REVIEW: French Circus Le Grand C at the New Victory

We’ve seen a lot of shows at the New Victory this year. So many in fact, that the guy at the Box Office didn’t need me to give him my name for him to give me my tickets! He just handed them over without a word.

"Le grand C" Compagnie XYPortés acrobatiquesMain à main

Le Grand C is the fourth circus we’ve seen THIS SEASON at the New Victory. (There was the Colombian Youth Circus CirColombia, Australian Circus Circus Oz, Bello Nock’s Bellomania (American, I guess, although he could claim to be Italian) and now this. Le Grand C is produced by Compaignie XY, and it’s here as part of a French culture festival called Ricochet.

"Le grand C" Compagnie XY Portés acrobatiques Main à mainThe show was VERY European. They started the first 10 minutes in near darkness doing a very slow 3-high, almost deconstructing the trick. Then they started doing some very simple stands on a cylinder. Stand, jump off.  It was the start of the trick.  The simple start.  The audience, esp. some kids in the back was pretty impatient, and sardonically began to clap when they did these stands (which were not very impressive looking) It was rude.  However, by the end of the show, these rude kids had been completely won over by some VERY IMPRESSIVE 4 highs and flips from side to side.

Most shows (esp. circus shows) start off with a bang, to get people moving and into it and wowed and impressed. These guys did not, and it took them a lot longer to win over the audience as a result.  There was something alarming about it (alarming in a good way)- they did stuff differently, with a different energy.

The tricks were phenomenal and original.  There was no juggling, or clowning, or aerial work (although a 4 high is pretty damned aerial.) I just mean no trapeze, no silks, no rings. What there was was phenomenal strength and virtuoso balance performed by an ensemble of 17.  It was pretty awe-inspiring.



Some tricks I had never seen before- they dropped a 4 high vertically. (Meaning they kept the 4 high intact and the slowly lowered it to the ground, until instead of vertical they were horizontal, and then they put the guys back in place, showing it in reverse motion)  It was VERY impressive. They also did a trick where they SHOT a person out of a cannon into a group of other people– except there was no cannon, it was all human propelled.


They finish this weekend at the New Victory, (BUY TICKETS HERE!) and then they have a very extensive South American and European tour.  They come back to the states for a 9 day run at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina (May 22-June 1)


This show is definitely worth seeing. If your younger kids get antsy in the beginning, tell them to hold on.

Here’s a video clip that shows some of the amazing acrobatics they perform:

Find out more about Le Grand C at the Compaignie XY Website (in French)

Find out more about the New Victory at

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