Galway Community Circus Offers LifeLine to Help New Wire Walkers Do the Impossible - StageLync
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Circus News

Galway Community Circus Offers LifeLine to Help New Wire Walkers Do the Impossible

LifeLine, a part of the Galway International Arts Festival 2022 programme, is Europe’s largest highwire spectacle, performed over the River Corrib and Claddagh Basin in Galway City. Staged on seven highwires and featuring a cast of 150 people of all ages and backgrounds, the event promises audiences a stunning display of strength and resilience over one of Ireland’s most iconic waterways.

LifeLine uses wirewalking as a practice to improve well-being, and aspires to reinfuse hope into a landscape that carries great sadness and beauty. Featuring performances by professional highwire artists Oliver Zimmerman, Andrea Loreni, and Ellis Grover; a 42-person European Youth Ensemble; the premiere of the Creative Europe-funded show ‘BassAlto’; and highwire walks by community participants from across Ireland, LifeLine will remind us that we can all achieve the impossible.

LifeLine this year will see the delivery of Galway Community Circus’ (GCC) first-ever National Participation Programme.

Using the ‘funambulism for all’ methodology, GCC is engaging 122 people in four counties in Ireland to train to be part of the wirewalking cast for the LifeLine highwire spectacle on July 16, 2022. GCC has partnered with Circus Factory Cork, Cloughjordan Circus Club, Dublin Circus Project, Galway County Council Arts Office, Cork County Council Arts Office, Tipperary County Council Arts Office, and Dublin City Arts Office to recruit participants, specifically targeting marginalised groups to ensure social inclusion and diversity. Galway Community Circus’ funambulism tutors are traveling to each location to deliver wirewalking training.

Tutors take participants through a five-day course beginning on wires 0.5 m from ground level and progressing to a highwire at 4 m. As well as funambulism technique, the course includes training in anxiety management and mindfulness to help participants overcome nervousness and fear and start their personal journeys toward ‘achieving the impossible.’

While the results vary between individuals, the pilot programmes have shown that most participants progress from complete beginners to confidently completing a highwire walk within five days.

LifeLine is produced and presented by Galway Community Circus and is funded by an Open Call award from Arts Council Ireland. Other funders, partners, and contributors include Creative Europe, Erasmus+, Mental Health Ireland, Finnish Institute UK + Ireland, Galway City and County Councils, the European Centre of Funambulism, Circus Factory Cork, Cloughjordan Circus Club, Dublin Circus Project, Galway County Council Arts Office, Cork County Council Arts Office, Tipperary County Council Arts Office and Dublin City Arts Office.

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