In Vitro 09

With this exercise in re-creation, the contemporary circus confronts the question of repertoire for the first time.

Initially created in 1999 by Archaos, In Vitro was revived by the company in Brazil in the summer of 2009 with a new version that had been rewritten and adapted for nine performers: five graduates of the Escola Nacional de Circo in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, two graduates of the CNAC National Circus Arts Center in France, one graduate of the ESAC circus school in Belgium, and one graduate of the National Centre for Circus Arts in Great Britain (formerly The Circus Space), with an original Franco-Brazilian musical composition and a new stage structure in the form of a revolving pavilion.

In this performance, the circus is imagined as a refuge where monsters can survive in spite of everything. Science has endeavored to make them disappear from our societies, but it has also created new ones. The show plays with this paradox. In keeping with the first script, In Vitro 09 deals with the desire and arrogance of those who want to create perfect beings. It’s a form of parody in which the world of artistic creation in the circus arts resembles a clandestine laboratory. The theme of cloning is a pretext for dealing with our current inability to respect differences.

To learn more (in French): Dossier pédagogique Pièce Démontée

Production Information

Authors: Raquel Rache and Andrade and Guy Carrara
Directors: Raquel Rache de Andrade and Guy Carrara

Circus artists: Oto Camara Fode ou Jean-Pierre, Adelly Costantini, Thomas Duchauffour or Daniel Elias, Bruno Carneiro or Paulo Maeda, Florian Meheux, Luis Sartori Do Vale, Camille Francesci or Sarah Trägner, Luciana Vivas Costa or Ana Coll, Jonathan Young

Direction of actors: Boris Vecchio
Light design: Pascale Bongiovanni and Rose Line Moisy
Light technician: Rose Line Moisy
General technician: Hervé Bigey
Stage technician: Sylvain Peugniez
Musical creation: Arnaud Bertrand
Sound technician: Arnaud Bertrand or Thibault Peyrat
Costumes (Brussels, Paris): Elise Magne

Project carried out with the support of the European Union’s Culture Program and as part of França.Br 2009, the Year of France in Brazil.

Coproduction: Archaos, Escola Nacional de Circo, Funarte, Cirque-Théâtre d’Elbeuf, Genoa Science Festival – Sarabanda (Italy), Circuscentrum – Gent (Belgium)
Financial support: European Union, FUNARTE – Ministério da Cultura do Brasil, Culturesfrance – Ministry of International Affairs, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region, French Ministry of Culture – DRAC PACA, City of Marseille, Bouches du Rhône Departmental Council, French Ministry of Culture – DMDTS
Partners: CNAC national circus arts center in Châlons-en-Champagne, ESAC circus school, The Circus Space, European Federation of Professional Circus Schools, Agentz produções, Festival Mundial de Circo

Media Coverage

“With In Vitro 09, Archaos happily clones… With this rewrite, Archaos provides unostentatious proof that the contemporary circus repertoire is not a hollow idea…The original script has been revisited by the young Brazilian team, and the burlesque antics of the mad menagerie of In Vitro 09 don’t need the hair of the dog to ensure they perform as good as they look.. All the mythology of Archaos’ rock circus resurfaces...”
– Rosita Boisseau, Le Monde, 2 December 2010

“With In Vitro 09, a 1999 show revisited (re-enchanted) by acrobats from Rio’s circus school, Archaos offers us a lively spectacle, taut as a wire and pleasant to watch... spirited and graceful: the Rio-rest of the world ‘mix’ (four Brazilians, three French, one English, and one Guinean) works to perfection. A very successful cloning. Hello Dolly!”
– PH.C, Les Echos, 6 December 2010

In Vitro 09… Ten years after In Vitro ou la légende des clones, Guy Carrara and Raquel Rache de Andrade have created a new version... With its more streamlined aesthetic, In Vitro 09 is based on a novel scenic structure: a revolving pavilion used as a circus apparatus... From this tale of anticipation, where burlesque jostles with terror, emerges a metaphorical parody on the condition of the circus artist as a ‘circus animal’. ‘The circus artist is not a gladiator to be sacrificed and replaced on a daily basis by a more competitive creature from the ‘laboratory’, proclaims Guy Carrara. It’s a declaration worthy of a manifesto.”
– Gwénola David, La Terrasse, October-November 2010

