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Alexis Gruss, the patriarch of French circus, has died

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From his first present in 1974, to 2024, when his firm received its highest award on the Worldwide Circus Pageant of Monte-Carlo, Gruss left his mark on equestrian circus. He died on Saturday, April 6, aged 79.

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Alexis Gruss had simply celebrated 50 years of creation in Paris. Fifty years of his presence, from organising his first large present in 1974 within the courtyard of the Hôtel Salé (now Paris’ Picasso Museum), to taking it to the garden of Saint-Cloud, within the Bois de Boulogne, west of Paris, and creating an enormous magical gathering place there from 1999. Within the meantime, he had moved and planted his circus tent in over 20 areas.

Fifty years of labor amidst the maelstrom of fifty reveals carried out by the ever-growing Gruss tribe, all gathered round their patriarch, Alexis. A distinguished determine of the creative scene and a grasp of the equestrian arts, Alexis Gruss died on Saturday morning, April 6, of a coronary heart assault on the Saint-Joseph hospital group in Paris. He had been hospitalized there a number of days in the past. He was 79 years outdated.

Born on April 23, 1944, within the jap French village of Bart, Gruss belonged to the fourth era of a household of circus performers that had begun working beneath the large high in 1854. When speaking about his distant ancestors, he typically declared himself to be the “product of an Alsatian stonecutter and an Italian horsewoman… sauerkraut and order on one aspect; spaghetti and whimsy on the opposite.”

From his father Théophile, who was generally known as André (Dédé) Gruss, a clown; and his mom Hélène, generally known as Maud Latour, who hailed from the fairground circus custom; he inherited a spirit of curiosity, open to all methods. At first a clown and his father’s accomplice, who taught him horseback acrobatics amongst different expertise, he was additionally a saxophonist, an acrobat and a horseman.

Excessive-flying equestrian reveals

Collectively together with his spouse Gypsy Bouglione, a juggler, tightrope walker and the animal coach Firmin Bouglione’s daughter, they based their very own troupe and had 4 youngsters. And so it was that they started performing high-flying equestrian reveals as a household.

In 2018, for the present Origines, 12 circus artists, 40 horses and 10 musicians celebrated the historical past of the creation of recent circus, which appeared 250 years in the past; and the passionate, handing down of the Gruss household custom. On the age of 74, Alexis Gruss was on the coronary heart of his spouse’s present. His sons had been additionally concerned: Stephan directed; whereas Firmin, additionally a horseman, clown and acrobat, had turn into the corporate’s managing director. His daughter, Maud Florees Gruss, director of the horse using staff, was educated by her father from the age of 8.

The 2019 present, with three generations performing within the ring together with 50 horses had been an enormous success. In a joyful ambiance, the troupe carried out a collection of acts, every extra beautiful and astounding than the final; all accompanied by stay music and music. Their virtuosity was matched solely by their explosive power, which despatched the viewers into raptures. Upstanding, magnetic, and imperious; Alexis Gruss imposed his rigorous approach.

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