Exciting Circus Line-Up Announced for CircusFest 2018 - StageLync
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Exciting Circus Line-Up Announced for CircusFest 2018

Founded in 2009, CircusFest is London’s biennial international festival of contemporary circus taking place at the Roundhouse as well as selected partner venues around London. The Roundhouse’s CircusFest 2018 focuses on the future of circus: daring and diverse, punky and poetic, subversive and socially aware. From the spectacular to the intimate, the festival showcases the point where circus collides with theatre, dance, live art, film and even virtual reality.

Since its inception the festival has been one of London’s best occasions to view some of the world’s most interesting and innovative circus artists, bringing companies from Europe, the USA and Australia, offering its audience circus workshops and providing space for exhibitions, panel discussions and other complementary activities. Though the festival is based at the Roundhouse, it is spread in performance spaces all over London, including another groundbreaking circus venue – Jacksons Lane. Roundhouse provides circus programming to young people ages 16-25 all year with their Street Circus Collective, practicing circus skills and mounting performances.

For this year’s edition, the festival is themed around the 250th anniversary year of the invention of modern circus. Circus has come a long way since Philip Astley created the first variety show and this year’s CircusFest shows how this art form is always innovating and evolving. Producers of CircusFest 2018, Molly Nicholson and Daniel Pitt, commented: “London was the birthplace of modern circus in 1768. Like London, circus is highly international and the Roundhouse presents brilliant artists from around the world regardless of language or borders. We’re looking to the future of circus, celebrating the strength, skill and potency of these incredible artists and joining their pursuit for development in the art form and change in the world.”

With fifteen shows, two film projects and artists from three continents including companies from Sweden, USA, Finland and Palestine, this year’s edition is looking up to be a grand celebration of circus cultures around the world.

Highlights include: The world premiere of Relentless Unstoppable Human Machine from the acclaimed Pirates of the Carabina. The show delves into the fantastical lives of two fated neighbours who journey beyond the mundane routine of everyday existence, discovering surprising new connections with the world, and with each other.

A company that creates visually striking shows with unusual use of apparati, they were last seen in London with their show Flown produced by Crying Out Loud. In it they had an airborne cyr wheel and an aerial lamp, made their trusses an active participant in the show, mixed acrobats with riggers and stuntmen and created an all-around original and energetic performance. This is their first full-length show since, and it will be exciting to see what they have in store for their audiences this time around.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Massao Mascaro

The UK premiere of The Bekkrell Effect, inspired by physicist Henri Becquerel’s discovery of radioactivity. Five performers hurtle around the stage, things fall apart, atoms decay and relationships break up – below the surface is chaos, yet with enough distance everything can be beautiful. The French company Groupe Bekkrell have created an unstable universe of perpetual movement where matter decays and bonds disintegrate.

The relationship of circus and science has always been a relevant one to explore (what with the importance the laws of physics hold in circus), so witnessing a circus company’s take on radioactivity, complete with particularly interesting uses of rope and a punk score, promises to be a show worth watching. The group, founded by graduates of CNAC, recently performed this show in Bristol and after its London run will present it in France.

 

 

 

2015 Total Theatre Award winners Palestinian Circus School’s new show SARAB (Mirage),sharing the plight of refugees worldwide. The seven Palestinian performers reflect on their own history and the repetition of it today for millions of people.

 

 

Palestine’s only social circus, founded by locals and operated with the help of volunteers from around the world, was established in 2006. It has since reached an audience of 60,000 people in areas A, B and C in Jerusalem and abroad, and every year they go on a mobile tour performing in theaters, schools, playground and street corners.

If you are interested in this show we recommend making a day of it: on Sunday April 15th the festival is putting a spotlight on social circuses working with kids at risk, offering a combined program of SARAB, the Circus Kathmandu documentary Even When I Fall, and a panel discussion on circus for change. Social circus enthusiasts are sure to have a fascinating day.

Photo courtesy of Chris Reynolds

Ellie Dubois’ smash hit No Showa performance that reveals what lies hidden beneath the showmanship of circus. See behind the flawless smiles and perfect execution of the traditional circus to show the wobbles, the pain, and the real cost of aiming for perfection.

Having just finished a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and winning numerous awards, the show explores an unusual angle to circus – one where effort is visible and the physical strain is part of the experience, proposing that “the greatest show” might actually be one where all the illusions are dropped. Circus Talk interviewed Dubois after No Show‘s successful run at Edinburgh last year.

Non-performance offerings include V&A Late highlighting the 250th anniversary of circus, a circus exhibition titled Friday Late: Circus – Past, Present & Future and a documentary film about Circus Kathmandu called Even When I Fall.

 

Feature photo courtesy of CircusFest
Stav Meishar
Performer, Writer -Israel, United States
Stav Meishar was born and raised in Israel and leads a double life all around the world, mostly in New York City. During the day she runs Dreamcoat Experience, an award-winning nonprofit organization for arts-driven, experiential Jewish education. At night she is a writer and stage artist specializing in circus and theater. Sometimes, when she's lucky, she gets to be both at the same time – like with her most recent project, a solo performance based on the true story of a Jewish acrobat woman who survived the Holocaust by hiding and working at a German circus. Stav is committed to pursuing the gestalt of circus, history and education, but is incapable of committing to a single hair color.

Editor's Note: At StageLync, an international platform for the performing arts, we celebrate the diversity of our writers' backgrounds. We recognize and support their choice to use either American or British English in their articles, respecting their individual preferences and origins. This policy allows us to embrace a wide range of linguistic expressions, enriching our content and reflecting the global nature of our community.

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Stav Meishar

Stav Meishar was born and raised in Israel and leads a double life all around the world, mostly in New York City. During the day she runs Dreamcoat Experience, an award-winning nonprofit organization for arts-driven, experiential Jewish education. At night she is a writer and stage artist specializing in circus and theater. Sometimes, when she's lucky, she gets to be both at the same time – like with her most recent project, a solo performance based on the true story of a Jewish acrobat woman who survived the Holocaust by hiding and working at a German circus. Stav is committed to pursuing the gestalt of circus, history and education, but is incapable of committing to a single hair color.