Catherine is a hula-hooping performance artist plying her trade on the international burlesque stage. Each year she tours the European festival circuit, delighting her audiences and honing her skills. But behind the glittering and bohemian facade, Catherine knows that security is hard won and true love is elusive. As she nears the middle of her life - admired but impoverished - she begins to question the nature of her vocation and the sacrifices women must make in order to succeed. Columbina, meanwhile, is a feisty female clown and a principal in a 16th-century Italian commedia dell'arte troupe. Commissioned to perform for the King of France, the troupe makes its way across a Europe held back by centuries of inequality and rocked by religious wars. As they near the city of Lyon, they are attacked by hooligans, only to be rescued by a group of marauding Huguenots with their own agenda. The troupe must now hatch a daring escape plan if they have any hope of survival, let alone reaching France.
As Catherine and Columbina struggle to make sense of an increasingly nonsensical world - and to assert their rights as performers and women during times of profound change - their lives, as if by magic, seem to interact.