The 13th edition of HOPLA!, the festival of the circus arts, captivated over 13,000 people in the streets of Brussels in the second week of the Easter Vacation. It was a “clear success”, the Brussels Alderwoman for Culture, Tourism and Major Events, Delphine Houba, commented on Sunday.
The festival was held from Monday to Sunday in various parts of Brussels commune, from the Breugel Cultural Centre in Marolles District to Maximilien Park, not to forget the Pôle Nord sports and culture centre, Bockstael Maison de la Création, Model City and Versailles neighbourhood in Neder-Over-Hembeek.
Belgian, French and Spanish circus performers thrilled young and old with their artistic spectacles and giddy performances. Students of the Higher School of Circus Arts, ESAC, had free rein to showcase their skills around the ponds at city-centre quays – the Quai aux briques and the Quai au bois à brûler.
Some brave hearts, children, teenagers and even some adults, took part in the first world “tourdeban” contest, a new event at the festival.
This year’s edition had a total of 57 shows and the number of spectators – 13,000 – was similar to that of last year.
“Brussels moved to the rhythm of the circus for a week,” said a smiling Delphine Houba.” The circus shows and activities still impress people from 0 to 99 years old as much as before.”