Circus school Bourges is going on tour again

Sit back, the circus school Le Nez dans les étoiles could bring stars into your eyes. Tent set up, parquet screwed in, performances revised, the tour of the circus school of Berruyère has started more than well. “Every two years we put ourselves in an itinerant state,” summarizes Ingrid Diard, director. It is an essential part of circus culture, community life. We select the most successful songs from our 250 students of all ages and set off for five rather intense days. »

Thus, a whole troop of fourteen performers (fifteen in the evening as one of the members works during the day) and a small number of volunteers in tune on Wednesday and Thursday took the Brécy stadium before going to Levet where two new performances will take place tomorrow and Sunday. Today, on the other hand, “day off”… but no rest for all that. “We transport all the equipment, it is a very heavy logistics,” says the director. So, to build, store or sort the equipment, you are inevitably an ace of the unicycle or the trapeze, you participate in the installation of the camp like everyone else.

The tour of the circus school of Bourges de “Nez dans les étoiles” starts on July 13th

“We help as much as we can,” Émilie and Judith explain, whose aerial fabric and trapeze acts have been selected. You can lend a hand in the kitchen, unload the truck, you have to be versatile. The high temperatures of the past few days have not slowed them down. “We prefer that to rain. »

Even before the evening shows, everything seems to run smoothly. “It really is a small beehive,” agrees Éric Villatte, president of the association, which has a hierarchical organization. At the top of the tent, Ingrid Diard plays the tightrope walker and holds out the banner of the association. Julien and his tent building certification manage the work that Guérino Simonelli, who founded the school in 1997, does not fail to do. Finally, as a good leader, Sacha Simonelli gives orders and advice to anyone who will listen… even if Louis, a young 15-year-old unicycle artist, avoids the task like a good acrobat: “There are plenty of people, he smiles, we won’t pile up.In total it takes two and a half hours to set up this famous central tent that can accommodate up to 200 people.

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Like many other events, this tour had to drop its flag in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 epidemic. The last one goes back three years. What a majority of newcomers to see for this eighth edition since 2006. “The Nose in the stars, he is from 6 to 77 years old, remembers first Ingrid Diard. But it is certain that around the age of 18 you lose a lot in favor of studies, where the possibilities are rarer in Bourges. And inevitably, the technique is better for 15-year-olds who sometimes have 10 years of circus behind them. »

In the explanation of the exercises played to the public, the decade of training does not seem too much: antipodism, air circle, trapeze, unicycle, American rope, American roller and others … In the circus family we have demands for flexibility, agility and balance, just that. But paradoxically, this physical part is not at the top of the virtues of the discipline. “We are closer to culture than to sport,” explains Éric Villatte. Admittedly, it is very physical and requires a lot of work, but the staging remains essential. It mixes costumes, lights or music. A lesser technique but impeccable staging will make it better than the opposite. »

Nevertheless, performance remains at the heart of this traveling journey. Everyone owes their presence to her. Finding your limits and exceeding them then comes as a password to those whose numbers are selected. “It’s a reward. Knowing that we are doing well, it is a pleasure”, summed up Mattéo, also a unicyclist.

Still in this discipline of cycling on one wheel, Maxime harks back to the circus training method: “It has been training once a week, about an hour and a half, for ten years. Me, it’s Wednesday, but Louis, who I’m doing the show with, is Saturday. So we improvised a song. »

Of true camaraderie

The opportunity is too good not to take advantage of it. The circus life in its purest form remains unusual. Émilie, who inflates the mattress in her tent, talks about the team spirit, more visible than ever during this tour: “We all know each other more or less, but this is really an opportunity to get together. We have prepared ourselves well for this, we put up posters together, we trained for certain schools in Brécy and Levet to be ready.The term summer camp is of course banned, but the frank camaraderie is palpable in the contact with the teenagers, and even then it is nothing compared to the “We often have tears at the end,” recalls Béatrice, who has been around her now grown children for two decades. It’s so physically and emotionally intense, they’re just fond memories. “Today focused focused on the food task, Béatrice, a unicycle in her spare time, does not use her role too much. “We make balanced menus with fresh products, vegetables and fruits. It is important. The first evening spaghetti bolognese on the menu, before the show. A little heavy? “When we call at the table, around 6.45 pm, it is in the moment”, laughs Ingrid Diard. That said, they need to gain momentum. »

“We often have tears at the end. It’s also emotionally intense.”
Tents, kitchens but also hygiene to take into account. That is why the search for a place there also worked well in advance. Toilets and showers should be provided, nothing better than stadiums. Bruno Maréchal, mayor of Levet has in any case opted for this solution: “I usually refuse circuses because there is often damage at the time of departure. But for the circus school of Bourges we accepted it. We have made the training ground and changing rooms available. After July 14, you can experience a beautiful weekend in the city. »

Visitors sometimes have a completely wrong understanding of this circus world. A rather rare fact for new participants. “We’re used to doing a few galas at the end of every year, Hippolyte recalls, but it’s often parents or older people watching us. Some have made works councils or public appearances of Bourges basketball players, but it is still very rare. “” It brings the adrenaline you need to outdo yourself, Éric Villatte notes for his part.

Proceeds from the tour will support future events. Quite a bright future given the dynamism of the young children present, always ready to trudge right or left and imitate their elders. The children of the ball…

Matis Rapacioli

Photos Matis Rapacioli and groomed by the nose in the stars

Bourges Circus School: Bis rue Henri Sellier 34.

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