In their attempts to rise above performance for performance´s sake, some artists work toward the advent of the beautiful or meaningful by way of form. The goal is, as it has been for many visual artists and contemporary dancers, to call into serious question the codes of practice, even questioning the existence of “art for art´s sake”. This recent trend breaks away from the narrative codes of the new circus, and renews the immediateness of the traditional circus´ body on display, stripped, of course, of its flashy theatrical presentation. This pursuit rests most often on two distinct yet seemingly compatible positions.
The first aims for “visual poetry” and the “magic of shapes”. This technique, when it does not throw audience members into the dizzying world of concepts, leaves them with continual graphic images, as in Plus ou moins I’infini. The second is inspires in choreography, and aims for purity in gesture and movement, without necessarily compromising the notion of character. The role of the body becomes all the more meaningful.
Grace and visual abstraction are hardly incompatible with a critical eye on the world, as we find, for example, in the work of Jean-Baptiste André.