Teardrop

December 28, 2016

One of my highlights of 2016 was having the opportunity to collaborate with another hula hoop warrior – actually, one of the very first hula hoopers I ever met, years ago – the amazing Grace Billings.

Within one month of long distance rehearsals, we created a powerful LED hoop duo for a run of Christmas shows at Bloomsbury Big Top, London, as part of ‘Cirque Extraordinaire’.

Teardrop is a highly-skilled, sophisticated and sassy performance that combines dance and hula hooping with the latest, cutting-edge LED technology. Custom illuminating colours, patterns and graphics are delivered on stage in conjunction with seamless movements and choreography, to create an unforgettable, multi-dimensional visual experience.
Shot and cut by Thomas Johansson
Soundtrack by Massive Attack.

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Premiering as a work in progress performance at the Roundhouse in Spring 2016, Pop Circus will bring together a creative team from across the worlds of theatre, dance, music, fashion and circus – a new collaboration aiming to create a new kind of British performance, that is thrilling and glamorous but also anarchic and subversive.

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All photos by William Baker.

Metamorphosis

August 13, 2015

When she transformed into a butterfly, the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty but of her weirdness.

They wanted her to change back into what she always had been…

But she had wings.


Photographs by Simon Yin. Big thanks to Chenghao Liu and Jacksons Lane Theatre, London.

The hoops in these images are LED smart hoops by SpinFX. I can program them to change colours and patterns to any chosen music, which allows for endless possibilities to create bespoke acts and fit with specific requirements and special events. You can see more photos here.

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.

I’m not sure if it was a coincidence or through word of mouth, but just before my multi-media performance on the John Bishop Show was released on the BBC, I was invited to hula hoop live on the Blue Peter show…

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!

Back in my home town in Italy for a few days, I hooked up with old school friend and photographer Riccardo Lancia.

We drove around town, our main goal being catching up, after years of not seeing each other.

It was a beautiful, crisp winter morning and so we ended up dropping some layers off to play outside.

What came out was a totally impromptu and absolutely fun shoot – a proof that good friendships are hard to die, even with years of distance in between.

All photographs by Riccardo Lancia. You can find more lovely shots on my Flickr.

Over the Christmas period I collaborated with the amazing Bertil Nilsson to create some images for the National Centre for Circus Arts.

The theme for the photo shoot was the ‘5 Gold Rings of Christmas’ and consequently, there was a lot of spinning involved.