Les Arts Sauts is not your typical circus. For starters it’s held in an enormous inflatable dome. The audience sits inside on reclining deckchairs, allowing them to look straight up at the action taking place above. And under this roof all the performers are trapeze artists, with even the five-piece band suspended on wires above the ground.
The French troupe was last in Sydney in 2002, when they pitched their big white bubble in The Domain for a sell-out season. Now they’re back, this time at The Showring in The Entertainment Quarter (the venue formerly known as Fox Studios) for what will no doubt be another successful run.
Their current show, Ola Kala, was created collaboratively by the 32 people in the company. For Les Arts Sauts has no director. As the troupe’s communications manager, Caroline Gravel, explained, We work as a collective, everyone has input, and everybody is paid the same.
The respect and the closeness we have for each other can be felt up in the air, as it is when we’re all together on the floor, she said.
As you will see they are really passionate about what they’re doing.
The performers also help move all the equipment and construct the inflatable dome, as Sydney Star Observer saw during a tour of the site. As Gravel pointed out: It’s not so bad watching all these gorgeous men working in the sun, is it?
She wasn’t wrong.
Les Arts Sauts was formed in 1993 in Paris by a group of trapeze artists who decided to take the trapeze out of the big top and give it a show of its own.
Their performances were coolly received in their homeland but proved extremely successful abroad. In fact their first taste of international success was during their tour to Australia in 1995. So everyone was very excited about coming back here, Gravel said.
She also revealed the idea to seat the audience in deckchairs came during that same Aussie tour. Their first show was at an outdoor cinema in Perth, complete with deckchairs.
As everything is going on at 14 metres, the audience needs to be a comfortable for an hour, Gravel said.
The chair puts them into a position where they are open to what we have to give them. For us it’s really important to know everyone is comfortable.
Les Arts Sauts can be seen at The Showring, The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park, until 5 February. Book at the Ticketmaster website.