Portuguese Circus Festival LEME Returns to Ílhavo in December - StageLync

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Portuguese Circus Festival LEME Returns to Ílhavo in December

After a year on hiatus, LEME returns for a different edition, longer in duration because it is spaced out over more days and more places.

The theme of this year’s festival has been described in this poetical statement: “What lies after the emptiness? The compensation, the consequence, the instability, having our heart in our mouth, the monsters under and above all the beds, and the beds are sometimes no more than our chests still loaded with bullets fired by us. But what is the chest, if not also the bed where we land from the fall? And we climbed. We return to the rope, the climb, the structure, the jump, the other.”

The festival will be stretched into a 10-day period, from Dec 2-12, 2021.

This year’s LEME goes to different, unexpected stages, where it tests the limits of circus in the region, such as the Cais Bacalhoeiro in Gafanha da Nazaré. The challenge to reflect and critically think about contemporary circus remains through the Circus Forum, which promotes a meeting between professionals in the field, and the Beta Circus, a European cooperation project which selects artists who will be integrated into an international training program. That program delves into new trends in contemporary creation, with a focus on “new magic”– another of the new features of this year’s edition of LEME.

Lineup of the LEME 2021 Festival

Gaëtan Levêque [FR]


Around three trampolines and a structure with different levels, six young acrobats pay a kind of homage to the trampoline– a starting point, an instrument of freedom. The audience witnesses the complicity which exists between them, from the lightness of flight to the relentless constancy of doubt. Levêque, an artist and director, has made the trampoline his lifelong favourite as a circus artist and wants to pass that legacy on to young acrobats. As in a waking dream, the show is about having the spectators dive with you into a dimension in which gravity changes. Each jump is an invitation into dreams, or a way to escape. This is a spectacle that is, above all else, an emotional journey, and emotions often overwhelm the laws of gravity. In this respect, the heart and trampoline are very similar.

direction Gaëtan Levêque choreography Cyrille Musy artistic colaboration Sylvain Decure musical creation Maxime Delpierre light Jérémie Cusenier technical direction and lighting control Pierre Staigre production Antoine Petit sound manager Stéphane Podevin costumes Melinda Muslim scenography Gaëtan Levêque construction South Side production/distribution Virginie Moy with Rémi Auzanneau, Hernan Elencwajg, Ricard Gonzalez Navarro, Tanguy Pelayo, Baptiste Petit, Bahoz Temaux productionO menor circo do mundo coproduction Théâtre les Gémeaux, Scène nationale de Sceaux – Le Manège, Scène Nationale de Maubeuge – Le Palc, Châlons en Champagne, Platform 2 poles cirque na Normandia – La Brèche – Cherbourg, Collectif AOC residencies o Menor Circo do Mundo – Bagneux, Pólos de circo Plataforma 2 na Normandia – La Brèche – Cherbourg, O canal – Calais, Théâtre les Gémeaux, Scène nationale de Sceaux

Collectif Sous le Manteau [FR]


“Monster” is a show that starts from a feeling of anguish and materialises the struggle against the idea of growing individualism in society. Together, seven acrobats lead in a labour of identity around a unique discipline: Chinese poles. Pushing its limits, the performers create new routes, vertically and horizontally, in a forest of rubber and steel poles. After all, at the end of the show, what matters more than fear is doing it together.

interpretation Valia Beauvieux, Anatole Couéty, Lisa Lou Oeedegard, Cathrine Lundsgaard Nielsen, Catarina Rosa Dias, Jesse Huygh e Benjamin Kuitenbrouwer music Simon Toutain

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Show Divers and Show Riggers required for The House of Dancing Water

Rui Paixão/Holy Clowns [PT]

“I want to act in such a way that my self is the only possible end of my action and appears as the only free being.” J.B. Erhard.

“Albano” is a performance to be seen from the inside out. The spectator is caught off guard in their daily life and placed in the position of a voyeur in the public space. The window of a shop display, a restaurant, a store, a car or a house– all these things separate the spectator from the performer, who acts with an unpredictable animality in order to confront those who are observing, as well as with those who get in their way.

artistic and performance direction Rui Paixão concept and dramaturgy Cristóvão Neto & Rui Paixão artistic and circography consultant António Franco de Oliveira cenography, props and characterisation Cristóvão Neto light design and technical direction Manuel Abrantes coproduction Fira Tàrrega, 23 Milhas, LEME, Subtopia e Holy Clowns

Official premiere of the final version of Albano | LEME 2021

Familiar Faces [BE]


“Surface” is a play about the commandments of water influenced by the technique of hand to hand acrobatics. Designed and presented by the company Familiar Faces, the show reflects on how humans can relate to nature and shape their environment. Nature is seen as a house that offers shelter and opportunity to everything in it, including us.  “Surface” questions what has happened to this connection in 2021.

