In 1978 , Kenzo Takada proved his sense of dramatic appearance when he held his show in a circus tent, finishing with horsewomen performers wearing transparent uniforms and he himself riding an elephant.

This time, our show took place outside of Paris, at the Fratellini circus academy, in Saint Denis.

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Académie Fratellini is the only dedicated circus arts training academy of its kind in Europe. The Académie’s training and performance center across the street from Stade de France in Saint-Denis, Paris, continues the legacy of École Nationale Du Cirque originally founded by Annie Fratellini.

In 1972, Annie Fratellini and Pierre Etaix founded École Nationale du Cirque in Paris. The school subsequently relocated from the 14th to the 19th arrondissement of Paris, where for two decades it was based in Rue de la Clôture in the Porte de la Villette area. It was a pioneer of its day, opening up training in the circus arts to a broader public for the first time and enabling young artists outside of the big circus families to explore and practice these arts. Annie’s brother Paul took the helm after his sister’s death in 1997, hiring Laurent Gachet to relaunch the school as Académie Fratellini.

Académie Fratellini has offered an advanced circus arts program since 2003. The course syllabus combines group learning with individual training in technique, in the form of a work/study program that balances training (60%) with hands-on experience (40%).
Over the three-year course, our aspiring young artists are initiated into the profession by performing in the Académie’s shows and events and in a wide variety of circus, theater, dance and opera productions organized by external partners in the arts.
Application details are available online on the Académie Fratellini website.
The education program is overseen by Valérie Fratellini.


Académie Fratellini offers a training program designed to make the circus arts accessible to students of all ages and experience levels. École de Cirque, for children aged 5 to 14 years, offers classes on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the French school year. In vacation periods (Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer Recess) circus camps offer beginners’ classes in sundry circus arts for ages 8 and up.

Tightrope, trapeze, acrobatics and juggling workshops are on offer on Tuesdays from 6 pm to 8 pm and on Thursdays from 7 pm to 9 pm. Professional training is reserved for professional circus artists wishing to train and hone their technique.


The Big Top was designed by architects Patrick Bouchain and Loïc Julienne.
It was the first circus building constructed in France in the 21st century, and also happens to be the largest erected since 1905.
This unusual star-shaped big top, with no inner poles and a timber structure throughout, stands at over 30 m high.
The venue can accommodate 1,600 spectators around the traditional 13-meter (42 ft.) ring standardized in the 18th century by Philip Astley.

Source (French only):