Circus Remix

2 min

Circus Remix, a show by Maroussia Diaz Verbèke

Circus Remix is a show by Maroussia Diaz Verbèke that reinterprets the rules of classic circus through a soundscape of radio extracts. 

© Philippe Laurençon

A circographer by trade

Maroussia Diaz Verbèke is a circus performer. Or rather, a circographer, to use the term that she herself coined to denote her practice. This neologism describes the specific mise en scène of the circus and conveys her desire to reflect on and exceed the expectations surrounding a discipline that has always stayed with her. Diaz Verbèke was among the founding members of the Ivan Mosjoukine collective and created the show Le Vide - Essai de cirque (The Void - Circus Attempt) with Fragan Gehlker and Alexis Auffray. After founding the Le troisième crique troupe, she created Circus Remix, a solo performance that deconstructs the Epinal print of circus by treading both personal and political ground. She is also involved in collective creations, such as Fiq !(Wake Up!), with the Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger. 


The role of speech

In 1807, a law forbids the use of spoken words in circus in order to fully distinguish it from theatre. This incongruousness provides the point of departure for Circus Remix, which sets out to explore the rules of circus. A soundtrack composed of sample extracts from radio programmes, banners and letters as juggling balls: here, everything is an excuse to evoke language and suggest the possibility of direct communication with the audience. Yet the voice is still absent: alone on stage for nearly two hours, Diaz Verbèke remains absolutely silent as she performs one trick or acrobatic feat after the next. 


Cut-ups and acrobatics

For years, Diaz Verbèke has been noting down phrases that she hears on the radio. To compose the soundtrack that accompanies her performance, a patchwork of sound extracts often limited to a single word or expression, she rummaged through the radio archives. This enabled her to find the missing words in order to compose the chorus of voices that cadences the succession of tricks and acrobatics. Indeed, one of the questions that Circus Remix raises is about the ability to communicate without using direct dialogue. In fact, Diaz Verbèke recently stated: “the thing is with speech, the more I take an interest in it, the more it becomes central in its absence.” 


A new performance through image

In 2021, Diaz Verbèke, along with her long-standing collaborator Elodie Royer and filmmaker Marie-Gabrielle Fabre, created the short film Circus Remix, produced by Arte en scène. In this ten-minute film produced in partnership with the INA, she performs her show again, this time at night, sneaking into the Académie Fratellini circus school under the cover of darkness. It is a warm-up to the forthcoming performances of Circus Remix at the Académie, this time in the flesh. 

The Institut français and the work

Circus Remix is part of La COLLECTION. La COLLECTION is a programme of the Institut français which aims to match a high-quality French cultural offer with the expectations / needs of the network to feed its programming, while guaranteeing its "lightness" of implementation to facilitate its dissemination. 

Find out more about La COLLECTION 

The project is also supported by the Institut français as part of the Relance Export programme. Relance Export aims to support French artists or artists living in France, from the cultural and creative fields, whose international projects have been impacted by the sanitary crisis, and who have the opportunity to continue or develop these activities identically, or with a new approach.

Find out more about Relance Export