9 Mar 2010

Pierrot Bidon

Pierrot Bidon 01/01/1954 to 09/03/2010

I received a text message notifying me that Pierrot Bidon had taken his final curtain call. He was just 56.

My introduction to Pierrot took place in '88,  somewhere on the outskirts of Copenhagen. A Bouinax (metal clown), like a legionnaire delivering the damned messenger, led me  across a strip of wasteland to his HQ. Pierrot’s place; a traditional roulotte Gitane, was a cave on wheels. I perched on a milking-stool like Hopper listening to Brando's brand of wisdom. Through the dark I could make out his ghecko eyes and re-tread toes.

The whiskey I brought as an offering brought us closer - quicker. He poured out his story as we sank the bottle, a bidon... Pierrot’s formative years were spent acquiring his skills on the streets of Le Mans before running away with the circus. For 10 years he travelled and performed the tight-rope with a horse troupe, before breaking with tradition and creating the now legendary Circus Archaos. Archaos broke all the rules, Pierrot did the unthinkable - he made circus contemporary and cool.


Since the disbanding of Archaos in 1991 Pierrot went on to influence the circus world further by establishing Circo da Madrugada, Circus Baobab, The Circus of Horrors and La Grume.
 Pierrot was more than an impresario and ringmaster, he was the father of modern circus and a father-figure to his performers and crew. Like a contortionist he bent backwards to organise my shoots and find me 4star accommodation; usually a damp sleeping bag in a wet caravan! Pierrot was a fixer par excellence!

Ana and Pierrot                                                                   Ana and Pedro

Pierrot leaves behind his wife Ana, his two sons; Pedro and Antonio and his wonderful legacy. Circus Oz, Cirque De Soleil, the residents of Las Vegas et al, owe a great debt of gratitude to Pierrot's innovation and trailblazing.

Vive les Clowns!