Pierrot Bidon 1954 -2010

Archaos was just one chapter/adventure of Pierrots. A short and intense period for all involved. In December 2010 The Entropik Association was established to document and celebrate the whole of Pierrots story.

The next page gives details how you can help and support the Entropik Association.

The other pages celebrate the work Pierrot did with many companies around the world. If we have missed a project please get in touch with some details and we will add it to the archive.

By: Gerry Cottle

The Independant - 1st April 2010

Pierric Pillot, aka Pierrot Bidon, was the creator of
Archaos and one of the founding fathers of New Circus.

He had a profound influence on the development of the world
of circus in the late 20th and early 21st century.

Born in 1954 in Mans, Bidon was 20 years old when he created
his first circus, Circus Bidon, in 1975. The show worked the
villages and small towns of France and Italy for 10 years
with the athletic Bidon taking to the ring as a tightrope
walker. It was a traditional travelling circus with 25
horses and exquisite gypsy caravans, but even when working a
traditional circuit, a playful streak was evident; bidon can
mean "can" or "flask", but there is little doubt in my mind
that the various slang meanings, including "hot air" and
"fake", were high in Bidon's mind when he named it.

Travelling in this way, he saw how little impact the
industrial world had had on the circus, the form of which
had remained virtually unchanged for nearly two centuries.
"We live in an industrial world, which is just as wild and
just as glamorous as all the nostalgic tinsel and tatty
tigers," Bidon said. "So we decided not to reject but to
embrace it."



He traded in horse and caravans for motorbikes and chainsaws and, in 1986, roared out with Archaos (meaning "Beginning"),
a whole new take on the circus - an exhilarating, thrilling
and authority-baiting fusion of infernal factory, car chase
and circus. Pierrot's approach was anarchic and yet deeply
rooted in the origins of circus. The troupe he gathered to
take Archaos abroad was a disparate bunch united by his
warm, patriarchal generosity and thrilling sense of
invention and adventure, be that splitting an untaxed car in
two on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, training the few animals
that were used in the show to perform a routine in which
they taught their masters new tricks or unleashing another
salvo of carefully choreographed anarchy.

Bidon entertained the masses with oxy-acetylene torches,
angle grinders, motorbikes, chainsaws, Semtex and the odd
bewildered chicken. Jugglers were in boiler suits while
clowns strapped corrugated iron to their backs, wielded lump
hammers and battered other clowns for laughs.

Archaos's shows in England were met with excitement and
outrage - Bristol Council banned their show after a wave of
hysterical press reportage - and Bidon gleefully used this,
whipping up a frenzy that saw Archaos become the toast of
Europe. And then, in 1991, it all collapsed. On the eve of a
trip to America with the Metal Clown tour, the Archaos tent
was destroyed in a storm and the company fell apart.

Others from Archaos went on to successful careers with
Cirque du Soleil and more. Bidon created Circo da Madrugada
out of a series of workshops driven by social programmes in
schools and shanty towns with the dispossessed. He also
created Circus Baobab, an extravaganza of dancing, high-risk
acrobatics, juggling and clowning, sound-tracked by
high-energy traditional West African music, and travelled
the world working on spectacular shows for openings and

"New Circus is more traditional than the other circus," he
said at the height of Archaos's fame. "Ordinary circus has
become incorporated. It's dull. People are in it for the
money and the spirit suffers. What we have tried to do is
recapture the spirit and the passion of performing."

I employed him in 2004 to direct the Circus of Horrors, set
up in 1995 to fill the gap left by Archaos, because, as a
rock'n'roller - and as a family man - Pierrot approached
everything he did with passion. He was never dull or
incorporated. His spirit reinvigorated the modern circus.
Without his input, it could have taken a great deal longer
to reinvent and radicalise the form. He had known for a
while that he was ill, but this did not dull his sense of
rock'n' roll. His parting gesture was to give the peace and
love sign in one hand and the third finger on the other.

Pierric Pillot (Pierrot Bidon), circus performer and
director: born 1 January 1954;  married Ana (two children) died Arles, France 9 March 2010


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