Having celebrated 250 years of devotion to the art of modern circus in 2018, the 2019 the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival - still enthusiastically presided over by HSH Princess Stéphanie - returns once again with a delicate balancing act: continuing to honour traditional circus arts, whilst also establishing itself as a highly innovative organisation. Pay a visit to the Chapiteau de l'Espace Fontvieille between the 17 and 27 January to see the 43rd edition of the biggest circus festival in the world.
Over 150 artists from 15 different countries are set to perform in the ring this year, including the largest Russian delegation ever to visit Monaco (see inset). It’s the perfect opportunity for the community to get together for some fun, some emotional performances, and some amazing feats from:
... The Aliev Troupe’s flying trapeze artists
Their four-part aerial symphony, “Dante”, was choreographed by the great director Alexander Grimailo, and is absolutely fantastic. It is the very pinnacle of elegance and technical prowess. Not for the faint-hearted!
... Hoverboard acrobatics with Nazerke & Yoka
This daring acrobatic duo have spent a whole year in rehearsals, honing their act. Be it hand to hand, head to head or - even more impressively - Yoka balancing on a single foot on Nazerke’s head, standing on their peculiar means of transport, these are two fearless women.
... The Without Socks clowns
An amazing Russian clown trio that, whilst remaining true to the great tradition of “clownish entrances”, stand out with the fresh, modern approach that they breathe into to their joyous antics.
From Russia with love
And, since the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival has always sought to support circus arts that treat animals with respect both in and out of the ring, you will also have the pleasure of watching:
... The Gärtner family elephants
There’s the mummy and daddy elephants, Candy and Joy, along with their children: Joseph Jr, Jacky, Maverik and Francy. The circus runs in the Gärtner family’s veins. No-one can ever resist the charm of Belinda, Sabine, Baby and Pira, four huge, beautiful Asian elephants. Their speciality? A pachyderm pyramid!
... Martin Lacey Jr’s circus animals
Martin Lacey Jr, winner of the Golden Clown award at the circus’s 34th edition, is also coming to Monaco with a spectacular show, along with his 26 trained animals. The show is designed like an opera, right from the overture to the entry of the choir and soloists, all the way to the grand finale featuring his magnificent white lion Baluga. It’s guaranteed to be sensational!
... Marcel Kramer’s American bison
And what clever bison they are! Their names are Tonto, Blackhawk, Nightwulf, Firebird and Tatanka. Each bison weighs over 800kg, and has an astonishing bond with their trainer, who is one of the most well-known in Germany. They move freely around the ring, herded by Shadong, a gorgeous Mustang.
The small round-up of a big festival
The fun doesn’t stop at the festival - from the 17 to the 27 January, the whole of Monaco will be getting into the circus spirit. Here are three spectacles that are not to be missed: