Our story

Fascinated by life, Tall Tales tells inspiring stories through circus performances. Large and small stories that question our world view and investigate what moves people. Circus is our language. An exciting language that appeals to the imagination, stretches boundaries and responds to emotions. A language that hardly anyone speaks, but everyone understands. Acrobatics and object manipulation are combined with other disciplines such as theatre, dance, science, philosophy and psychology. Tall Tales creates great stories on a human scale, a “circus of life”.

Based on their fascination for circus and human stories, Harm van der Laan and Maartje Bonarius founded Tall Tales in 2012. They met at the circus training of Codarts Rotterdam, where they specialized in aerial acrobatics (Maartje), object manipulation (Harm) and partner acrobatics (duo). Together they formed the longest acrobat duo in the world. After further training in Toulouse, they decided to return to the Netherlands to further develop the circus as an art form. An art form that was already very popular abroad, but had not yet found the Dutch public. Driven as they are, they have developed into a company that is a major pioneer in both home base Rotterdam and in the Dutch theater world. They make layered performances in which our humanity is magically questioned with humour, tension and emotion. These productions can be seen on stages and festivals in the Netherlands and abroad. Since 2019, Tall Tales is one of the first circus companies to be structurally subsidized by the Performing Arts Fund NL and the city of Rotterdam.

Tall Tales Studio
In addition to its own productions, Tall Tales is committed to the circus field in many other ways. The most eye-catching is without a doubt the Tall Tales Studio. Since its foundation in 2016, the studio has functioned as a training center for professionals and classes and masterclasses are organized for professionals and recreational users. The Tall Tales Studio has since grown into a national circus breeding ground and is home to a large part of the Dutch circus field.

Tall Tales always explores the boundaries of the circus genre. During the pandemic, for example, they made Square 2.1 a completely virtual performance, in which you follow a route through your house. In 2022, Bonarius and van der Laan made a daring circus version of the cult film A Clockwork Orange that toured the country. In the meantime, they continued their own artistic research into interdisciplinary performances. Together with a breakdancer and an acrobat they made the personal On the Move and developed Square Two into a location performance. Before this, Tall Tales made the performances Weg (2012), Solo (2013) and Lang (2017) in collaboration with theater maker Luc van Esch and in collaboration with choreographer Thomas Falk One of these days (2018). They themselves created Turbulence in 2013.


Auditions and vacancies


"Once again, Tall Tales proves that it can be done: telling a strong story through circus theater that expressly leaves to the spectator what you take away from the performance."

Theaterkrant about One of These Days