Matera 2019

The Circus+ festival closes having achieved great interest and participation with the numbers saying it all. 5 weekends of shows dedicated to the 5 themes of the candidacy bid-book during which the Matera 2019 audience watched the most amazing and riveting circus shows in Europe.

23 international circus companies were involved along with 112 artists coming from 10 different countries and from the South of Italy, and 5 bands took turns on stage at both the Grand Chapiteau (Big Circus tent) and the Petit Chapiteau (Small Circus tent) from 14 February to 17 March.

A packed programme of sold out events  - 37 shows, 6 events including the presentation of a book and projections of films about the circus world as well as tens of shows with about 10,000 audience members who were welcomed heartily by 160 enthusiast volunteers. Moreover, Matera 2019 social media reported a huge number of reach and online engagement. Pictures, videos and the whole livestream of one of the performances reached 19,000 Facebook views, 3021 Linkedin views, and obtained 275 Instagram likes on average as well as 1594 views on the Youtube channel.

The artists used many traditional and unusual  tools and equipment, such as ropes, cords, trapezes,  fabrics, clubs, bolas, balls, ladders, spheres, Chinese plates, hats, magic ropes, mini bikes, rola bolas, roue cyrs, hula hoops, unicycles, Chinese poles, diabolos, comic balls, lampshades, spinning ropes, water hoses, plastic bags and whirling skirts.  

During the first weekend the first act named Circus as transformation was dedicated to Roots and Routes, the theme of the candidacy bid-book that links tradition to its contemporary forms. The shows are the outcome of the contamination of different cultures and disciplines melting with performing arts, which range from dance to theatre.

Two couples of artists, with different knowledge and vocations, performed in an avant-garde synthesis. The actor and performer Antonio Rezza and the artist and author Flavia Mastrella, the Uruguayan aerial acrobat Fabiana Ruiz Diaz and the Italian multidisciplinary artist Giacomo Costantini of the company El Grito took turn on stage.

Water, wind and other natural elements were the protagonists of the shows of the second act, Circus as transition, dedicated to Utopias and Dystopias, the theme of the change. This week, Phia Menard, who gave two performances, and the dervish Ziya Azazi also dominated the circus stage.

During the third weekend, the third act named Circus as aggregation  was dedicated to the theme of Continuity and Disruptions and we set up gymnastics shows  in which the tools were works of art and merged with the artists. Three international artists stepped up: the French Cécile Mont Reynaud, the Italian  Martina Nova and the German Jorg Muller followed by the Belgian Clown Duo Okidok.

The team spirit that characterises the best circus groups was the focus of the fourth act titled Circus as collaboration. The artists demonstrated mastering arts and disciplines which require coordination and overall view. It was a reminder of the collective intelligence in order to challenge human abilities. The show by Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger, which is made up of 12 acrobats and 2 musicians from Morocco, defies the law of gravity in collective and exhilarating acrobatics whilst the Forum Nuovi Circhi gathered almost all the Italian Contemporary Circus companies: Circo Paniko, MagdaClan Circo, Side Kunst Cirque, Circo Zoé, Arterego, Circo Krom, Circo Patuff, Teatro Nelle Foglie, L'Iglù and Circo Baraka with 46 elements overall.

In Circus as innovation, which is the fifth act linked to the theme of Ancient Future, circus tradition was challenged through the contamination of arts by five out-of-control acrobats/dancers The Black Blues Brothers, Mister David and The Family DEM and El Grito.

See the pictures of all the performances and the video tale of the whole Circus +.


European Circostrada Network and European CircusNext Label collaborated to Circus+ .

Circus+ is supported by the Embassy of France and the Institut Français.