A Fine Balance

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As part of the Prithvi Theatre Festival, la Cie 3 x Rien recently captivated a jam-packed audience at Prithvi Theatre (Mumbai) on November 12, 2014 with their poetic circus performance entitled “Une rencontre 2 parallèles”. Here is a look at what circuses in India can learn from the performance.

Much like India, France has two distinct traditions of circus performers – the saltimbanque which is affiliated to and immersed in the flavour of the streets (comparable to our tolis or itinerant groups) and a more refined and structured “performance-oriented” style aligning itself with “theatrical” performances in more formal spaces. It is interesting to note that while the latter enjoys tremendous success in France, circus in India – both on the streets and the one associated with bigger companies – is on the decline.

Cie 3 x Rien In Action

La Cie 3 x Rien exists at a remarkable intersection of the two traditions outlined above. Consisting of 3 performers – Lénaïg Fannière, David Cluzaud and Pierre Cluzaud – along with Pierre-Emmanuel Usureau for the lighting and David Brochard on sound – 3 x Rien can most accurately be described as an atypical troupe. Hailing from a small town in France and largely self-taught, they trained under renowned masters like Rémy Balagué, Manuel Buttner, Sun Cai Xia and Claude Victoria to fine-tune their skills. The resultant musical theatre piece Une rencontre 2 parallèles was both captivating in its ingenuity and charming in its perceived simplicity.

To say that 3 x Rien enamoured the crowd at Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai would be an understatement. The collective intakes of breath when the performers seemingly missed their diabolos only to catch them at the last minute, the meticulous juggling act and the spontaneous outbreaks of applause as they somersaulted and landed on each other transported the audience into raptures of delight. The children in the audience – and there were many – brought life to the evening – clapping, giggling and generally remaining animated in a way that only children can. It was quite amusing to see the accompanying parents trying to hush their wards to better focus on the shenanigans on stage! But perhaps most remarkable of all was the importance accorded to the event – a coveted stage at Prithvi Theatre during the Prithvi Theatre festival along with an audience which included the who’s who of Mumbai’s art crowd – a far cry from the neighborhood mandlis (group) which struggles for legitimacy in a cultural landscape which refuses to accord the same.

The Cie 3 x Rien  troupe traversed the length and breadth of the country performing in 8 cities from October 30, 2014 in Trivandrum to November 19,2014 in Kolkata.


Siddharth BHATT

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Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...