From summer 1998 through to the summer of 1999 I was living in America. During that time I went to see Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba, their permanent show at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Cirque du Soleil didn’t have as many permanent shows then as they do now and to get to see one of them was pretty special for me. Generally speaking, I’ve rarely been a big fan of Cirque du Soleil’s shows but I have to admit that I remember thoroughly enjoying La Nouba, particularly the Flying Trapeze. However, there was also something unusual in the show, something I don’t think I’d ever seen done, as an act, in a circus: Bikes.
Now, we’ve probably all seen BMXing – either we’re old enough to remember it from the 80s when it was in vogue, or more recently with its resurgence and the advent of youtube. But they also had a mountain bike. In case you’ve never seen it, here it is:
At the time I was pretty impressed with it. Looking at it now, it seems a bit tame – not to mention a bit dated! But today I saw something that was not only technically outstanding but beautifully shot, and enjoyable to watch. I mean, I can ride a bike but this guy can Ride A Bike! This is Danny MacAskill (sometimes known as ‘Danny MegaSkill’), a Scottish street trials pro rider for Inspired Bicycles Ltd, and his video “Way Back Home”:
I still haven’t really see bikes in circuses but based on this I think maybe there’s some real scope for it. It not only epitomises the technical precision and artistry that you get in circus but also shows how creative and entertaining it can be.
Have you seen bikes in circus? Do you use bikes in your show? Let us know in the comments below.