Photo : Benny De Grove
Les Tombées de la Nuit present
Fidelis Fortibus
Circus Ronaldo
Poetic clown solo and circus performance
From 12 years old
In the great tradition of the poetic, burlesque clown acts of the CIRCUS RONALDO, Danny is back for four solo performances of his new artistic creation. Under the big top, surrounded by the graves of circus artists, he creates a wonderfully absurd yet mystical tribute to the circus of the past in a fresco that takes Commedia dell’Arte, Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton-esque antics to a whole new level.

Tombées de la Nuit is thrilled to welcome back the Flemish circus family with this long solo-performance from CIRCUS RONALDO. In this wonderfully creative performance of ensuing acts, DANNY RONALDO will have the circus ring to himself, without his brother David (La Cucina dell’Arte), or the other three generations of the family (Circenses). Co-directed by Dutch director, Lotte Van Den Berg, who brought us Agoraphobia in 2014, this autobiographical allegory rings out like a beautiful declaration of love to the circus of the past.

The audience is welcomed by a circus stagehand who is surprised to see them. There will be no performance. He is the only living survivor of an imaginary circus and proudly watches over the artists’ graves that lie on the worn out sawdust, in the middle of a clutter of balls, instruments and flamboyant costumes. As he tells their story, the magic slowly unfolds. He brings back to life the tightrope walker, the white clown and the ring leader through a series of juggling, tightrope-walking, magic, animal training and musical acts. Could illusion bring the dead back to life? In the repeating circus tunes of FIDELIS FORTIBUS, the devoted loyalty to values can turn into an absurd force, melancholy can become a gentle mystical lunacy and the desire to uphold tradition can evolve into a dismal dance. But DANNY RONALDO’s flamboyantly unique humour and playful performance, incarnated in his simple-minded Charlie Chaplin-like character, completely outshine the tribute with gentle and deeply touching poetry.

Against the backdrop of the Duguesclin square of the Jardin du Thabor, the CIRCUS RONALDO tent will host four performances of this beautiful tribute to the great circus families of the past. FIDELIS FORTIBUS is truly a grand circus show inspired once again by the theatrical writing and modernised codes of Commedia dell’Arte.


This family circus was born in the 19th century, in Ghent, Flanders (Belgium) with the renowned Adolf Peter Vandenberghe, the first in a long line of artists to get swept into theatre and acrobatic acts. The third generation took the name Volkstheater Vandenberghe. In the 1950s, the two grandsons, Jan and Herman Van Den Broeck, adopted the name RONALDO, which they would go on to use to christen the circus they founded twenty years later. Jan “Johnny” Ronaldo handed the big top down to his two sons, Danny and David, the sixth generation of circus artists to carry on this authentic art form somewhere in between circus and Commedia dell’arte. It is in this big top that Danny Ronaldo learned his craft, before becoming artistic director of the travelling troop in 1994. In 2004, Danny and David established “Cucina dell’Arte”, which has travelled the European festival circuit. In 2009, “Circenses” brought together three generations of the family. “Amortale” brought their small puppet theatre back to life in 2011. In 2015, the solo performance, FIDELIS FORTIBUS, brought their story full circle by telling a tale of the loyalty and ties that bind the traditional families of circus artists. They say that the seventh generation of the RONALDO family can’t wait to have their turn in the circus ring, to continue the adventure with clowning, juggling, shenanigans and melancholy – in a nutshell, circus in its glorious and fascinating simplicity.


Coaching : Lotte van den Berg , Steven Luca , Rafael en Jo De Rijck / Music : David Van Keer / Technical : Nanosh Ronaldo /
With creative contribution by : Andreas Ketels, Erik Van den Broecke

Theater op de Markt – Dommelhof, Festival PERPLX, MiramirO, Théâtre Firmin Gémier / La Piscine, Pôle national des arts du cirque d’Ile de France

De Vlaamse Gemeenschap, Provincie Antwerpen, Werkplaats Diepenheim, Oerolfestival, Dok Gent, CC Bonheiden

Wednesday 05 July 2017 > Saturday 08 July 2017
Parc du Thabor, Rennes
Carré Duguesclin - Thabor, RENNES

15€ (Excluding rental fees) / 4€ (rate sortir)
250 people
Lignes a-C1-C5-9 arrêt Sévigné station Sainte-Anne / LE vélo STAR : Sainte-Anne
4 places. Book your place 24h before. Contact: Marion Poupineau - 06 03 40 90 41 -
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The association is supported by the City of Rennes, the Brittany Region, the Ille-et-Vilaine Department & the ministry of culture.

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