In Vitro 09…transmitting the rebellion. On stage, the collective’s joyful fury vies with the graceful moments of the solos, all in chiaroscuro, carried by anxiety-inducing live music. If Archaos set out to revolutionize circus scenography, the company is now a poet steeped in traditions based on 25 years of practice... Indeed, intergenerational transmission seems essential to preserve moments of dazzling beauty, such as the frantic run of a juggler under a rain of balls or the light shining on the pearly skin of a garnet-red velvet acrobat awakening to life...”
– Julie Bordenave, SRADDA, January 2010

In Vitro 09… and Archaos reinvented the circus... Guy Carrara and Raquel Rache de Andrade offer a seductive, rhythmic show... The two artistic directors rely on images and fabulous displays of prowess... A circus with a dreamlike quality... in a style that’s always masterfully executed!”
– Metro, 16 December 2010

“Archaos, the legendary company revives In Vitro... For the two creators, Guy Carrara and Raquel Rache de Andrade, it’s a way to address questions of repertoire and writing in the world of contemporary circus...”
– Paris Normandie, 16 October 2009

In Vitro 09 ou la légende des clones pioneered a definitively modern and avant-garde circus style, exploring universes and writing new pages in circus history... Like a metaphysical parody sailing between burlesque and satire, the world is echoed by a clandestine laboratory.”
– Juliana Castellas, César, December 2009

In Vitro veritas... Nine young European and Brazilian artists have been invited to revisit a show written in 1999 on the theme of a partially failed cloning experiment... These performers are pushing the limits of their art. In the audience, some are left breathless while others let out gasps of amazement...”
– Marie-Christine Harant, Les Trois Coups, 3 January 2010

In Vitro 09... The performances of nine young virtuoso artists quickly impressed with their level of technical skill. But what was really surprising, apart from the way the stage was used — a diamond-shaped structure was placed in its center — was the writing, the scenic composition of the show that was established like a set of constraints… The audience had an abundance of beauty before its eyes... Here, form took precedence over content, like dreams over reality... Room was made for the imaginary...”
– Christelle Zamora, Rue du Théâtre, 11 January 2010

In Vitro, the thrilling opus by Archaos finds itself between Europe and Brazil... Straps, flexible ropes, aerial lifts, acrobatics: the techniques deployed by the young Brazilian-European team brought together by Guy Carrara and Raquel Rache de Andrade impresses, captivates, and enthralls spectators of all ages, seducing them with its tenderness, its focus, and its perfectly rhythmic unison... ending in an extraordinary deluge...”
– D.B, La Marseillaise, 22 January 2010

In Vitro 09 mounts a resolutely contemporary circus... With an ‘Enki Bilal’ aesthetic, In Vitro starts like a tragedy but ends in the intimacy of a budding love story... Guy Carrara, who shares the directorial duties with Raquel Rache de Andrade, strips down his language to the benefit of the narrative and to open eyes to the perilous poetry of the bodies and personalities of the artists... The intention is to defend fragility and difference against the tyranny of profitability and competitive performance; it touches us and shows the inventiveness, sensuality, and finesse of these young international artists.”
– Coline Trouvé, Ventilo, January-February 2010

“The original version of In Vitro was created by Archaos in 1999 in Lannion. Ten years later, the mythical company set about reshaping the work from its original script, posing the question of repertoire, dramaturgy, and writing in the circus arts... to bring to fruition the IV 99-09 project, which takes on an international dimension, and questions the mobility of works, artists, and professionals in Europe and around the world.”
– Journal d’Elbeuf, October 2009

In Vitro 09… Nine formidable artists, including five Brazilians straight out of Rio de Janeiro’s circus school, two French graduates of the CNAC national circus center, a Belgian, and an Englishman, rival each other in inventiveness, poetry, and talent. The lighting design, the music... the elegant choreography by Guy Carrara and Raquel Rache de Andrade, everything about this show verges on perfection. Let’s be honest, we loved it.”
– Hélène Kuttner,, 2 December 2010