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March 24, 2023 / by Kay / In circus shows

The Show Goes Neon

Hopefully you had as much of a blast as we did if you came to our first show in the new venue – if not, you can get the idea from these pix. Excuse the quality – our resident expert lensman Gabriel Stella was otherwise engaged as a rigger, setting up the apparatus for each of the performers, so these are all stills from phone videos.

At least they give you a glimpse of the action. For the avoidance of doubt, yes, Sam and Mete were doing somersaults in sleeping bags in the first caterpillar parkour trampoline crossover ever!

They weren’t the only caterpillars in the show though. In previous shows, Jeni has been cast as Alice in Wonderland. So she had the opportunity to try something that’s not the classic female lead, interpreting movements in an entirely different way.

Mete and Heidi fulfilled the goal they announced by creating a crazy act based around 70s and 80s comedy act Rod Hull and Emu after a throwaway remark about Rod falling off a roof and dying on the day Mete was born. In another coincidence, Mete, who grew up with a passion for parkour that made him jump off many roofs, celebrated his birthday and the anniversary of Rod’s demise the day before the show. As for their act? Well. It certainly made its mark! Copies of the video are circulating. Worth the watch!

Fox also hit her target with an impressive first performance on straps – actually, she exceeded it! She’d only committed to exploring movements within the discipline but came out with a red-hot spinning performance counterweighted by Adilso. Fox brought a lot of their movement practice from their other disciplines and translated them to straps. A great exercise in experimentation and seeing what works and what hurts.

Most people hit some blocks in their progress with their circus skills and life in general. They could be physical or emotional, limiting beliefs or any number of things that track back to earlier stages of life. Sam’s acrobatics act brought some levity to this frustration.

Sam felt stuck. He didn’t feel good about making acts, felt like he wasn’t developing, didn’t like to improvise, and felt boxed in. It was as if he was stuck to the floor instead of using it to bounce off in his usual style.

When you pick yourself up from the floor time after time, literally and metaphorically, you release your creativity and can act authentically.

At Aerial Edge, we’ve seen it in so many people who have developed themselves through their circus training, until they can own their resilience, determination to keep fighting their way out of challenges, and their talents.

Helen’s fly pole performance is a testimony to her determination and creativity. Having trained on Circocan’s six-month course in Brazil, she’d developed skills in several disciplines including Chinese Pole. Then when a friend had a fly pole for sale, Helen decided to buy it and teach herself, and it became her obsession. Her beautiful act depicted the mesmerising effect of light to a moth.

Nea and Bara arrived at Aerial Edge as volunteers to help us set up the new space in return for training space. They were great as a team, and in the team, as well as great with people.We had little choice but to invite them onto our teacher training programme!

They demonstrated that energy in their interpretation of the ground-to-air life of bugs, which came about as they set themselves the challenge of developing their doubles work into an act with two sets of silks instead of one.

Heidi also joined as a teacher when we reopened, but she had a long history before that in our previous venues, having been through our Youth Circus since she was 10 years old.

At the start of 2022, hearing we were opening, Heidi messaged asking if there were any work opportunities. In her interview, she confessed that she hadn’t trained for over two years because of lockdown. She expressed an interest in learning doubles trapeze and acrobalance in addition to her passion for static trapeze.
However, after such a long break from training, she wasn’t able to do a basic leg lift or pull up.

So her target for 2022 was to train to a standard that she could perform professionally by the end of the year…and she pulled that off during our collaboration with Bliss Circus in Goa, India in December/January, where she was teaching and performing with Mark.

Life at Aerial Edge has got considerably busier since then, with Heidi leading the Youth Circus programme and our sponsored places scheme and Mark directing the development of the school, so they haven’t had a chance to train much. But with that groundwork in place, they were able to show us all here in Scotland their fabulous doubles act.

We love to welcome guest instructors to Aerial Edge, and are privileged to have Judy Salloum here primarily to teach the Foundation Course, and to bring her extraordinary skills into the recreational programme too.

If you were there to see Judy’s hammock-silks-straps combination, you wouldn’t believe that she only took up straps in 2020, when she and Mark trained together in India.

Judy’s dynamic act was inspired by the idea that we were born free into this world, free to fly high, but life has a tendency to pull the wings off our shoulders.

Straps has taught Judy that transformation comes with patience and even struggle. If anyone would like to build the physicality and technique to do any part of that incredible performance, then take advantage of her time here, we have classes for you.

Any show needs a whole team behind the scenes to make it happen, and we’re grateful to each and every one of them, as well as to everyone who came to watch it and made it a great night. Bring on the next one!