International Biennial of Circus Arts

The “International Biennial of Circus Arts” is the largest contemporary circus festival in the world and is held in France every two years. The Biennale is organized by the Archaos circus company and the first edition in 2015 attracted 60 circus companies from around the world and had more than 85,000 visitors. [1]


The Archaos circus company is one of the legendary contemporary circus companies in Europe. Archaos, Pierrot Bidon , was seen as a revolutionary circus. In Bidon’s obituary in The Guardian , Archaos was described as “one of the sets that galvanized the new circus movement, in which traditional art has been re-imagined and combined with contemporary artistic sensibilities and theatrical techniques.” [2]

The Biennale itself was born out of the Circus in Capitals project that Archaos managed as part of Marseille-Provence 2013 , the European Capital of Culture festivities. The first biennale featured circus companies such as Nofit State Circus , Circus Éloize , and the Chinese State Circus . [3]

The first Biennale was such a success that in 2016 the company created the Entre-Deux Biennales to meet public demand and continue to foster the circus arts when the Biennale was not held. 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 that were organized by the Russian Ministry of Culture. Archaos was also chosen to present performances at the France Club that was held during the Rio Olympics in August 2016. [4]

2017 Biennale

The second edition of the Biennale ran from January 21 to February 19, 2017. It featured more than 260 performances in Marseille , Aix-en-Provence , Grasse , and Gap . The 2017 Biennale included new work from leading British companies NoFit State Circus and Motionhouse , the Swedish company Cirkus Cirkör , and the Brazilian company Borogodo. More than 120,000 people attended events.


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