Monthly Archives: August 2012

Days off

TV crews come and go. Everyone gets his interview. They take shoots of the most original terraces in front of the caravans.

Tonight, we’re having a party in the Big Top. The festival finished last night. This party is for the volunteers, the festival staff, the artists…

We’re having a few days off until saturday. Some of us will visit Lake Balaton 200 kms away from here while the others stay on site.

We will all meet again to strike the Big Top on saturday.

We will leave for Prague on Monday, it seems it’s fresher out there !

That’s what we are here for !

Last night, I plunged into the heart (heat) of the Big Top to see « Risque zérO » again.

Once again, I understood what we’re here for, what we travel around the world for, what we eat « Hungarian cassoulet » at lunch for, what we write a travel diary for, why people are so pleasant with me when I have a drink in the evening.

Why ?

Because all throughout the show, and even later in the night, the people that have been in the Big Top get out full of energy, foolishness, joy, want to scream out loud and live fully !

Why ?

Hard to say. It has nothing to do with the perfection of prowess. There’s always something that doesn’t work and we would be disappointed otherwise. Better not ask ourselves too many questions, no use taking the risk of establishing a theory or magical words. Let’s say it’s luck, a lot of work and mystery of life that do the trick !

There’s no room for everyone in the Big Top. When the « door » opens, people run to their seat as if even once inside, it’s not a done deal !


It’s 40° outside during the day, this keeps us in a sort of routine.

We’re on a lookout for shade. A light breeze and we’re all excited.

In the Big Top, from 7 to 8.45 pm, it’s like in an oven. Luc’s trying his best to find solutions. Maybe a pyramid of bottles of fresh water would do the trick ?

Time is fixed like our languid bodies. The grass has become straw.

This morning, a fire engine came to water the football field.

When the atmosphere cools down at night, we’re all waking up. We get together to drink a beer and have a meal at the stall next to the Big Top.

On the same football field, there’s a big stage where concerts take place every night. At 9 pm as soon as Risque ZérO is finished, big sound sets the stage on fire.

Every night, it’s good meeting Hungarians and artists that have been invited to this festival. We meet « Les Apostrophés », French circus artists who travel around the world with their show full of juggling tricks. A French band is here as well : « Wombo orchestra ».

In the East of Europe where the climate is continental, we also get to meet friends of friends who come here to perform. Like at home, we party and have fun together !

In this small part of Hungary, many are the people that want to see Risque zérO. It sold out. The director of the festival Laszlo warned us, some tickets will be sold on the black-market.

Every night, during the show, some people stand by the Big Top. They get to see the show from the outside and they laugh their heads off when they see Sebas run like crazy around the Big Top.

When it finally gets cooler in the evening, we feel like dancing, let our body go, some of us even shave their head to feel like a punk in Hungary, like that, just for the fun of it !! (Sébi)

Risque zérO and Violetta


Not such an easy task to bring a little baby inside the Big Top and watch Risque zérO. I’ve decided to tell about the first Hungarian performance from outside the Big Top. Luckily, it doesn’t retain much sound. I sat outside during the show and stood ready to pick up any sound, any sign that give me an idea of what’s happening inside.

The Big Top is packed. The show will start very soon. Applause. Then, deep silence. The artists go to sit on the couch one by one (I suppose). Apllause again, vigourous, shouts, all these signs show the great enthusiasm of the people inside. It’s going to be a great one !!!
The show unfolds between moments of silence and pure ecstasy. I can’t see the faces but I can imagine the childlike smiles and glistening looks. It seems they like the performance, the circus, the risk.


It’s getting a bit chillier outside. The artists get out one by one whenever they can. They’re soaking wet, they indicate me that it’s like in an oven inside.







Everyone’s supporting Matthieu. It’s not an easy task to replace Moïse without really replacing him…

The Chinese pole music. The others support him by whistling and shouting. As the act goes on, the audience get more and more excited. The act ends up with thunderous applause, we’re all happy for him.

Just after that, Sébas does his round the world run and waves to his family outside.

He’s had 2 days to learn some Hungarian expressions and it seems to work, people laugh ! They’re aware their language is almost impossible for foreigners to speak so when someone makes the effort, they appreciate !






Lucho gets out, wearing his « Hitler » moustache and rushes to his bus he uses as his wardrobe and makes up an injury on his shirt.









A few minutes later, he goes back into the Big Top and laughs rise !

It seems it’s the first time people see circus. When Jonas jumps high in the air and Elice flies, they get crazy ! And when Sébi throws his knives, frog and firecrackers, they laugh like children !

Risque zérO will be performed 16 times in Eastern Europe, it’s huge ! The pleasure they will be taking in the tour depends a lot on the audience. It’s a very good start !

The end. Lucho’s juggling at high altitude followed by his leap in the dark provoke a burst of applause. Then, when the artists come back to take a bow, applause again, in rythm and with a deafening energy !

The artists get out from one side of the Big Top and the audience from the other, they’re dripping but smiling.

On the road again


Draught. Yellow Big Top, caravans, semi trailer on dried grass. Galapiat Circus has arrived… we’re all here, almost… we’ve settled for 15 days in a village called Kisharsany 35 kms south of Pecs, to be pronounced Petch.


This is one of the three venues of Ordogkatlan festival.

After South America, this is a very different country we are setting foot on.
Our dream this time was to travel with our Big Top and caravans to Hungary and Czech Republic. Bring our circus to these arid lands.

July 31st 2012

Everyone has arrived : Hélène, Gautier, Luc, Lucho, Jonas, Sébi, Elice, Sébas, Matthieu, Thomas, Lucie and Emilie.

This blog is written by Emilie and illustrated by pictures taken by Sébas and drawings by Lucie. The texts are translated by Hélène.

It took us several days to come here, a trip punctuated by a series of accidents and breakdowns.

Emilie and Seb have had to leave their caravan on the side of the road in Italy, the Big Top convoy finally arrived after 3 long days on the road…





Some of us drove through Italy, Slovenia and Croatia, some others through Germany and Austria.
Along the way, new faces, new currencies, our circus leads us to a part of the world unknown to us.

Here, it’s hot. Here, we eat at 6 pm and wake up early in the morning. We eat food we’ve never seen nor tasted before…

Like in France, we have our houses on wheels, our Big Top but apart from that, everything’s new !

The language is world’s apart from ours. Luckily, Attila is here with us, he’s Hungarian and speeks English. And Hungarian of course…

The artists have been rehearsing since yesterday. They’re doing a run-through tonight. The challenge is that Matthieu – replacing Moïse who stayed in France for the birth of his daughter Violetta – manages to find his place among the Galapiats during the summer and 2 festivals !

A lot of people come to visit us during the day especially during rehearsals. It’s a big event here to have a French circus company coming with its Big Top. We’re in a very small village…