Trust

Here is a video created by BuzzFeed and Cirque Du Soleil: Why trust is worth it

This is hardly a ground breaking concept and the tricks chosen don’t really scream ‘trust moves’ to anyone who has a working understanding of acro and it’s potential.

Perhaps the video feels a little cheesy because the text is spoken about the performers and not by them (possibly the accent and rhythm of the voice over just grates on me) it is still a bit of a style change for Cirque (with a capital C). Not a video I would straight away associate with their athstetic.

The video also doesn’t match the style or artistic choices for the show it is advertising, Totem. Not that it should, just interesting that it is a different approach to promotion from the normal ‘reporter in a harness on stage’ that we are all so used to seeing featured in the ‘and finally’ item on TV news. Perhaps this is the future of circus advertising?

Aesthetically it’s a move away from bad 1980s graphics and toward 1990s Calvin Klein adverts. But perhaps that’s just BuzzFeed having some artistic influence on the video?

Interesting collaboration anyhow.

Parkour before parkour

Parkour has risen in popularity over the last decade or so but as many know it’s not really a new art form. Before the tun of the last century John Higgins was a professional jumper bringing breathtaking jumps to the masses. In this video Mr. Higgins (54 years old at the time) shows of some of his skills and inventive stunts.

You can read a full article about Mr Higgins entitled ‘The Champion Jumper of the World’ by Oswald North first published in The Strand Magazine and reprinted in Charlie Holland‘s book ‘ Strange Feats & Cleaver Turns‘.

There is also some information about Higgins here (including reports of him jumping over a car and even hourse and cab).

Performer wanted for a new show

Performer wanted for a new show.
 
So & So are looking for an acrobatic performer for their new show, Backgammon for Beginners. Applicants would preferably have a strong acrobatic background, although we may consider working with a performer from another discipline (dance/theatre/other circus background) with the potential to increase their acrobatic vocabulary.
 
Most of all, we are looking for someone with a strong stage presence and an interest in creating a new circus theatre piece, who is prepared to work with text.
Backgammon for Beginners follows the stories of Javad, a man who became trapped in London, following the Iranian revolution in 1979. His attempts to comprehend the cultural differences between his past and his present lead to jumping out of hotel windows, introducing backgammon to London bars, facing the terror of the National Front and stopping trains with his bare hands.
 
The show will be directed by Mish Weaver. We will work with a script, and use live music. There will be 4 performers in the show- Roshi (musician), Lauren & Kaveh (acrobatic pair) plus another performer.
 
Rehearsal dates are 12th Sept – 23rd Sept, 14th Nov-16th Dec, and 2nd – 11th January. The show will then tour the UK from approximately 15th April- 2nd June (TBC). Applicants must be able to commit to all of these periods.
 
The fee for rehearsals will be £400/week for 8 weeks. Rehearsals will be held in London (6 weeks) and Yorkshire (2 weeks). Accommodation can be provided if necessary. 
 
Please send a CV, covering letter and any photos and links to website or videos to info@soandsocircus.com by August 14th.
For more information on the company, see http://www.soandsocircus.com or richardsonprm.com/artists_soandso2.html

The Importance of Being Selfish

I have been lucky in recent times to be able to work as a teacher/director in disciplines outside of just juggling. Amongst other projects, a few months ago I lectured on creativity and lead a workshop at a meeting of hand-to-hand acrobats in Stockholm, and even more recently I directed my favourite aerialist Petra Lange’s latest dance/acrobatics act.

And less far from my usual comfort zone, for his last two complete evening show productions, I have been listed on Ken Bardowicks‘ posters as “Magical Advisor”. Part creator, part director, part magician and part spectator. It can, and mostly does, jump from the most crazy brainstorming of impossible sounding effects, to the solving of the most banal of problems. Pulling techniques and methods from classic turn of the century sources, or as new as anything being thought of today, and finding solutions and workarounds to weak-points and logical inconsistencies.

And although it is by definition a work together, I am more than happy to acknowledge the purely selfish advantages that it brings to me.

More than anything in my own work, be it magic or juggling, I strive to create material that I personally would like to see performed. The reason I create is to fill a gap: a gap that should contain that which I want to see. I am certainly not alone with this approach to my art, with a pedigree of such people as the film director Tim Burton, or the juggler Jay Gilligan, to back up this standpoint. At the very least, there will be one happy person when I perform my work (me!). And as I do believe that we (the human race) as people have very similar needs and desires, so there is a reasonable chance that what makes me happy, will also make others happy. My contributions as Magical Advisor, or director to other disciplines within the performing arts, is an obvious extension of this selfish desire.

Through my work with Ken and others, I suddenly have so many more possibilities to see that which I want to see performed! No longer does my own technique set or performance outlets have to limit what I can see on stage! I can suggest ideas, and someone else will do them for me! A killer routine that I would be too lazy to do the set-up for every day? A beautiful effect that I could never build the apparatus for? No problem! And although sometimes the work is more about detailed corrections and choreographies, the excitement of seeing those wonderful effects that otherwise I wouldn’t be able to see is what keeps the excitement present in our continuing working relationship.

In any relationship, compromises are necessary. Sometimes one must back off from purely personal desires or needs. And in this one specifically, it is Ken’s work, the effects, the show, that are the clear priority. Sometimes (but rarely) we search for solutions to something that doesn’t stir me in a particularly emotional manner, but most of the time, what I take is worth at least that which I can give. And sometimes it is good to remember to be selfish.

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