The new Hoops In Motion

July 23, 2016

Like an ever spinning wheel, life sets us a challenge when we least expect it, to test our courage and willingness to change…

‘Hoops In Motion’ is a wonderfully exciting journey, a piece of circus and visual arts, originally commissioned by John Bishop and further developed by Cirque Bijou and with support from the National Centre for Circus Arts.
Film by Thomas Johansson (thomas-johansson.com/)

Infinite gratitude to Julian Bracey, Howie Bailey and everyone at Cirque Bijou for trusting me with such a wonderful opportunity.

A revamped version of my ‘Black Out Days’ LED hula hoop act, performed with latest technology smart LED hula hoops at Jackson’s Lane Theatre, London, 2015.

Filmed by Mark Morreau and Thomas Forsyth. Music by Phantogram.

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.

Now rock on!

More lovely photos on my Flickr.

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.

When I took two of my best friends to play up on a roof in East London. Photos by Jon Green, set and ‘behind the scene’ photos by Thomas Forsyth.

The Act, Dubai

December 10, 2013

After becoming a regular performer at The Box, London, I had the pleasure to go and spin my hoops at its Dubai partner club, The Act – the highest theatre venue in the world.

Located on the 42nd and 43rd floor of the Shangri-la Hotel, The Act is a very refreshing antidote to Dubai’s sometimes dry entertainment and nightclub scenes.

It was certainly a fantastic experience being part of one of the most exciting shows in the Middle East.

An even bigger, even better Circus Big Top was my home for a week at Glastonbury Festival 2013.

Once again, it was an absolute pleasure to share the stage with so many incredibly talented performers, coming from all over the world.

In fact, thanks also to what was probably the warmest English summer in years, this was definitely the best Glastonbury of my life.. for now! A million thanks to Jade and Shaun Dunbar for making it happen. You guys rock!

In celebration of the 15th Petronas Malaysia Formula 1 Grand Prix, a series of galas, parties, competitions and fashion shows were held in Kuala Lumpur for the Mercedes – Benz Stylo Fashion Grand Prix 2013.

The most prestigious and glamorous of these events was the Mercedes – Benz STYLO Fashion Awards night, themed “The Voodoo Ball”, where I was invited to perform, together with model – dancer Sydney Jo Jackson, pole dancer and fire performer Sasha Kavaleva and stilt walkers Michael O’Donnell and Nixie from Gravity Live.
With many of Malaysia’s society figures attending,  the Mercedes-Benz STYLO Fashion Awards night celebrates the best in the local fashion scene through awards in various categories.
Jovian Mandagie was chosen as this year’s Designer of the Year. His amazing designs were inspired by the mythical creature Medusa.

Stylo also presented its first ever public showcase at the Petronas Twin Towers @live concert.

It was the 3rd time that the Twin Towers @live concert was held in Malaysia and all 3 times it was organized in conjunction with the Formula One race happening at Sepang International Circuit.

This was a massive, 2 – days, public concert, that attracted more than 30.000 people and had an international line – up of artists coming from both east and west.

I had the great pleasure to entertain the crowd with my glow hula hoops, as part of an act that was directed by choreographer Pat Ibrahim, to the soundtrack of DJ Mario Schizo.

On the same night, artists such as South Korean boy band, U-KISS, and American pop star, Demi Lovato, were among the acts that took the stage at the free public show that went on from 5pm to 2am, despite the rain started to pour down during the night.

It was such a buzz performing for thousands of people on such a gorgeous stage! And an absolute pleasure working with all the team from London and the lovely staff from Kuala Lumpur, who welcomed and made us feel at home every day. This included talented make up artists, like Lin Chong, who did a wonderful job of my white cyborg character.

Thanks to Sydney Jo Jackson and STYLO international for making this happen. I am very much looking forward to the next one!

Stay tuned and find more lovely pics on my Flickr page.

‘Gynoid’ Photoshoot

January 1, 2013

In ‘Gynoid’ I’m exploring movement and manipulation, as well as the relation between the machine and the human body, through hula hoops.

How is our body affected by the props and tools, that we use every day? If our body is the main tool, the machine, what can influence and radically transform its appearance and purpose?

All photos were taken by Jonathan Green, at Mowlem Studios, London. The following shot got us a feature on Hooping.org, the online hub for the worldwide hooping community.

You can watch the trailer for ‘Gynoid’ on my Vimeo page here.

Many thanks to Jonathan Green and Damian Pajak for doing such a great job and making it a  really good fun experience too.

“It is the unhappy marriage of physicality and mental instability that enables Box of Frogs to convey a visceral, memorable experience. While not a typically delightful tale, the generous range of performances ensures that the sheer joy of going to the circus is not abandoned.” From a review by Terri-Anne Teo for remotegoat.co.uk

In Autumn 2012, I continued the journey I started with Stumble danceCircus and toured the UK with the ensemble show ‘Box of Frogs’, directed by Mish Weaver.

We started at the Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London, which was an absolute pleasure and honour to be performing at.

The tour continued and we performed in:

Preston (Preston Guild Festival in Expo Tent)

Bristol (Circomedia)

Devon (The Landmark, Ilfracombe)

Stockton-on Tees (ARC, Stockton Arts Centre)

Manchester (Contact)

Leeds (The Carriageworks)

Scotland (Eastwood Park Theatre, Giffnock)

“Box of Frogs is a circus show with a difference. 5 acrobats and 2 musicians play with the audience’s expectations from their own perspective of mental ill-health and performance, against a back drop of filmic illusions.”

Based on an exploration of Mish Weaver’s personal experience of bipolar disorder, the performance illustrates her take on the feelings, thoughts and behavior that are part of the condition through the medium of circus itself..

Photos taken by Steve Eggleton.

Two lovely short films were made by people at www.thespace.org, as part of the Push Me Collection series, to illustrate how Stumble danceCircus pushed us, the performers, out of our comfort zone, to reach previously unattained goals in ‘Box of Frogs’.

http://thespace.org/items/e0000epc?t=d228

http://thespace.org/items/e00015xe?t=xppn