Wanneroo Weekender - - Lifestyle - Sara Fitzpatrick

IF you had just one word to en­cap­su­late French-Cana­dian cir­cus spec­tac­u­lar, BARBU, it would be beards.

Hairy, un­tamed, manly – not hip­ster – beards. Ev­ery male in the troupe – ex­cept DJ David Si­mard who is sim­ply mous­ta­chioed – sports one.

BARBU cre­ator and per­former, An­toine Cara­binier Lepine said fa­cial hair had be­come the col­lec­tive’s brand and was not a mere fash­ion state­ment.

“Be­fore BARBU (which trans­lates to bearded), we had an­other show called Tim­ber! and we needed beards for that be­cause it was a lum­ber­jack cir­cus show,” he said. “Af­ter that, we de­cided to keep them. “They some­times get in the way; when we climb on each other we have to be care­ful where we put our feet.”

Cara­binier Lepine founded worl­drenowned com­pany Cirque Al­fonse in 2005 af­ter putting on a show for his fa­ther’s 60th birth­day.

Com­pris­ing his sis­ter, brother-in­law and friends, the group cre­ates cheeky cir­cus acts, bear­ing mus­cles, beards and sweat, and mix­ing all var­i­ous art­forms to­gether.

The 35-year-old dis­cov­ered his call­ing at 14 in his home city, Mon­treal.

“My fa­ther took me to see a Na­tional Cir­cus School show and when I saw it, I fell in love,” Cara­binier Lepine said.

Cara­binier Lepine is in Perth, for the first time, for two weeks and looks for­ward to vis­it­ing the beach and ex­plor­ing the city.

BARBU in ac­tion.

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