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  • We all have a huge love of acrobatic movement and the imagination it incites. We love the augmentation of the possibilities of movement, speed, flexibility, agility, strength and precision that it permits and inspires.

    We have had this desire for a long time: a show where all the artists, on a communal base of high level floor acrobatics, can push their bodies to the limits of their capacities of synchronisation and propulsion.

    With this potential, we showcase written dramaturgy, research and movement both choreographed and acrobatic; creating theatrical contexts that illuminate the differences between exceptional form and situational banality.

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  • Circus Show for 5 acrobats

    A Halles de Schaerbeek‘s production

    To search for the impossible, the extraordinary. Challenge space and manipulate time. Like in a cartoon, the characters brave the principles of the physical world. This is the challenge of these acrobats playing only with circus and simultaneously much more.

    Slow motion, accelerations, stop motion, reverse… The team of Back Pocket go in search of
    the inaccessible and the preposterous, but only with the body: the acrobatic body and nothing else! Not trapeze, not teeterboard, not Chinese pole or any other rig. The body alone, as an invitation to freedom, to brute poetry and a hilarious virtuosity!

    To elevate the space around the acrobats to their level, contorting and beautiful, Goury, the scenographer and architect of Yoann Bourgeois, imagined a stair and pyramid structure where a wall becomes a floor or ceiling: the door, trap, or basement window. Through the keyhole: appearances, disappearances, and surprise effects of agility in every sense!

    The show “La Vrille du Chat” got the Maeterlinck Prize for best circus show of 2019.

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  • The show


    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.

    On stage, five longtime friends find themselves together sharing their different realities in this unique instant; an apparently futile moment that, through different perspectives, illustrates the complexity of each present moment.


    To set subjective frames through physicality: this exercise of rough poetry is effected by the only resource of the acrobatic body, without calling on apparatus based techniques, spoken language, video or digital art.

    The acrobatic body and nothing else. In the material virtuosity, capacity to deform and transform, and the promise that they offer to escape elemental physical laws. Escaping to reinvent a world of freedom.

    The acrobatic body like a material utopia. Incarnated. Based on the growth of the possibilities of movement, speed, flexibility, agility, strength and precision.

    The acrobatic body like an invitation to freedom.

  • Influences

    Slapstick: A source of inspiration at once modeled and dramatic, inviting physical challenges. In slapstick, the most abnormal movements seem to naturally integrate with the ordinary world. Abnormal “natural” movement incites a denial of traditional apparatuses: a trapeze, a teeter board, a Chinese pole are not daily objects. When these apparatuses are present in a show, one part of writing a circus show becomes dedicated to justifying or poeticizing the presence of these prosthetics; and, like all obligatory passages, it is often artificial. The slapstick universe offers the outline of a path for circus writing, based on physical prowess, included in the every day of the common world.

    Marc-Antoine Matthieu: Notably for his comic 3” (three seconds). As the title suggests, the actions of each book take place in three seconds. But the focal points inside this minuscule time-frame are so richly varied, that three seconds open upon an almost infinite universe.

    Hugues le Bars: For his musical writing style. Starting with his use of noises and sound effects, all while keeping a dynamic rhythmic base. Curious of other arts, he created for the stage and screen, knowing how to play on popular and intellectual registers. He composed for the ballets of Maurice Béjart as well as for the animated series “Oggy et les Cafards”.

  • Outside eyes

    Vincent Gomez

    Specializing in teeterboard studied at CNAC, where he left in 1995 with the show Le Cri du Caméléon that toured until 1999. Primarily an artist for the company Anomalie where he is a co-founder, Vincent turned little by little towards directing; particularly after the creation of his own company, Hors Pistes in 2006. He met Michael and Maya during their third year collective project at ÉSAC in Brussels, and since stayed in contact. His interest in mixing circus technique and acting, coupled with his qualities in directing and construction is what led us to propose his involvement as outside eye on this project, to help shape our ideas and desires on stage.

    Philippe Vande Weghe

    Cofounder of the company Les Argonautes and co author and artist in la Toison d’Orgue, Le Prince d’Incertitude andPas Perdus. Philippe always had a particular interest for staging and directing with the desire to add meaning to performance. Paralleled to his function as a professor at ÉSAC of Brussels, he created many pieces like Derniers Instants (2007) and Le Passage with the companies Carré Curieux and Cirque Vivant!, Irrésistible with Alexine Boucher Hardy (2012) and Entre D’Eux (2015). He was involved in writing the graduation acts of Aurélien Oudot, and Trio Anneaux, who Maya and Michael are part of.

    SCENOGRAPHER – Didier Goury

    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…)


    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.

    Lambert Colson — Sound Creation

    Grégory Rivoux — Lighting Creation



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


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English Acts Website


Acts available for hire, in a group and solo, by the artists of the company.



