From May to September, the circus, set up in Piolenc in the heart of the Vaucluse. With your family or friends, it's a unique occasion to spend an entire day discovering the circus, in the magnificent setting of the park at the Château of Piolenc.
Since 1994, the Alexis Gruss Circus has its own Park !
Another innovation by Alexis Gruss: favour the creation and the passing on of the arts of the circus ring by by settling down for five months a year (from May to September) in Piolenc, in the High Vaucluse. On the 12 hectares of abundantly tree-filled grounds, the Alexis Gruss National Circus erects its big top, its stables and its workshops.
Show with an elephant at the circus Alexis Gruss
Horse show with Alexis Gruss
The marquee of the circus in the Park Alexis Gruss in Piolenc
Show for children and adults
The Park Alexis Gruss in Piolenc
A place for creating
It's in Piolenc that all the numbers in the new shows of the Alexis Gruss National Circus are thought up, rehearsed and perfected. It's also there that the decors and circus materials are designed and built, the costumes created, the music, the lighting...
A place for passing on savoir-faire
All day, the animals and the artists are at school. Sharing and exchange of know-how between the practitionners of all the disciplines, between different generations of artists.
Since 1994 tens of thousands of visitors, families, company outings, school groups, children from outdoor centres and camps have come to the Alexis Gruss Park. Businesses even organize their events here.
Its fame has reached beyond the borders, as much up North to Germany and Switzerland, as down South to Spain and Italy.
Alsace, Italy, the journey
It was in the person of the lovely horsewoman, Maria Martinetti, that André-Charles Gruss, founder of the dynasty, espoused at the same time the circus and horses. An Alsatian stonecutter, he was born in Sainte-Marie-Aux-Mines, a century and a half ago. André-Charles and Maria Gruss are the grandparents of the famous clown "Dédé" Gruss, the father of Alexis, whose mother, Maud Lautour under her maiden name, herself descended from an important carnival family, that of the Poisson menagerie, which goes back to 1796, or more than 210 years this year !
The equestrian tradition
It's mainly through their reputation as "equestrians" that, quite rapidly, the Gruss's fame spread, a fame that would only grow with each generation.
A circus of creation
Alexis Gruss created "le Cirque à l'Ancienne" (the Old-Fashioned Circus) on May 24, 1974, Mother's Day, on the initiative of Silvia Monfort, director of the "Carré Thorigny", the city of Paris' cultural centre. That was for the bicentennial of the setting up in the Marais of "the inventor" of the circus: the British Major Philip Astley. The veritable initiator of the new circuses of creation, this "Cirque à l'Ancienne" has the particularity of being composed essentially of the same family.
A great family of artists in the ring
In the ring this year 9 of the 15 artists are Grusses. Performing with Alexis and his wife Gipsy (daughter of the great liontamer Firmin Bouglione) are their children and grandchildren :
Stephan, Firmin and Maud, represent the fifth generation of Grusses, with Stephan's wife Nathalie, also of circus origins, and with Laure, Firmin's wife.
The hour has now come for the sixth generation of Grusses, with Charles and Alexandre (the twins) and their little brother Louis, the first three sons of Stephan and Nathalie, to appear in the ring. Joseph, the fourth brother, is already in the wings stamping his feet in impatience. As to Jeanne, Laure and Firmin's daughter, born September 10, 2006, first girl of the sixth generation, you can bet that it won't be long before she joins her cousins in the ring, as soon as her age permits.
Parc Alexis Gruss - RN7 - 84420 Piolenc
+33(0)4 90 29 49 49http://www.alexis-gruss.com/parcalexisgruss.html