Plateau flamand 2022-2023

Plateau flamand is an initiative to give Flemish circus companies a platform and opportunities for performance in France. The initiative is part of the Focus France project, which is subsidised by the Flemish Government and aims to promote Flemish circus in France.

Plateau flamand – the second circus arts initiative and development project from the Focus France project – will continue to promote the visibility and presence of Flemish circus talent in France over the course of 2022-2023. To this end, Circuscentrum Vlaanderen is joining forces with the Pôles Cirque and CNAREP's in a number of French regions, developing collaborations with various venues and renowned festivals. 

The programme:

- 26 November: the kick-off of Plateau flamand will take place at the Cirque-Théâtre d’Elbeuf with Not Standing/Alexander Vantournhout presenting Through the Grapevine in the presence of a delegation of Flemish and French circus professionals. The Cirque-Théâtre d’Elbeuf – part of the Platforme 2 Pôles Cirque en Normandie – is a place that distributes and supports creations, as well as offering artistic education with an international dimension. 

- March 2023, SPRING festival: this festival dedicated to new forms of circus is organised by the Platforme 2 Pôles Cirque en Normandie (La Brèche in Cherbourg and Cirque-Théâtre d’Elbeuf). The collaboration between this platform and Circuscentrum allows for Plateau flamand to be integrated into the festival’s programming, with several performances by Circus Katoen, Sinking Sideways and Collectif Malunés/MOVEDBYMATTER. The festival programme, which focuses on Flemish circus talent, will be presented to the French national press on 12 December at the premises of the Flemish delegation in Paris.

- March 2023, Le Prato (Pôle National Cirque - Lille): a double-bill programme featuring Circus Katoen and Post Uit Hessdalen. Le Prato pays special attention to emerging artists and making a connection with residents of the neighbourhood and the region.

Plateau flamand offers Flemish circus companies the opportunity to perform on the French stage and will continue doing so until the end of 2023. Check the calendar for a list of activities.

Focus France 

Focus Circus France is an initiative that is part of Flanders’ international cultural policy. In 2020, Prime Minister Jan Jambon made the decision to focus on the internationalisation of the circus arts in Flanders, with a geographical focus on France for the period of 2021-2023. France is Europe’s leading country when it comes to contemporary circus and the most important market in terms of performance opportunities for Flemish circus companies. Circuscentrum Vlaanderen is coordinating the project and, together with a number of players from the sector, drawing up the programme in close consultation with the Flemish Department of Culture, Youth and Media.

In the roll-out of this multi-year project, initiatives will be set up with a focus on knowledge exchange, the distribution of Flemish circus productions and the increase of their visibility in the French cultural network. In the long term, the project contributes to the professionalisation of the Flemish circus sector and an increase in its international visibility. To achieve this, collaborations will be established with key players in the French circus sector and ways will be sought to ensure these collaborations are maintained after the project ends. To this end, Circuscentrum Vlaanderen is working together with a number of important organisations in the French circus field: the national centres for circus arts, les Pôles Cirques Nationaux (PCN), and the national centres for art and the public space Centres Nationaux des Arts de la Rue et l’Espace Public (CNAREP). Initiatives are being launched in a number of regions in cooperation with these partners. 

La Cour des Belges

The first initiative of the Focus Circus France project was launched at the street theatre festival Chalon dans la rue in July 2022. This annual festival takes place in and around Chalon-sur-Saône and has become one of the most important meetings in France concerning art in the public space. For each edition, around 160 companies are featured in a programme lasting 5 days. The festival is organised by L’Abbatoir, one of France’s twelve national circus centres for art and the public space. It is the ideal place for circus companies to bring their performances to the attention of programmers.

A number of Belgian circus companies united as a collective to set up a Belgian square at the festival, La Cour des Belges. For five days, festival visitors – including numerous French and foreign programmers – were able to discover these twelve circus companies on the Belgian square, which was completely built and decorated by the companies themselves. La Cour des Belges was supported in part by Circuscentrum as part of the Focus Circus France project. More info and an ‘aftermovie’ can be found here.