Petit Mal, the second production by the Race Horse Company, is a collaboration with Circo Aereo. The show is a prime example of concrete circus: a combination of the tradition of village fools and performing art, where sweat and bruises embroider the skins of the performers. The show has no story or plot, and not much sense to speak of. It does not tell a story, but certainly has its fair share of action.
“These guys are trying things out, getting under each other’s skin, yet working together in a non-show-off style that’s ultimately highly engaging and, at times, exhilarating. This is circus completely outside the box.” Donald Hutera, The Times, 4 June 2010
Petit Mal’s building blocks are black humour and collisions. The traditional form, poetry and soft movement of contemporary circus are challenged through randomness, dream-like logic and the menace of violence. Petit Mal is a part of our disintegrating culture and world.
Petit Mal is, however, far from show wrestling: it is absolutely, stunningly skilful and amusing, but also delicate and fragile performance art.
“Rauli Kosonen’s magical trampoline and gym ball artistry alone are very much worth going on. In one word: wow!” Jussi Tossavainen, Helsingin Sanomat, 12 March 2010
Race Horse Company
Race Horse Company was born in 2008 out of Petri Tuominen’s, Rauli Kosonen’s and Kalle Lehto’s need to create uncompromising, personal and completely new kind of contemporary circus. Race Horse Company’s rough- and-ready performances are based on aesthetics of chaos, humour and surprise. The company approaches circus without questioning, leaving philosophy and thinking to the spectators. Since the very beginning, Race Horse Company has focused on touring, and their ultimate objective is no less than take over the entire world.
Circo Aereo is an international contemporary circus group from Finland. Currently one of the most active Finnish groups in terms of performing abroad, Circo Aereo is among the flagships of Finnish cultural exports. In the past few years, Circo Aereo’s productions have been a major factor contributing to the rise of Finnish contemporary circus internationally.
“I loved Rauli Kosonen’s extraordinary trampolining – which has a desperate, emotional, Trigger-like quality, as if he’d like to bounce right out of his own life – and Petri Tuominen, who approaches the Chinese pole as if he has a personal grudge against it.” Lyn Gardner, The Guardian, 7 June 2010
Rauli Kosonen is a graduate of the famous Centre National des Arts du Cirque in France and has also worked with the director Ezec Le Floc’h. Kosonen is specialized in trampoline acrobatics. In Petit Mal he studies physical reworking of the trampoline, for example, by replacing springs of the trampoline and thus altering the angle of the jumping surface. Kosonen studies the effect created by breaking his movement into segments by, for example, using a flashing stroboscopic light, and making use of movement material that is born out of combination of the trampoline with a bungee rope.
Petri Tuominen studied contemporary circus in Stockholm’s Dance Academy. Tuominen has also performed in Circo Aereo’s productions Fur! and Camping as well as in Circus Monti in Switzerland. Tuominen is specialized in dynamic pole acrobatics: somersaults, pirouettes and vaults. His primary interest lies in expanding the possibilities of the Chinese pole. Petit Mal’s worldview climaxes during the scene where the Chinese pole’s fixing cables are cut in the middle of Tuominen’s performance: the pole and artist collapse and everything starts all over again.
Kalle Lehto studied circus art in the Arts Academy at Turku University of Applied Sciences in Finland and has a strong background in break-dance, floor acrobatics and object manipulation. A former champion in break-dance, Lehto has also worked in various contemporary theatre productions that combine different art forms. Lehto studies deconstruction of break-dance movement and its fusion with the Chinese pole and other stage elements. In Petit Mal Lehto focuses on, among other things, movement that is produced with large-sized acrobatic balls. The demanding joint choreographies for three performers end violently when the balls burst in the middle of the movement.
“…And these three guys are the essence of cool.” David Penrose, Portsmouth Today, 2 June 2010
“What we have seen is something truly excellent and extraordinary.” Jussi Tossavainen, Helsingin Sanomat, 12 March 2010
“One of the most amazing shows I have ever seen.” Ashley Bolton, Daily Echo 2 June 2010