Le Chapiteau de Cordes

The tent of ropes rises like an immense spider’s web. The spectator is both inside and outside, there and elsewhere, existing within the illusion of a shelter, within an imagination that has no limits.

In this space, the “characters” of Archaos embody the experience of daily survival endured by those excluded from consumer society. The performers engage in combat with chainsaws, grinders, and soldering irons while fending off attacks by crazed trucks, training chickens, and cooking an egg. Circus acts intertwine in an endless series of juxtapositions.

Violence, laughter, aggression, poetry, derision… In this aesthetic of scrap metal and car graveyards, the modern world passes through the Archaos crusher.

Production Information

Performers: Martine Leroy, Pierrot Bidon, Stéphane Dupré, Isabelle Sage, Frantz Clochard, Patrick Brunet, Lolo-Laurent Serre, Pierre-Maurice Nouvel, Michael dos Santos Rodrigues, Nordin Bekri, Lionel Hassin, Sophie Kantorowich, Kamel Nedjar, Raquel Rache de Andrade, Isabelle Servais, Jean-Pierre Venet, Pascalito- Pascal Voinet, Emmanuelle Beraud-Dufour, Sabine Rieck, Martin Van Bracht, Sarah Sjeldrup, Stephan Depont, Sandy Sun, Prolix-Pascal Dusoir, Hervé Souaille, Philippe Delaitre

Musicians: Les Marcel Burins: Pierre Billon, Laurent Attali, Saxy- Laurent Georges, Pascal Fernandez

Media Coverage

“Archaos is the circus world revisited by a bunch of lunatics. For them, noise, fury, derision, and imagination are the order of the day... There’s something of Hara-Kiri and Charlie Hebdo about these people. Everything is excess, violence, iconoclastic provocation, and derision... They have their clowns with ‘destroyed’ angel wings and their acrobats who move like spider-people in the tangle of ropes stretched under the big top... One English newspaper commented, ‘They’re crazy enough to expect to be taken completely seriously"
— Frédéric Montanya, Le Matin Suisse, November 1988

“The audience — solicited, heckled, and complicit — wore ragged leathers, jeans with holes in them, and had hair that makes a mockery of hairdressers. There were also enthusiastic, dreamy nerds wondering whether this cataclysmic purity reminds them of Monty Python, Mad Max, the Marx Brothers, Wim Wenders, Hellzapoppin’, Fellini, or all of the above... Archaos destroys to rebuild. Pastiche and derision are not ends in themselves. On top of a blatantly dead-and-buried Barnum, there are the flashes of lightning from a world in fusion, but one that keeps a cool head...”
— Antoine Perraud, Télérama, November 1988

“The hoodlums from Archaos… a cross between Mad Max and Monty Python, this is a circus invented by a cosmopolitan tribe of modern-day ‘weirdos’. An explosive cocktail of motorcycles, chainsaws, chickens, and tightrope walkers... Archaos firmly believes that life and art are the same adventure. The troupe seeks to create modern-day poetry in the ring... leaving behind a breath of fresh air that is insolent, liberated, and scathing.”
— Odile Quirot, Le Monde, November 1988

“The only interesting show of the festival, Archaos is the heart of Festival Perspectives in Saarbrüken, a nightly antidote: freedom, strength, vitality, fantasy, poetry, and love. A show that is both irritating and fascinating...”
— Peter M. Kruchten, Die Rheinpfalz, 19 May 1988

“Archaos, it’s brilliant, there are motorcyclists suspended from a wire who threaten the audience with chainsaws. And then there are two sublime clowns with corrugated iron hair, named Bibitte and Coucouille, who are utterly inseparable...”
— ‘Le Journal de bord de Julie Delphy, Festival d’Avignon’, Le Matin, 30 July 1987

“Archaos is also a moment of pure poetry, a tangle of ideas that fuse under an open-air big top, it’s a door that opens onto the extraordinary. It’s a pursuit of the informal that suddenly takes shape, it’s a perilous leap into the trajectory of the imaginary, it’s a show produced by true professionals... Archaos can’t be described, it just slams you like the lash of a whip...”
Agnès Tricoire et C. Montanari, Le Provençal, 28 July 1987

— “Archaos…the first surprise, of course, is the tent without canvas, it’s all ropes, a gigantic spider’s web… There isn’t the slightest downtime and the use of space is remarkable... This is in every way an excellent show, and one not devoid of poetry. Completely mad, it’s the Hellzapoppin’ of the circus...”
— J.P Ricard, Vaucluse, 29 July 1987

“Archaos, show us were to sign, we’re coming back… This show is a must-see! As a contemporary circus, Archaos creates and innovates with material from our times. Guy Carrara evokes this philosophy with great insight: ‘The future of the circus goes through Archaos, which strives to engage spectators by addressing the issues that affect their everyday lives... to exist among the dreams, humor, and derision of our contemporary world in an original and magical stage setting. It wasn’t by chance that our show was honored at the most recent Festival d’Avignon…’”
— G. Privat, Midi Libre, 25 April 1988

“Archaos or the circus rediscovered under a big top composed of ropes... For the artists of Archaos, derision is second nature... Violence, laughter, aggression, poetry, derision, our modern world is examined with a fine-tooth comb. What a vision. What lucidity. What a game!”
Midi Libre, 29 April 1988

“Archaos: a circus with character for a complete performance... A true stage production and a real orchestra of six musicians who perform music by Nino Ferrer are presented under a structure that is unique in the world: a semi-hemispherical big top 30 meters in diameter and 15 meters high, whose ropes unfurl above the audience (1200 people)... This is indeed a complete performance, one that is surprising and intoxicating; it’s easy to see why Archaos, an outsider that performed in the Off section, triumphed at the 1987 Festival d’Avignon!”
— Le Quotidien du Médecin, 25 May 1988

“Archaos, Cirque De Caractère — documentary by Oceaniques TV on FR3/LA 7… Fellini made it clear in his very first films: the circus is a veritable cavern of fantasies, its performances are reservoirs of images... On television, on the other hand, big top shows are just filler in the summer schedules... So Archaos, Cirque De Caractère appears in all its originality and seems to offer the very best way to approach a live circus show on TV ... Bertrand Schmit filmed rehearsals (around 40 people) under the sunshine in the Gard... The images are warm and beautiful. What’s more, Bertrand Schmit used diverse shots with a rare intelligence in terms of the approach to the individual... A certain section of modern imagination (with a tendency towards comics) filmed with the required sensitivity...”
— M.J, Le Quotidien de Paris, 1 December 1988

“Archaos... The same evening, the same vegetative channel, but this time it broadcasts Archaos, Cirque De Caractère, in which one finds more inventions, dreams, creative ingenuity, poetry, and generosity than in the complete works of Guy Lux...”
— ‘La Boite aux Images’, Le Canard Enchainé, 7 December 1988