Saison de cirque

  • Cirque Aïtal


    Equestrian circus, Russian bar, acrobatic lifts, live music, clowning

  • 1h15
    Ages 5 and up
    Under the big top
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© João Mariano
© Mario del Curto
© João Mariano
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© João Mariano
© Mario del Curto



Victor Cathala and Kati Pikkarainen are now a single fusional duo. They invite beloved artists to celebrate a new circus season together. And, while talking about themselves without looking like they are, they go to meet the other: other tracks, other atmospheres, other worlds. United by fiery energy, they defy the laws of nature, of bodies, of gravity, and reinvent "a new old circus" where artists and animals, acrobats, and musicians meet.

They tell the audience their fantastical stories of the circus: "a completely insane sledge hammer juggler", "outlandishly strong Russian acrobats", "a stunningly beautiful new equestrian acrobat"... It creates a circus universe that is poetic and whimsical.

Once again, alchemy works in this new recomposed family of the Saison de Cirque [Circus Season] where personalities from multiple horizons share the same state of mind and the same sense of work.

Concept Victor Cathala and Kati Pikkarainen
Performers Victor Cathala, Kati Pikkarainen, Elena Kanakova, Mikhail Kanakov, Vasilii Kanakov, Sergey Mazurin, Matias Salmenaho
Musical composition and musicians Helmut Nünning, Hugo Piris, Benjamin Masuch, Julien Heurtel
Artistic collaboration Michel Cerda, Maksim Komaro
Sound design Andy Neresheimer
Costumes Séverine Thiébault
Lights Patrick Cathala
Scenography construction Alexander Bügel
General technician Bernard Bonin
Sound technicians Fanny Hugo, Olivier Planchard
Light technicians Thierry Azoulay, Tom Couillerot
Stage technicians Alexandre Tourneux, Allan Wyon

Coproduction Les Nuits de Fourvière / Agora national circus center for Boulazac Aquitaine / Archaos national circus center / Carré Magique national circus center for Brittany / Nhâteauvallon national theater / CIRCa national circus center for Auch Gers Occitanie / Théâtre Firmin Gémier-La Piscine national circus center for Île-de-France

Residencies Les Nuits de Fourvière / Baro d’Evel /
 Châteauvallon national theater / CIRCa national circus center for Auch Gers Occitanie / Théâtre Firmin Gémier-La Piscine national circus center for Île-de-France

With the support of SPEDIDAM. SPEDIDAM is a collection and distribution company that manages performers' rights in terms of recording, broadcasting, and reuse of recorded performances.

"In a modern way, they create an ode to the circus life of yesteryear, to travelling, to the setting up of the big top and to the smell of the ring."

– Het Nieuwsblad

"Everything is game. This is one of the great strengths of this creation that unfolds to the rhythm of a quartet of musicians who drive this work to madness (...) By immersing themselves in the work of a troupe, by abandoning their duo, the Cirque Aïtal could have been lost amid the noise. This is not the case because along with glorious rigor of their technique there is a modesty in front of their object; they have created a perfected and authentic show. Disturbing. In the image of Kati, a twin of La Strada's Gelsomina and almost continuously beneath the spotlight."

– Le Petit Bulletin de Lyon

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.