• Intention

    Throughout this project we hope to begin searching for pathways to start answering the sticky question: “How to write a circus show.”

    For some time, circus has dreamed of finding a means in dramaturgy and writing specific to the discipline. Usually, physical sequences are placed in the frame of story, which becomes a pretext to show discipline specific technique. These “framed acts” have their own poetry and beauty, but the circus techniques and disciplines are not always organically linked with the ideas or stories being expressed.

    We are looking to find, starting from only our bodies, a form of writing specifically circus; a form only attainable through the circus artist.

    La Vrille du Chat (The Cat Twist) is a first attempt in this direction. The artistic ambition and complexity of form materializes through popular codes. These codes being easily grasped, with a large dose of irony and humor, start from a situation anchored in the everyday, the sort each spectator feels in familiar terrain, easily recognizable. Like in musical variations, the more simple and banal the theme, the more striking and poetic the transformations become of the initial phrase.

  • Dramaturgy

    La Vrille du Chat is based on a simple principle. The show develops from a single scene of several minutes; a scene that for our acrobatics becomes at once territory and material for play. Through reprise, deconstruction, and reconstruction, we attempt to exercise the possibilities of this unique scene. Similar to a comic book, this scene can be played in reverse, slow motion, or frozen in time; deconstructed while multiplying the focus points, and changing what is accented, like in a musical variation; reconstructed by aggregating the parts of the variations obtained.

    Given at first glance to the viewer as a seemingly simple scene, the initial sequence will be seen through the point of view of each of the five artists, so by repetition the spectator can relive the scene through an individual and subjective point of view. Each new perspective reveals the humor, dreams and projections of the character; the little orchestrations of their mentality and psyche. These revelations impart the feeling of the series and potential causes of the scene, what could or would have happened in the characters lives or parallel universes.

  • Artistic Direction

    Vincent Gomez

    “For each new adventure there is a beginning, an intimate reason which brings me to enter. For this new creation with Back Pocket, it is this simple energy, present and generous that resonated in me like un echo of youth. They have the desire, recklessness and exigence in perfect balance to cultivate their desires. The opportunity to help them on their way came while on my own path, where I thought, “What luck to be able to play together at inventing their world. Go ahead, don’t think, and follow your instinct!””


    Co. Hors Piste: “Soldats de Plumes”, “Confidences”, “Traveling Circus”, “Histoires Russes?”, “Ordure & Ménagère” ,”L’orage et le Cerf Volant”, “Coma Idyllique”…

    Co. Sipeucirque: “Cirkonférence”, “Orchesys”

    Co. Anomalie: “Bascule”

    Philippe Vande Weghe

    Cofounder of the company “Cie Les Argonautes” and coauthor and interpreter in “la Toison d’Orgue”, “Le Prince d’Incertitude” and “Pas Perdus”, Philippe always had a particular interest for directing, and staging with the wish to attach meaning to performance. Alongside his professorship at the École Supérieure des Arts du Cirque of Brussels, he creates many pieces such as “Derniers Instants” (2007) and “Le Passage” with the company “Carré Curieux, Cirque Vivant!”, “Irrésistibles” with Alexine Boucher Hardy (2012) or also “Entre D’Eux” (2015). He also worked with Aurélien Oudot and Trio Anneaux (of which Maya Kesselman and Michael Hottier are part) on their respective graduating acts from ÉSAC.

  • Set design


    He doesn’t use the architecture which he studied other than for the spectacular. First with dancers, for who he designs spaces and large convertible stage accessories (Verret, Nadj, Boivin…),  he continued to theater because he also wanted to confront written dramaturgies (Adrien, Beaunesne, Benichou Hiegel…), those who brought him to frequent a little too close to the cultural institution (théâtre de la ville, comédie FR, festival d’Avignon). He then turned towards the circus, where he respects the physical engagement and intelligence (Anomalie, Mathurin Bolze, Zimmermann – de Perrot, Gaetan Lévèque, AOC, Laurent Paretti, Les Désaccordés, Giovanna d’Ettore, la Maison des Clowns, Yoann Bourgeois…)

  • Outside eyes

    Choreographer: Isael Mata

    Isael is a dancer, choreographer and teacher who has given workshops at ÉSAC in Brussels for many years. The physical character of his dancing is close to our acrobatic approach. “I work with Release techniques (Trisha Brown) and Flying Low (David Zambrano) that permit a fluidity and an evolution in the transitions between the floor and standing movements. To create a dynamic in space with the presence of others: to navigate on stage toward the meeting of his own spontaneous movements and to utilise his instinct and sensitivity to move and enter in line with that which surrounds us.” Student of David Zambrano, having notably danced with the group P.A.R.T.S. directed by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and taught for the company Ultima Ver and Wim Vandekeybuns, Isael accompanies us on this creation on the level of movement quality and choreography.

    Musical Inspiration: Hugues le Bars

    We are using, and taking inspiration from, the work of French musician Hugues Le Bars. He is a composer who uses noises and sound effects while keeping a dynamic and rhythmic base, with a humorous and expressive style. Curious about other art forms, he created as well in a purely musical form as for the cinema and stage. He was notably a composer for several ballets by Maurice Béjart and also the cartoon “Oggy et les Cafards”. When we contacted Hugues Le Bars for a collaboration, he was ready to support our project, but was not composing any new material during this period. So, we have used several works from his discography to inspire us and to create a part of our musical universe.

