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Cirque Nova Blog - disability arts online
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Cirque Nova at Liberty 2010 / 8 September 2010

photo of aerialist performing at liberty festival

Amelia Cavallo performs with Cirque Nova at Liberty 2010. Photo by Jean-Marie-Akkerman

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After 2 consecutive years of training a variety of young people with disabilities, homeless youths and disadvantage young people to do circus skills with us, we’ve now had the opportunity to showcase the diversity of skills that they’ve been learning.

Within our group there are a few strongly committed people who want to be part of our show and are training hard to be able to perform from next year onwards, these people have had the chance to learn to do solo acts on silks and cocoon, as well as acro-balance, juggling, acrobatics and stilt walking which was all displayed in Trafalgar Square.

For some of these very nervous young people, it was their first opportunity to hang in the air with no safety other than their skill (or a crash-mat for one) and show that in spite of their difficulties they were able to confront their fears and insecurities and thrive as performers giving them a new insight into what they can achieve when continuing to work with us, apart of having their first pay cheque as performing circus artists, although some had had several payments already and international gigs too.

The Festival this year brought a lot of good acts from several companies, so the level was very high, it also made the technical equipment changes very challenging, but at the end of the day it was a great success; at every one of our performances the audiences gathered to see us, we had a lot of applause and positive feedback. It has motivated all of the participants to want to learn further and get creative with their skills.

We are now starting the recruitment for our Autumn/Winter program in which these old timers will continue training in the afternoons every Saturday, whilst the newly recruited youths will be with us training from 10am till 12,30 trying to get similar levels of skills, depending on how dedicated they become to be part of the group.

To eventually get the chance to all train together and create a show that we’ve aiming to showcase in June 2011 in Waltham Forest; in this show we will combine our skills with the creativity of Dr. Ju Gosling who will create the look and video projections, as well as having the sound track for the new show created by Drake Music and we’re trying to collaborate with disabled choreographers as to make the project a fully disability led but inclusive performance, that we might eventually get to tour as a street show in the UK and elsewhere.

Our group is now committed to this work, so besides the big creation, we will also create small scale show for smaller gigs, so that we can allow everyone to gain as many opportunities of employment as possible, as well as all the fun that means performing and touring in events as a group of performers together and showcase the humanity, sensitiveness and skill that our pupils have achieved.