Archives @en103

Liaisons dangereuses (1997)

Jun 11 1997 Sophie Tessier


Liaisons dangereuses, the company’s first creation, was premiered in September 1997, at the Halles de Schaerbeek in Brussels.


In Liaisons dangereuses, the acrobats, plunge into a universe of ropes, swings and nets, try to undo the Gordian knot of life. This show was clearly written into the course of modern circus: the round circus ring, the equestrian voltige, the flying trapeze, all parts of the “mythical” elements of traditional circus, are revived here by the imagination of the director and theatre man Dirk Opstaele.


“In a Dantesque world of taut wires, knotted ropes, hot sand and flames, bound characters try desperately to get moving. During their aerial journey a horse appears on the ground, a figure of fire, strength and liberty. Liaisons dangeureuses is an indecipherable puzzle of climbs, of Foucault’s pendulums and Gordian knots, of actions and feats.”
Dirk Opstaele – director


“What is it that the characters of Liaisons dangereuses, these acrobats of life dressed up in “theatrical” costumes as others dress up for a parade, are looking for? An outing? Light? God? Others to become their spectators? Clouds, so precious to strangers?… With grace and precision, they brush against the sun’s rays, they caress the wild life and sweep us away towards our questionings. They criss-cross over the borders between circus, theatre and dance, avoiding futile debate about definitions and staying in the useful reality of true and beautiful shows.”
Bernard Kudlak, Cirque Plume


“Have they escaped from a some urban shipwreck? Close-knit, supportive of each other, like on the Medusa’s raft, they avoid setting foot on hostile ground.
Weightless, they move around the obstacle, heave themselves up, leap, glide, cling on. Bush fires and a strong smell of crushed earth rise up from the ground. Suddenly the animal appears, naked and free, ready for the encounter. This is what the musicians, trapeze artists, aerial acrobats, tightrope walkers and horses feed on to weave liaisons that are not only dangerous but also playful and poetical.”
Philippe Grombeer, Director of the Halles de Schaerbeek.


Liaisons dangereuses was performed 50 times, mainly in Belgium, France, Germany and Holland. It was very well received by audiences, the press and the performing arts community. It could have been performed many more times if it had not come up against safety problems related to the use of fire. The tour ended on December 31st 1998 after a series of 10 performances attended and appreciated by over 11 000 spectators in the beautiful permanent circus in Brussels, the Cirque Royal.





Liaisons Dangereuses was produced by Philippe de Coen and Benoît Louis for Feria Musica, in coproduction with Les Halles de Schaerbeek.


Design : Philippe de Coen, Benoît Louis et Dirk Opstaele

Direction : Dirk Opstaele

Actors direction : Pierrot Mol

Aerial acrobatics : Philippe de Coen

Musical direction : Benoît Louis

Trick riding and preparation of horses : Jacques Charandak

Pyrotechnics and special effects : Olivier de Laveleye

Lighting : Serge Simon

Sound : Nicolas Haber

Groom : Pierrot Pinzani


Acrobats : Anaïs Bouchet, Jacques Charandak, Pascale Clerbaux, Philippe de Coen, Marc Devallois, Arnaud Leroy

Musicians : Jean-Pierre Froidbise, François Garny, Gil Gimenez, Manuel Hermia, Benoît Louis, Michel Seba

Actors : Bernard Massuir, Pierrot Mol, Pierrot Pinzanni

Dancers : Fatou Traoré, Nathalie Boulanger, Pascale Gigon


© Photos Thyl

This post is also available in: French