus UFO not to be missed. Seriously.
After the successful shows Plock! and murmur, Grensgeval is creating KORROL, a new circus performance for everyone aged four and above. KORROL will be the final part of the trilogy about art and creation.
In KORROL, an acrobatic architect composes space with tonnes of concrete. Jonas builds towers, the towers become a city, a desolate plain, a human being. But every time he tries to lay the last brick, his work proves unfinished. Jonas balances precariously on wobbly towers, jumps on his hands from stone to stone. But no matter what he tries, everything remains so stiff and still. Until he puts on the concrete: donning heavy shoes, he orchestrates a small ballet, in a duet with a massive ball he skims past his audience. He (re)builds up his whole body. Even when he almost collapses under the weight, Jonas just finds the freedom for a duet between toe and little finger.
When Jonas places his concrete head in the hands of the audience, they become co-bearers of his creation. In a world of traveling and tangible sound, they remold the world together. Result: a dazzling new circus sound theater in which the audience is immersed. With drumming blocks, a petrified acrobat and dancing concrete.
Le P’tit Cirq‘Un dîner pour 1’17.01-19.01
You are cordially invited for a candlelit dinner.
Every year, since forever, Miss Sophie celebrates her birthday: a table for 5, delicious food and good wine of the abundant kind, 4 empty chairs and a butler doing his best to fill the void.
‘Same as last time, Miss Sophie?’ - ‘Same as always, James!’
Marius Lefever, Jef Van der Burght & Senne Vanderschelden'Silly Symphonies'17.01and18.01
A shot sounds
A bird falls
Three figures provide invisible feathers of a soft fading sound.
In Silly Symphonies, the players depict through sound a world where you as an audience witness a succession of unforeseen endings: from crashing cars to shot birds, from sinking fishermen to swirling paratroopers.
Are they complicit in ending endlessly or do they provide sound for what would otherwise pass unnoticed?
Which imagination is shattered, which is slowly fading? Which whispers softly and reassuringly when all the sound disappears?
Using the auditory medium of bruitage, Marius Lefever, Jef Van der Burght and Senne Vanderschelden tackle these questions in a playful, sometimes almost clownish way, without avoiding the darker corners of humanity.
Circus, stand-up and live art blended in a solo-cabaret of contradictions. Fierce, witty and uncompromising, this highly physical show interrogates personal, social and historical occupations of the female body and explores, literally, where such bodies are positioned and how we are meant to look at them. Expect scenes of nudity, aerial acrobatics, and explicit references to mythical reptiles and female sexuality.
Rachid Laachir'A crock of bull at the crack of dawn'17.01-19.01
In a series of emotions, Rachid Laachir explores metamorphoses. With body, voice, costumes and objects he creates characters at the intersection of the natural, the human, the magical and the mystical.
Rode Boom / Kurt Demey & Hans Beckers'Ritselingen'18.01-20.01When Kurt asked Hans: “What does magic mean to you?”
Hans Beckers and Kurt Demey find each other in the use of natural elements, the search for a magical experience and interactions with and between the audience. 'Ritselingen' is a thrilling combination of magic and music in which techniques from the world of illusion, subtle interventions and manipulations by the audience themselves, provide surprise and amazement.
Great friendship always has something loving, exclusive, direct. An alchemy that is just as inexplicable as carnal desire. In 'DOS' two bodies become the literal territory of the relationship between them. To the sound of Erkin Koray's psychedelic hit from the 70s, a humorous search for connection unfolds. Playing with the clown figure, the full register of ambiguity is opened up.
not standing / Alexander Vantournhout‘VanThorhout’19.01and20.01
Alexander Vantournhout takes the stage as Thor wielding his own Mjölnir. Will the hammer be controlled? The relationship between performer and hammer soon becomes ambiguous. Where does he get the strength to manipulate this heavy hammer and when does the hammer take over and become uncontrollable?
A little stage like a little runway with a Chinese pole in mid. A man dress as woman while she’s a woman. Or a woman who’s a man who wants to be a woman, or also a woman deciding she’s a man playing a woman. A gender mix that create confusion.
A freedom taste. Free to be who you want. Without clichés. Play and be disturbed.
Whatever, Beyonce will sing Johnny’s hits on a dancefloor in fire, or reverse, or both…
One more time, Juglair will be a freak and a freaks’s announcer !
Three bodies weave through a tight system of shapes in a single repetitive pattern: the infinity loop. In this extremely physical and relentless performance, the stakes become higher and more challenging.
Geert Belpaeme'Please (don’t) let me be (mis)understood'19.01and20.01
A plea for human fallibility for we are all clowns. Three performers return to the tradition of clowning to portray the intrinsic rage of being human. The clown's unsteady figure smashes its way through human history and beyond, with cheerful recklessness and pretentiousness.
Hypermodern post-pop-punk juggling. Juggling legend Wes Peden returns with a rollercoaster show that bends and twists the theatrical rules, in a set of inflatable structures and electro beats composed of rollercoaster sounds. Hold on for the ride of your life.
Cie Sacékripa'Vu.Vue'20.01All is calm. Very calm. Unnervingly calm. Until it’s not…
Vu/Vue' is object theatre, miniature circus and involuntary clowning around the small obsessions of everyday life. Small obsessions that can become sickening and eventually explode. Recognizably hilarious.
BEBE BOOKS'Smells Like a New Years Party'20.01-21.01
Bebe Books welcomes you to a world of spectacle and joy. Bring out your inner freak, let the sweaty, up-tempo beats lead you, and get excited for jaw-dropping performances. Bebe Books take you on an unforgettable journey into the early morning.
Bebe Books is an ongoing collective experiment that operates through shared agency in creative labor, care and friendship in the field of communication design and publishing. By working together, we resist the modern myth of a singular heroic designer - what Ursula K. Le Guin referred to as “the narrative of the arrow or spear.” We consider ourselves as a queer collective not merely as a statement of identity, but as that of methodology. Besides the fact that the majority of our constituents are gender-non-conforming, we use our creative capacity and resources to design a context – be it a book, a gay bar, a temple, or a political campaign – where diverse marginalized experiences and voices can be represented.
SMELLS LIKE CIRCUS is a festival by VIERNULVIER and Miramiro, in collaboration with CAMPO, KOPERGIETERY, Circuscentrum and CC Evergem.