CETAPS, University of Rouen, France
Bio: Magali Sizorn holds a PhD in anthropology, sociology and sport sciences. Since 2008, she has been lecturing in anthropology, sociology and artistic practices (circus and dance) at the University of Rouen in France. She has authored several articles and books about circus, including Trapézistes. Ethnosociologie d’un cirque en mouvement (2013).
Title: The Aesthetics of an Ethics. For a Sociology of Attachments to the Circus
Abstract: This paper proposes to analyze attachment to circus using a case study which focuses on a “circus-border”: the Cirque Romanes. This circus was founded in 1994 by Alexandre Romanès (born Bouglione, a famous circus family) and by his wife Delia, whom he met in the gypsy camp of Nanterre near Paris. The nomadic Romanes, who have staged their show in France and abroad, have installed, with the agreement of the Paris City Hall, their circus tent in the chic 16th arrondissement of Paris where they regularly suffer the attacks of residents fearing for the image of their neighborhood and even attacks by far-right activists. In spite of these difficulties, the Cirque Romanes enjoys the support of some French media. Moreover, it provides a good field for understanding the attachment to circus: with an aesthetic close to one which could be described as “classical”, it also draws audiences in search of contemporary forms. Often referred to as “poetic”, the Romanes circus also enjoys artistic recognition and legitimacy as a result of the valorization of a (gypsy) culture, an art and a political struggle. An observation of this circus thus allows us to analyze the “taste of the circus”.