It’s Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain this weekend and there are two UK acts taking part, perhaps a milestone for UK circus.
One part of me thinks the contest element is stupid, how and why does circus compete in any meaningful way? Why does this format still exist? Apples and organgutangs etc.
Another part of me recognises that the festival launches careers, it showcases amazing artists and it has a historical significance which has had a direct and indirect impact on me. Mark Robertson competed for goodness sake!
Demain always reminds me of Luke Wilson. I think back to Luke and Ilka competing as LukaLuka in 2003, the fist Circus Space alumni to reach a truly internationally respected circus platform with their own work.
Luke had a great story of meeting Francis Brunn at the festival. Francis asked to see his hands, saw they were all callused and broken and said, “Good”. Luke was immensely proud of that.
Luke returned to the festival stage in 2011, he got picked to be a volunteer for a pickpocket. It was slightly set up as Luke had been given objects specifically for the act. As Luke pointed out, he would never utilise a belt and braces at the same time, for obvious reasons.
I’m proud of the NCCA, it’s so excited to see artists go through the UK system and come out on a level on par with the rest of the world. LJ and Korri are a credit to the progress being made in UK circus and obviously they’ve also worked crazy hard to get into the festival.
Good luck to them both and the other artists involved in the festival.