Comedian, Clown, Aerialist
By Dominique Jando
Artistically inclined, Marie-Aude tried her chance in the performing arts: She applied for Marcel Marceau’s International Mime School, but she failed the audition. Then she tried the movies, without more success. She finally decided to leave Paris and moved to the Toulouse, in the southwest of France, a sunnier and more relaxed place to consider her future. Toulouse is the seat of a well-known circus school, the Lido, which has shown over the years a remarkable talent for creating acts with a strong touch of humor.
Marie-Aude went there to take evening classes, and upon discovering that she was already too old to shine in acrobatics, she opted for trapeze—where she could still do something with the limited skills her age allowed her. Her strong imagination and her sense of humor were a good fit with the Lido’s approach to circus arts. In time, Marie-Aude became Angélina, a tired circus artist of indefinite age, still performing her worn-out acts—a trapeze presentation, and a hula-hoop exhibition. To both, she added a good dose of verbal humor.
When she appeared at the 22nd Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris, Angélina was a sensation in her own right, a breath of fresh self-parody in the midst of a very serious, high-skilled competition. To circus professionals, her comic insights into the sufferings of an average aerialistAny acrobat working above the ring on an aerial equipment such as trapeze, Roman Rings, Spanish web, etc. were right to the point; to Elena Panova, who was in the Jury of that Festival, she was the best comedy act of the year. Angélina won the Nikulin Trophy, one of the two prizes awarded each year to comedy acts in the Festival.
Subsequently, Angélina went on to work with Circus Knie in Switzerland, and in several "nouveau cirque" companies in France, where she created new acts—notably a clown duo named Petrolina & Mascarpone with Yan Oliveri, which she eventually developed into a complete stage show. Added to her Nikulin Trophy, Angélina won the Audience Award at the Festiclown Monte-Carlo in February 2001. When not Angélina, Marie-Aude writes children stories: Siestes (2001) and La terrible histoire du boucher (2002) have been two successful books.
- Video: Angelina, comedy trapeze, at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain (2001)