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“When you wear a red nose you have no choice: you are bound to make people laugh”

Les Rois Vagabonds was born from the meeting between Julia Moa Caprez and Igor Sellem. The eclectic background of this duo, ranging from acrobatics to music and from dance to gestural theater, gave rise to a common desire to explore the art of clowning.

“When you wear a red nose you have no choice: you are bound to make people laugh”

Les Rois Vagabonds was born from the meeting between Julia Moa Caprez and Igor Sellem. The eclectic background of this duo, ranging from acrobatics to music and from dance to gestural theater, gave rise to a common desire to explore the art of clowning.

Les Rois Vagabonds was born from the meeting between Julia Moa Caprez and Igor Sellem. The eclectic background of this duo, ranging from acrobatics to music and from dance to gestural theater, gave rise to a common desire to explore the art of clowning. Since 2008 they have been developing the history of their duo through the search for a universal language, without words. They are part of the tradition of clowns who, like the emblematic Grock, Buffo or Slava, make their show evolve throughout their lives. Half of this Swiss company, Julia Moa Caprez, responds to this interview.

– Which European clowns have inspired Les Rois Vagabonds”?

– All the clowns that we have crossed our path have marked us in some way. There are some whose works touch us particularly: the music-hall universe, the virtuosity and complex character of Grock, the poetry and simplicity in the relationship between the two clowns of BP Zoom, the generosity and flexible relationship with the public of Proserpine , the immense dam of risk and the writing to four clowns of Les Chiche Capon,…

Do they define themselves as traditional or modern clowns?

– As clowns we hope to be timeless. Regarding our show, I think there is something very traditional: the hierarchical relationship between the white clown and the august. It is a universal theme and therefore very modern too….

Are they one of those who claim the clown with a red nose and painted face?

– I like what the French journalist Armelle Martin said: “Clowns don't perform a comedy. If they have a red nose or white painted face and extravagant clothes, it is to better reveal themselves.” There are clowns who need a lot of clothes and a lot of makeup to show their deep selves; others don't need anything. However, when you wear a red nose you have no choice: you are bound to make people laugh.

– Do you think that the public has been able to adapt to the new artistic trends of clowns?

- Yes absolutely. Deep down, today's clowns are very close to the clowns of a century ago. Meanwhile, between the 1940s and 1980s, MacDonald has changed the image of the clown and, unfortunately, has marked entire generations with the idea of a grotesque and terrifying clown animating children's birthdays. Many people tell us that they have reconciled with the clown when they saw "Concert for two clowns".

– What is the greatest success of a clown?

– Make laugh or cry.

– How did the show “Concert for two clowns” with which you will visit the Mueca Festival come about?

– It arose from the desire to create a clown show breaking down what is known in theater as the fourth wall. Even since the writing of our show, the public is present, as a partner, as a guide and as the engine of some of our actions. Regarding the matter, we build with everything we know how to do... We are musicians, acrobats, mimes, but it is the public that makes us clowns.

– What role does the music of Vivaldi, Bach, Strauss… play in this show?

– Our passion for classical music gave us a simple pretext to enter the scene: performing a concert. The simplicity of this pretext allows you to give free rein to your imagination. Then everything is possible, the intellect can give way to emotion.

– Do you think that the modern circus is giving priority to new technologies to the detriment of the artist himself?

– The circus is a very lively genre that is inspired and evolves by everything that surrounds it, including new technologies. At every moment of its history the circus knew how to become a contemporary circus speaking a current language. Perhaps there are shows in which the artist is more in the background because the new technology becomes the star…but I think it is a temporary phenomenon. The strength of the circus is in the simple humanity and in the prey of risk that the artist generously shares with the public. That cannot be replaced by any technology.

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