creation and interpretation Josse De Broeck [BE], Petra Steindl [AT], Hendrik Van Maele [BE] e Felix Zech [DE] scene direction Flor Huybens artistic residency 23 Milhas [Ílhavo, PT], Platforme 2 Pôles Cirque en Normandie/La Brêche à Cherbourg [FR], Perplx [Kortrijk, BE], TENT [Amsterdam, NL], Cirko [Helsinki, FI], Panama Pictures [Hertogenbosch, NL], Circuscentrum [Gand, BE], ROOM 100 [Split, HR] e Masspodium [Rotterdam, NL] coproduction Circolo [NL] e LEME [PT]

Compagnie Sans Gravité [FR]


Rémi is a clown, magician, and juggler in his roles; jovial, energetic, and dreamy in his essence. Yet in  “Déluge,” he plays a character who seems to be constantly on the edge of tragedy. Like his bullets, his life is characterised by unexpected twists and inventions that turn against him. However, in sustaining the cliché of what it means to be a clown, nothing changes his good humour and the optimism with which he puts the seriousness of each situation into perspective. “Déluge” is a poetic and burlesque show that challenges viewers of all ages to reflect daily on their relationships. Would smiling and satirising not contain good formulas for solving certain impasses?

interpretation Rémi Lasvènes direction Jocelyne Taimiot technical direction Marylou Bateau e Coralie Trousselle, Simão de Barros – Rêgo – Rêgo light design Hervé Dile sound design Martin Etienne magic design Rémi Lasvènes e Julien Lefebvre

Compagnie L’oublié(e)/Raphaëlle Boitel [FR]

Un contre un

There are two people, side by side, barely separated but not seeing each other. Space is limited; it’s like they’re trapped. Loosely inspired by the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, “Boitel” deconstructs their story in a surreal way. Through Eurydice’s character, the show questions the place of women, the associated stereotypes, and the values imposed by a tendentiously patriarchal society. This show is also a way of recounting childhood and youth, reflecting on the place of each one, as well as evoking the search for the “I,” emancipation and escape. And it does all of this– as in the myth, but contrary to it– without looking back.

Circo Caótico [PT]


“(Com)Sequência” [(“With”/”Con”)Sequence] is a game between three bodies that can be moulded to a sealed space. However, space also influences bodies, and the game changes as a result of space; the action lives as a sequence of an encounter. A communion between architecture and the circus, with acrobatics and dance as a discourse in this dialogue, “(Com)Sequência” questions the idea of “encounters.”

artistic direction Daniel Seabra cocreation Daniel Seabra, Mafalda Gonçalves e Margarida Monteny live music Miguel De production Circo Caótico

Radar 360 [PT]


CircOOnferencia is a conference about the circus… and it is also a circus performance! Inspired by the different bibliographic records of circus, we encourage the desire to create a story based on the facts of our history! In the ways that it reconstructs circus history, CircOOnferencia is an act of freedom. Dosed with elements of humour, risk and poetry, the end result is something that transverses generations! Antipodean by nature, poetic, rebellious and dreamy, the imagery of circus is a part of the collective memory of modern culture. The path of history is not linear, and the idea is to stir it up, to make people reflect and form a critical mass.

artistic direction António Oliveira dramaturgy e enactment support Julieta Rodrigues interpretation António Oliveira, Deego Oliveira, Pedro Matias, Filipi Contreras e Nathalia Furlan sound design Carlos Adolfo costumes Julieta Rodrigues scenography and construction Emanuel Santos, Nuno Guedes, Engenheiro Edgar e Armindo Moreira technical coordination Rui Azevedo rigging Pedro Pacheco vídeo Ashley Georgiou production Radar 360 Associação Cultural coproduction AOficina – CCVF, Teatro Municipal Contantino Nery/Município de Matosinhos production support Câmara de Matosinhos, Real Vinícola e Fabrica Longavida.

Les Hommes Penchés/Nicolas Fraiseau [FR]


Initially, there is a dream: hanging a Chinese pole on an almost invisible line– a string– that leaves the object in motion. Desiring to dominate his own body, Nicolas Fraiseau participates in a game of balance without protection. “Instable” is a show about the permanent search for balance, the strength in fragility, and the limits of the human condition.

original idea and interpretationNicolas Fraiseau direction Christophe Huysman artistic collaboration Mads Rosebeck et Maël Tebibi light design Eric Fassa sound design Robert Benz scenary Nicolas Fraiseau, Christophe Huysman with Sylvain Fertard costumes Mélinda Mouslim scenic construction SylvainFertardetMichelTardif technical coordination Robert Benz produção Christine Tiana tour assistant Manon Cardineau

Gaspar Ribeiro [CV]

Nha identidade

Pobre Menina Rica
por Rita Oliveira [PT]
Main image: Surface by Familiar Faces, Belgium

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