    Sound Conception: Lambert Colson

Duration : 70 min
Presentation : Frontal
Type of audience : General public


  • Artists of the company Back Pocket

Dominic Cruz – USA

I grew up with wolves. LOL. I was born with the circus all around me, and as far back as I can remember, it has always been my profession of choice. For ten years I trained with Master Lu Yi and Dominic Weiss in the San Francisco Youth Circus at the San Francisco Circus Center where I met Devin Henderson and Maya Kesselman. Besides circus I participated in the children’s choir, VOENA, and studied classical piano. At the age of sixteen, I auditioned for the National Circus School, graduating four years later as part of a Chinese Pole and Hoop Diving duo with Marta Henderson. Now, I’m happy to take part in Back Pocket, realizing our first show “La Vrille du Chat.”

Devin Henderson – USA –

I graduated from the National Circus School of Montreal in 2011, since then working with “The 7 fingers of the hand” and “Cirque du Soleil”. I like circus arts because it brings together ideas, talents and requires high-performance work that can, in my opinion, be touching and widely appreciated.
I studied acrobatic disciplines (mostly Chinese Hoop Diving and Pole Climbing) for most of my life (19 years). After working all together during the creation of “Luzia” by Cirque du Soleil, I am happy to be able to fully devote myself to our own creation, “La Vrille du Chat”.

Michaël Hottier – France

With actors and musicians as parents, I started performing in shows when I was 10 years old. I did not understand everything at first, but I liked it and very quickly started studying circus at the Ecole des Arts de la Piste in Boulogne Billancourt. I met Aurelien there, and throughout our studies we became better and better friends. We knew we’d find ourselves in the same project eventually. Then I joined ESAC and met Maya, who in addition to my acrobatic partner, became my close friend and artistic motivator. We toured many years together in Trio Anneaux. After working, all five of us together, on the creation of “LUZIA” by Cirque du Soleil, we find ourselves here for our own creation, “La Vrille du Chat”.

Maya Kesselman – USA

I started Circus in San Francisco when I was ten years old. I studied and performed with The San Francisco Circus Center for eight years alongside my childhood friends Devin and Dom; continuously inspired by the world of Circus. I auditioned for L’Ecole Superieure des Arts du Cirque in Brussels in 2009, where I met Michael, and we formed Trio Anneaux with Ian Vazquez Lopez. Working with the trio, I made my dream of becoming a traveling artist who believes in, and is proud of my work, come true. After many years touring Europe together, we had the opportunity to participate in the creation of Cirque du Soleil’s, “Luzia”, and I was finally able to tour in The United States. After two years with Cirque du Soleil, I left to realize a new dream. To create my own company, Back Pocket, and to fulfill my artistic potential creating a show that stems from us five as individuals, as artists, and as a strong group of friends and performers.

Aurélien Oudot – France

I started circus at the Ecole des Arts de la Piste in Boulogne-Billancourt at the age of 12. After 4 years of training at this school, I decided to make circus my profession. I met Michaël there, and throughout our studies we became better and better friends. At the end of our classical studies, each of us took a different route knowing full well that we would be on stage together at some point. That’s how we met in 2011 at ESAC, where I studied acrodance and where I met Maya. Since graduating I have had the opportunity to work with companies like Cirque du Soleil on the creation of “LUZIA”, DCA – Philippe Decouflé, Limbo the Show, and 45 Degrees. The will to create all together naturally sprouted, and this is how we arrived, all five of us, for this company which presents a new stage in our journey.

September 6th to 12th 2018                                                                              Théatre de Namur (BE)

October 5th to 8th 2018                                                            Torino Danza, Theatro Astra Torino (IT)

October 12th 2018                                                               Piemonte dal Vivo, Casale Monferrato (IT)

October 14th 2018                                                                         Piemonte dal Vivo, Villadossola (IT)

October 17th & 18th 2018                                                                  Espace Malraux, Chambéry (FR)

October 20th & 21st 2018                                                                                Festival Aperto, Valli (IT)

November 15th & 16th 2018                                                                    Carré Magique, Lannion (FR)

November 20th 2018                                                                                La Fleuriaye, Carquefou (FR)

22 Novembre 2018                                                      Pole Culturel, Conservatoire Des Coëvron (FR)

November 27th 2018                                                                            Le Carré, Château Gontier (FR)

November 29th 2018                                                                         La 3Eme Saison de L’Ernée (FR)

December 3rd 2018                                                                   Théatre de Verre, Chateaubriand (FR)

December 6th 2018                                                             Le Canal, Théâtre du Pays de Redon (FR)

December 8th 2018                                                        Théatre de l’espace de Retz, Machecoul (FR)

December 11th to 18th 2018                                                                           Le Grand T, Nantes (FR)

January 11th to 12th 2019                                                                       Quai des Arts, Pornichet (FR)

January 15th 2019                                                                                     Quartier Libre, Ancenis (FR)

March 8th to 10th 2019                                                               Halles de Schaerbeek, Bruxelles (BE)

March 13th & 14th 2019                                                                                    Le Manège, Mons (BE)

March 19th to 21st 2019                                                                                Le Volcan, Le Havre (FR)

April 6th to 8th 2019                                                                                              Le Quai, Angers (FR)

8th to 20th July 2019                                                             On Piot Island, at the Occitane fait son cirque en Avignon (FR)                ———                                                                                                      Théâtre des Doms

Dominic Cruz
+1 (415) 900-9580

Maya Kesselman
+1 (415) 900-9170

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