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Naked bod­ies in­ter­twined me­tres above the ground. It’s a story of love, trust and core strength! By Ri­ley-McFar­lane Photograph­y.

Half-naked men, their bod­ies in­ter­twined and de­fy­ing grav­ity. Les Farfadais is a per­for­mance troupe en­com­pass­ing ac­ro­bat­ics, cir­cus skills and haute cou­ture cos­tumes. On a re­cent visit to Aus­tralia, we caught up with founder Stephane Haffner and his hus­band Kyle Kier-Haffner for a chat and pho­to­shoot. Words and pic­tures by Ri­ley-McFar­lane Photograph­y.

DNA: How would you de­scribe what the au­di­ence will see when they come to one of your shows? Stephane:

We mix live, con­tem­po­rary mu­sic, dance, cir­cus acts and aerial ac­ro­bat­ics with elab­o­rate avant­garde cos­tumes to cre­ate our fan­tasy world! It’s like tak­ing you into our own dream­like realm. While our shows ap­peal to au­di­ences of all ages, we also de­sign shows for dif­fer­ent mar­kets. We have shows with aeri­al­ists, eques­tri­ans and even horses on stage or just Kyle and my­self in a bath­tub. For ex­am­ple, what the au­di­ence sees at The One Grand Show in Ber­lin (cos­tumes by Jean-Paul Gau­tier by the way) is not quite as sen­sual and erotic as our per­for­mances on the At­lantis cruises.

Can you ex­plain the scale of Les Farfadais to­day and how it all be­gan? Stephane:

I founded Les Farfadais 20 years ago, and five years af­ter that my brother joined me. Now, Les Farfadais is troupe of over 90 in­ter­na­tional per­form­ers with mul­ti­ple pro­duc­tions and galas hap­pen­ing si­mul­ta­ne­ously across the globe. We came to Sydney to join a cruise ship for the in­au­gu­ral per­for­mance of a show we are pro­duc­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with

them and in­stalling across their fleet. We took the op­por­tu­nity to ar­rive a lit­tle ear­lier to see some of the sights of Sydney. We’d love to come back and ex­plore it in more de­tail and, hope­fully, have the op­por­tu­nity to bring our show to Aus­tralian au­di­ences.

You made quite an im­pact when you ap­peared on Italy’s Got Talent, and not just for your per­for­mance. What hap­pened?

Stephane: Well, im­me­di­ately af­ter the per­for­mance I asked the host and judges if they would per­mit me to say some­thing. At that point I got down on one knee and asked Kyle if he would marry me. Thank­fully, he said yes.

Kyle: There’s a bit of a back story to this. Some time be­fore this we were in a plain, some­what gloomy of­fice in Paris, try­ing to ar­range the French equiv­a­lent of the US Green Card so that I could stay with Stephane in Paris as we were now a cou­ple. It wasn’t go­ing smoothly and Stephane said, “per­haps we should just get mar­ried,” to which I re­sponded, “if you are go­ing to pro­pose to me it had bet­ter be in a bet­ter place than this and a lot more ro­man­tic.” That’s how it ended up for the world to see.

Stephane: We have been per­form­ing side by side for the past four years. Liv­ing, dat­ing and pre­form­ing ev­ery sin­gle day! It seemed the log­i­cal place to pro­pose. We’re very grate­ful to have found each other. We are very sim­i­lar in the way we think in both our art and our lives.

That ex­plains the beau­ti­ful in­ti­macy we see watch­ing you work to­gether. Stephane: Thank you. Where do you see your­selves in five or 10 year’s time?

Stephane: Per­form­ing on the At­lantis cruises has given us a larger fol­low­ing in North Amer­ica. While we are well-re­ceived and known in Europe I am hop­ing that we can take the shows across the At­lantic.

Kyle: We love do­ing what we do and per­form­ing to­gether. We hope to con­tinue to do it for as long as we can.

“The word Farfadais refers to the lights be­tween the clouds and the uni­verse that we can­not see.”

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