Hoop Diving



Back Pocket has created a hoop diving act! Continuing in our passion for movement, using the style developed in our first show La Vrille du Chat, we wanted to apply our aesthetic to a more traditional apparatus that we all have experience with. This standalone act touches on various aspects of hoop diving: Stacking the hoops in the traditional style, manipulating the hoops in our hands called “floating hoops”, and hoops made by our bodies. Each aspect has it’s own section in the act, which we worked to link toward a cohesive whole. Imagery and fluidity are our main focuses in this creation, which is still in continuous development.

Watch the video








Aerial straps solo by Michaël Hottier.

He mixes sweeping aerial trajectories with fluid ground movement. In this act that utilises the strength and dynamism inherent in this apparatus, you’re left with a feeling of softness.






Acrodance/Contortion solo by Aurélien Oudot

Graduated in Acrodance, Aurélien develops his own personal acrobatic vocabulary. With acrobatics and contorsions skills, he defends first a choreographic dramaturgy.

This act, with adaptables dimensions, can be part of cabarets ( « LIMBO » by Strut and Fret, … ) but also of a full length show ( «  NPC » by DCA – Philippe Decouflé, … ).

Cofounders 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.

With us on tour…

Julien Bier / Lights and Head of Technical

Laurent Macchi / Sound Technician

Guillaume Troublé / Stage Technician

Flavia Ceglie / Booking Manager

Where to find us…

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

November 21st & 22nd 2019                                                      Halles de Schaerbeek, Bruxelles (BE)

November 27th 2019                                                                              Centre Culturel de Ciney, (BE)

December 8th 2019                                                                                      Genette Verte Florac, (FR)

December 12th to 14th 2019                       Espace Chapiteau les Tamaris, Théâtre de Privas (FR)

December 17th to 19th 2019                                   Centre Dramatique Nationale, Sartrouville (FR)

January 21st 2020                                                                                                   L’Onde, Velizy (FR)

February 4th to 6th 2020                                                      Théâtre de Cornouailles, Quimper (FR)

February 29th 2020                                                                           Le Reflet, Théâtre de Vevey (CH)

March 7th 2020                                                                                              Le Channel, Calais (FR)

April 7th 2020 / CANCEL                                                                                Le Tangram, Evreux (FR)

May 30th 2020 / CANCEL                                                                                             Seignanx (FR)

November 13th & 14th 2020                                           Scène Nationale de Forbach/Festival Loostik (FR)

November 19th 2020 // CANCELLED                                                                Centre culturel d’Uccle (BE)

November 21st 2020 // CANCELLED                                                                                      MC d’Ath (BE)

November 26th 2020 // CANCELLED                                                         Centre culturel de Comines (BE)

December 4th 2020 // CANCELLED                                                 Théâtre Maison du Peuple, Millau (FR)

December 8th 2020 // CANCELLED                                                       Théâtre Juliobona, Lillebonne (FR)

December 11th to 13th 2020 // CANCELLED                                                       Scène Vosges, Epinal (FR)

December 17th 2020                                                                                   Scène Nationale, Bar le Duc (FR)

January 17th 2021 ( to be confirmed )                                            La Quintaine, Chasseneuil-du-Poitou (FR)

January 21st & 22nd 2021                                                                                                     TRR Villejuif (FR)

January 24th 2021 ( to be confirmed )                                                                      Salle Ravel Levallois (FR)

February 6th 2021                                                                                                 Théâtre d’Aspres, Thuir (FR)

February 10th & 11th 2021 ( to be confirmed )                                                CHOUET’Festival, Roanne (FR)

May 28th and 29th 2021                                                                Festival Super Via, Manège Maubeuge (FR)

In the news…

News Flash:

Good News !

La Vrille du Chat will be back on tour starting next month.

Dates and times of shows might change regarding the evolution of the pandemic; please check on the theaters websites.

Thanks for your support.

Looking forward to see you on stage again.

“Imagination runs wild, in this ambiance reminiscent of Raymond Queneau, with hints of Tati, and a pinch of surrealism. A few notes of guitar and we can almost hear two or three lines by Lorca from afar. Explaining everything, nothing and contorting, thanks to the extraordinary Aurélien Oudot, uplifted and supported by his mastery of acrobatics  confirms to what point you can count on Esac, The Superior School of Circus Arts of Brussels, to form artists to a level comparable with the reputable National Circus School of Montreal (ENC). Rest assured, and above all, rejoice.”

Laurence Bertels – La Libre Belgique

“It’s so fabulous you don’t want to close your eyes. You hold your breath. It’s so beautiful that it’s magic. A real gem. If you miss this show, it’s like missing a part of your life. You would pass up something marvelous.”

Emilie V. – Bruxelles

Production / Diffusion

Flavia Ceglie / +32 477 44 75 49

Contact Artists

Maya Kesselman      /       Dominic Cruz
+1 (415) 900-9580       /   +1 (415) 900-9170

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