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.”