Everything you wanted to know about the Festival

Why is the age limit 25 years old ?

It is the fundamental basis of our show: in 1977 : it was a way to differentiate ourselves from the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival and to promote young artists.

How are the artists chosen ?

The selection is made through spontaneous applications, meetings in the four corners of the world, various festivals and also through attending dozens of shows each year. The 24 laureates are selected out of many people from all over the world.

What are the criteria of the judges ?

The jury has marking charts and judges each number on the technical aspects, the artistic skills and the presentation, especially for the contact with the public.

Is the jury the overall decider ?

Ever since the first edition, the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain, has always valued the principle of the jury. The notion of competition is always on a parallel with the notion of confrontation. It is most important for us to offer the candidates an optimal condition of visibility and the jury's presence reinforces this choice. The jury's decisions are uncontested and the deliberations allow a confrontation of different points of view.

Why are there no animals in the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain?

It would be fairer to ask why there are no longer any acts with animals? In the past the Festival did welcome young animal trainers. The fact that they had to be trainers and not simply presenters rendered the task very hard. When the Festival left the Cirque National Alexis Gruss in order to go back to the Cirque d'Hiver, it was not possible to cater for the animals for technical reasons. This was coupled with the fact that there were less and less applicants and thus the category nearly disappeared.

In 1991, with the help of our Festival, Michel Bruneau created the first « Concours des dresseurs du Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain », which was a way of presenting a selection of young artists among the laureates of the Festival : and thus was born the Festival of Massy. Furthermore it is difficult enough to judge and compare tightrope walkers with jugglers or trapezists or clowns or wirewalkers and if we were to add wise dogs or trained elephants ... It would be an impossible task.

Why are there no more clowns in modern circus?

There are probably several reasons to explain this lack. There are very few clown schools and it is a discipline which requires precise and regular tuition. Comedy is fragile and confrontation with the public should be a progressive thing.

Are the artists paid?

In conformity with the French law, the artists who take part in the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain receive a "salary" which corresponds to the amount of days worked and to the minimum wage. It is indeed rather more a compensation than a real salary. In our opinion if makes the participation fair and encourages the artists to come to Paris.

Why are there classical numbers in the Festival ?

We never transcend what we master best...

What is the Festival for ?

The Festival is a great career catalyst: we cannot keep count of how many artists have succeeded after taking part in the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain and they tell us ! During a long week- end Paris becomes the universal capital of the circus arts : it is a festive and dynamic meeting point for the world's best actors and interpreters...

Do the artists already have a career?

For some of them the Festival is the first time. For others it represents a step in a cursus which began some months or some years before. As far as is possible we try to welcome new artists whose numbers have been little seen.

Who organises the Festival ?

L'Association pour le Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain with its Administration Council with several representatives from national institutions.

Why are there always the same acts ?

The strong presence of balancing acts, trapeze, manipulation, Cyr wheel, tightrope walking, Korean plank reflects the circus today. These are the main disciplines chosen by the artists in the schools but also by the self- taught artists. The Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain reveals the diversity in form and style of the circus world today.

Why are there no big troupes ?

Most of the big troupes with ten or more artists, came from the Soviet Bloc and with the fall of the Soviet Bloc came the rapid end of these troupes and this loss was felt throughout the world. With the exception of China and Cuba, it is very difficult nowadays to find troupes with more than four people.

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