I have always had a great interest in animation and mixed media, so when Cirque Bijou offered me to collaborate on a bespoke piece that mixed my hoops with Howie Bailey‘s visual graphics, I dived right into it.
The piece was commissioned as an intro to the John Bishop Show on BBC1, which made the whole project even more exciting.. and slightly nerve-racking.
We knew it was going to be hardcore and risky – we only had a few days to research and develop ideas and then put it all together into a live show for prime television.
Yet, despite the time and space constraints, we just went for it wholeheartedly, feeding off each other’s passion and inspiring each other through laughter and relatively appropriate doses of OCD.
The result was a wonderful work of circus and visual arts that I hope will lead to more opportunities for exploration and collaboration.
Massive thanks to Julian Bracey, director of Cirque Bijou, and Howie Bailey for being absolute legends. True gratitude and respect also for John Bishop and his crew and the BBC.
It was so last minute, everything literally happened within a few hours, and that included running from London to Manchester to live TV, whilst beating a tube strike, in true ninja style… BOOM, HOOP, BANG!
You bet I got a Blue Peter badge for that!
Many thanks to everyone at the BBC Bridge House Manchester, it was great fun!
Just as 2015 kicked in, I had the immense pleasure to work with top gentleman juggler Mat Ricardo and perform ‘Atma’ in his End of the world cabaret at the Albany, London.
It was an ‘Apocalypse now’ sort of show, where the only thing left to do before the asteroid hit the earth, was to steep oneself in amazing acts of gravity-defying dexterity, laugh and be entertained by some of the greatest variety acts in London.
Did we get hit? Are we still alive now? One thing is for sure, I am still spinning like Saturn.
Despite the weather and extreme survival conditions, Glastonbury is always amazing.
This year, however, was particularly exciting as I got to perform not only ‘Atma’, but also 2 of my most recent hoop acts.
‘Black Out Days’ was specifically devised for the Circus Big Top and, although it was presented as work in progress, it received very positive feedback.
The greatest surprise of this year’s festival, however, was that I got asked to perform at the BBC Studio as part of their Friday Night Highlights, directly from the channel’s stage at the Park. This was an excellent and fun opportunity to show my ‘Great Gatsby’ inspired piece ‘Jazzy Daisy’, which went down a storm.
After all that excitement, keeping it up rehearsing and performing for almost 24 hours, after dragging your hoops all day around miles of muddy fields, what do you do when at Glasto?
I don’t know about you, but I go and dance my heart out until sunrise, at the jaws of a gigantic, fire spitting and laser shooting spider. That is why I love it so much in the field: it never stops feeding you its magic insanity.
This time last year, I was around on the Southbank a lot, performing in Circus Maximus, as part of the Udderbelly Festival. It was such a fun and intense month! My dear and awesome friend Jon Green came down to film me during the first Heat of the competition. So this is my ‘Atma’, 3 years later.
Together with the lovely Jessie Rose, I created a new glow hoop piece that we performed at the Bloomsbury Big Top as part of a series of Christmas shows, produced by Sorcha Ra, last December 2013.
This is a 1920’s, Great Gatsby inspired piece, set to a modern, fast paced and fun electro-swing soundtrack. Any type of audience will be dazzled by the charm and skills of these super cute ‘Flapper Girls’, dancing and spinning up to 8 fantastically bright LED hoops.
Photos taken by Jon Green and Jenny Dale. Costumes by Andie Scott.