The city of Angoulême immersed itself for four days in the universe of comics during its very famous International Comics Festival. The 50th edition paid tribute to Japanese anime and especially to the now legendary ‘Attack on Titan’. We also went to the Circus of Tomorrow World Cup in Paris. Artists from Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay and Spain were among the 24 companies and their magic, juggling and acrobatic numbers in the competition.
The so-called ‘bande dessinée’, BD or comic, is the most successful genre in the world of French publishing and can boast of having its own International Festival in the city of Angoulême for 50 years.
This anniversary edition celebrated the culture of Japanese manga and anime in style, attracting thousands of fans. This year, the stars that everyone expected to see were the protagonists of ‘Attack on Titan’. Hajime Isayama’s manga and anime series is a planetary success. It tells the story of a medieval-style city constantly attacked by giant cannibals. The Angouleme festival opened an exhibition, the tickets for which were immediately sold out.
“It has something that immediately seduced the public, adolescents and adults, because it is a multifaceted and open work. It can be read with a political prism or as an action work, a suspense or espionage story, a post-medieval tale or a war play”, said the curator of the exhibition, Fausto Fasulo, before the microphones of Carrusel de the arts.
Horror is one of the great genres in manga culture and that is why the festival invited what is known as the Japanese master of horror, the author Junji Ito, who inaugurated an immersive exhibition called ‘In the lair of delirium’.
Not all mangaka are necessarily Japanese. The Angoulême Festival was also an opportunity for fans to discover emerging European talents, such as the Spanish Ana Cristina Sánchez, author of the manga ‘Sirius’.
In France, a country of avid readers, one in seven books sold is a manga, a genre that has experienced spectacular growth in the last 10 years.
The ‘Olympic Games’ of the circus are held in Paris
The Circus of Tomorrow World Cup is the most recognized event in the world and takes place in the French capital, under the huge tent of the Phénix circus. There are four days of a dazzling competition and show in which gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded.
“It is the most important competition for young artists. Producers from all over the world come to discover these new talents to offer them contracts, in cabarets, theaters or circuses. It was very difficult to cancel the festival three years in a row and tell the artists, who had been preparing for years, that the festival was not happening. So this edition is particular”, asserted Alain Pacherie, director of the Circus Phénix.
According to Pacherie, the circus is a very popular discipline, taught in more than 800 professional and amateur schools across the country. As for the World Cup in Paris, it shows artists from the five continents every year, although China always stands out.
“China is a country of technical excellence. It was the Chinese who invented the acrobatics 5,000 years ago. In that country there are 120 professional schools and 18,000 artists”, concluded Pacherie.
Latin America was present in 2023 with artists from different countries. Mexico, for example, was represented, among others, by Emmanuel Nerox, a pure muscle specialist in aerial tapes and flying masts.
For its part, the international company Nicanor de Elia closed the first evening of this World Cup with a number that mixes circus and dance. Its members were trained in the French city of Toulouse, but are from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Spain.
The competition closed on Sunday with the delivery of the Grand Prize to the French company ‘La Tangente du Bras Tendu’, who presented a number full of poetry called ‘Resistance’.
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