Nothing is what it looks like. New circus from „RE RE Rīga”

Nothing is what it looks like. New circus from „RE RE Rīga”
Ben Hopper . „RE RE Rīga!” artists from „La Meute”
31-07-2013 A+ A-
„It's fun, you know! Horses and clowns, and beautiful wire-dancer ladies,” this is how Tommy explained to Pippi what circus is at the famous „Pippi Longstocking” book written by Astrid Lindgren. Circus will arrive in Riga soon, besides, it's got a splendid festival name „RE RE Rīga!”. So, here will be some explanations about what it's all about.

„RE RE Rīga!” will be held rom 9 to 11 August showing several contemporary circus (Cirque Nouveau) performances that amazes and dazzles with the human ability to perform breathtaking excercises, providing sparkling humor and unusual synthesis of traditional circus genres.

Historically traditional circus standarts started to change in the 1960ies, but the real growth was experienced during the 1970ies.

France is considered the home country of „Cirque Nouveau”. In there, several famous troupes established new circus movement. Though, similar changes were experienced in other countries such as Great Britain, Astralia, West Coast of the United States and elsewhere.

Most likely it was related to entertainment industry and technologies development. Some influences came through social and cultural processes. The society was amazed by hippies, the world floated through the ideas of peace and harmony. Also several flora and fauna protection organisations opened. Circus art had to transform and create new ideas in order to survive upcoming changes.


New Circus differs with its unpredictable nature and breaking borders: nothing is what it looks like. Of course, there are some traditional circus elements included, but, still, you won't guess who is who. A clown might be an acrobat, as well, an acrobat turns out to be a musician. Maybe the one wearing a bear mask is actually a trick performer. At the sam time, it might be as it is, but the spectator sees it somehow otherwise.

„It's not pure theatre, the thing we do. It's neither all acrobatics, nor a pure human. It's a marriage between all those elements!” this is a phrase often used to describe New Circus,

said Ernest J. Albrecht, American New Circus founder and author of a book „The New American Circus”. He emphasizes that New Circus means returning to its roots in order to renew its true self-being.

The streets where New Circus is close to the people, it's the real place for this art. It has to gain interest all the time, but the show must be a united, conceptual entirety. At the beginning, New Circus shows were just some entertaining fun but also ironically and precisely showed some social ideas. This art form laughs at itself but also urges the audience to think of the real meaning of being an artist in this life.

Animals are never involved in New Circus. Most likely troupe participants wear some animal masks to protest against animal use in traditional circus shows.

Canadian „Cirque du Soleil”, currently the most famous contemporary circus company, originated from street musician and trick performers movement, but its founder Guy Laliberte started his career as a gambler and a fire-swallower. In Latvia, the troupe performed two times with such shows as „Saltibanco” and „Alegria”. Another new circus movement-inspired project is „The Tiger Lillies”, a cult band founded in Great Britain in the 1980ies. They performed in Latvia at „Positivus Festival” also playing a couple of additional gigs.

New Circus shows tend to be so different that any definition or explanation may turn out incomplete. Everything is allowed in New Circus. Any form of arts, sports, technologies is one more step towards new development. The best way to know more about this is to experience it yourself. To find more about New Circus development and historical details, click here.

In general, „RE RE Rīga!” will offer nine New Circus shows and some performances similar to circus genre. Everything will be available at Esplanade, Opera Square, AB Dambis near Daugava („AB Pier”).

„La Meute” will arrive to Latvia with The French New Circus breeze. It's an acrobats' troupe that plays a dialogue through an ability to make wonders with a human's body. They surprise with a game where risking and the apparent carelessness seems deceptive and charming at the same time. „”La Meute„ uses several acrobatic techniques, but, what interests them the most, is mixing genres together,” sais organizers about the troupe.


Also the comic duet „MagManus” from Sweden is among „RE RE Rīga!” guests: a small angry, but passionate acrobat and a big dumb, though lovely juggler. People have to be ready to involve into their improvisations at any time.

„Patrik & Wes” is another duet coming from Scandinavia and is worth noting. They transform the traditional jugglery genre into a premiere contemporary dance/acrobatics performance. Bram Graafland from the Netherlands, in his turn, is a one-man's-kitchen-orchestra. His „The Yelling Kitchen Prince!” performance is the only show of that kind where kitchen drum/organ system is used. He ignores any borders set between circus, music and cookery using several kitchen stuff in an extremely virtuoso manner.

Norwegian artist Frida Odden Brinkmann will offer New Circus and puppet theatre synthesis. „Circus Studio Folia” coming from Estonia will share some nostalgic childhood memory through a circus performance.

Don't miss Belgian quartet „Colectiff Malunes” with the beating story about a woman and three men and „Sens dessus dessous” where a mix of street theatre, air acrobatics and power gymnastics will be presented.


„Soul Tap Studio” step dance band will represent Latvia at „RE RE Rīga!”. It's a female trio using shoes to create several rhytms, melodies and dance details. Classic Indian dance studio „Lila” and „Bharata” will join in united performance pleasing those who are fond of Eastern culture. They will mix two classic Indian dance styles from North and South India. As organizers have pointed out, classic Indian dance is an old form of art closely related to music, literature, painting, sculpture and especially Indian spiritual culture. Therefore, such performance fits well in the „RE RE Rīga!” conception.

Not only New Circus and street art is included in the „RE RE Rīga!” programme, but also many world music concerts are available. To find out more about those artists, click here.

„RE RE Rīga!” is included in the thematic line „Riga Carnival”, a part of The European Capital of Culture programme.



Comments open for registered users only!