Pour le meilleur et pour le pire

  • Cirque Aïtal

  • 1h
    Ages 6 and up
    Under the big top
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto



Hilarious and tender vignettes from the life of a couple, both on stage and in the city, as their bodies and souls are battered by everyday life yet immersed in love. Flitting across the headlights of their Simca 1000, their nomadic life is laid bare as the performance swerves between laughter and tears.

"Throughout their improvisations, the show’s different spaces start to define themselves on the sand and in the dust. The car breaks down and we glimpse the house that is slowly being built; we see the garden that is so urgently in need of care that we feel obliged to leave the road.
The earth, which is the central element of the scenography, expresses an ephemeral quality. The earth, the source of our imaginary territories and sandcastles, the place that may reveal our buried secrets... so many creative gestures that make us such fragile humans.

"This relationship to the earth is primordial: do we bite the dust or lie on it, does it stick to our soles or scatter in the air… Builders and gardeners, archeologists and adventurers, living beings… This is what we have tried to be with this creation: for better or for worse."

— Michel Cerda

Concept and performance Kati Pikkarainen and Victor Cathala
Artistic collaboration Michel Cerda
Musical composition Helmut Nünning
Light design Patrick Cathala
Costumes Odile Hautemulle
Scenography Alexander Bügel
Circus advisor Jani Nuutinen
Sound and electronic design Andreas Neresheimer
Administration Bérangère Gros

With the support of the Ministry of Culture and Communication – DRAC cultural agency for the Midi Pyrénées / the Midi Pyrénées Regional Council / Fonds SACD
Coproduced with the SNA national theater in Albi / the Théâtre de Cusset / the Cirque-Théâtre d’Elbeuf national circus center in Normandy / Carré Magique national circus center in Brittanty / the Théâtre de la Coupe d’Or / the Théâtre de l’Olivier Istres-Scènes et Cinés Ouest Provence / the Théâtre Vidy Lausanne
Residencies the SNA national theater in Albi / Théâtre de Cusset / Agora national circus center in Boulazac
Further support from Théâtre Firmin Gémier – La Piscine and Paris Quartier d’Eté

"An extremely talented acrobatic duo: the tender-hearted colossus and his micro-flyer with a tenacious character."

– Libération

"Home quarrels become the driving force of a domestic circus that gives the daily routine goose bumps."

– Le Monde

"The intelligence of this show is buttressed by the impeccable technical talent of the duo."

– Le Temps

The Franco-Finnish duo of Victor Cathala and Kati Pikkarainen founded the Cirque Aïtal in 2004 with the hopes of developing their own discipline based on acrobatic lifts and hand-to-hand balancing. They cultivate a true experimental relationship to the body and to the circus where movements literally transform language. After studying agriculture, Victor discovered equestrian vaulting, which led him to circus schools and the city of Paris. Kati started practicing the circus arts at the age of eight when she was living near Helsinki. The couple met in Paris. 

In 2003, they graduated with honors and a special mention from the examination board at the CNAC national circus arts center. In 2005, their duo performance Victor & Kati received the silver medal at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain (Cirque Bouglione-Paris). La Piste là was the Cirque Aïtal’s first show, which they created in 2007 in collaboration with composer and musician Mathieu Levavasseur. The work was modified in 2008 to create an augmented version with catcher-juggler-accordion player Mathias Salmenaho and the composer-clown-double bassist Helmut Nünning. After a four-year tour, they produced two news shows: Pour le meilleur et pour le pire [For Better and for Worse] in 2011, and Saison de cirque at the Nuits de Fourvière in Lyon in 2018.