Archaos (Circus Archaos) is a French contemporary circus [1] created by Pierrot Bidon in 1986. It began as an alternative, theatrical circus without animals, featuring dangerous stunts like chainsaw juggling, fire breathing , wall of death , etc. The company is considered a pioneer of the contemporary circus. Today, Archaos is based in Marseille , France and is a designated National Center for Circus Arts. Archaos is also the organizer of the International Biennale of Circus Arts , the world’s largest contemporary circus festival.


Archaos found fame in the UK through Pierrot’s association with Adrian Evans , who promoted the company there. Shows included Rope Capital , Bouinax , BX91 and Metal Clown . Archaos sold out for 12 weeks on Clapham Common in 1990, following a UK tour. [2] [3] The 1991 Tour of Metal Clown Encountered Financial Difficulties in Tallaght , Dublin . This, and a number of artistic differences, led to the demise of Archaos. quote needed ]A number of Brits who have been trained with the company in the past, and they have gone to Mischief La-Bas and Flambeaux & The P-Cult. [4] [5]

Archaos also helped inspire the British New Circus movement, led by companies like Mamaloucos (formed in 1996), who went on to collaborate with the Royal National Theater .

In September 2010, an exhibition in London displayed the Archaos archive of films, photos, audio, etc. Ex-members from all over the world at the five-day event. The exhibition was held in memory of Archaos founder Pierrot Bidon, who died earlier in the year. The obituary in The Guardian celebrating cannibalized life that Archaos was “one of the most galvanized the new circus movement, in which traditional art has been re-imagined and combined with contemporary artistic sensibilities and theatrical techniques.” [6]

A website hosting an archive of Archaos is online. [7]

Most recently, Archaos was nominated for the Best Producer Award for the Entre-Deux Biennales project at the 2016 Annual International Professional Circus Awards in Sochi, Russia. [8] Archaos was also chosen to present performances at the France Club that was held during the Rio Olympics in August 2016.

International Biennale of Circus Arts

Archaos took a major role in the Circus in Capitals project that was part of Marseille Provence 2013 and the experience inspired the company International Biennial of Circus Arts. [9] The first edition was held in the Aix Marseille Provence Metropolis and across the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region in 2015. With more than 50 international companies and close to 100,000 spectators, the Biennale quickly established itself as the largest circus festival the world. The second Biennale will be held in early 2017 in more than 30 cities in Provence. [10]

Major acts created

  • The tent ropes (1987)
  • The last show on earth (1989)
  • Bouinax (1990)
  • BX 91 and Archaos1 + Archaos2 (1991)
  • Clown Metal (1991)
  • DJ 92 (1992)
  • Game Over 1 (1995)
  • Game Over 2 (1997)
  • Parade (1998)
  • Just For (1999)
  • In Vitro or the legend of the Clones (1999)
  • Jewel (2002)
  • Margo (2003)
  • Anatom (2004)
  • Parallel 26 (2006)
  • In Vitro 09 (2009)


  • In 1989 Archaos received “The best name” Oscar for best artistic of the year in Britain.
  • In 1989 in France, the Grand Prix National Circus was presented by the Minister of Culture.
  • In 1991 Archaos was nominated for the Metal Clown award for the best show of the year in Britain.


  1. Jump up^ Tait, Peta (2005). Circus bodies: cultural identity in aerial performance . Routledge . pp. 120-140. ISBN 978-0-415-32938-5 .
  2. Jump up^ The Progress, Cathy Dumoux, Antics in the cabin, Lyon, 25/05/2001, Article portrait with the cap, “Pierre-Jules Billon: the ball orchestra to the Company of the Steam Chamber. virus, the train Archaos and Baroque Circus embarks on a new adventure in the brand.
  3. Jump up^ The Progress, “Pierre-Jules Billon, baroque drummer”, by Mark Dazy, Jan. 07, 1999
  4. Jump up^ Pierre-Jules Billon
  5. Jump up^, Pierre Jules Billon
  6. Jump up^
  7. Jump up^ Vocational Training Institute, Luis Orelha
  8. Jump up^
  9. Jump up^
  10. Jump up^

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