Cirque Lumiere

This Christmas brought me back to my roots as I got to spin fire every night with the amazing Grace Billings from Flame Oz, as part of the Cirque Lumiere Christmas parties – a circus extravaganza set in the beautiful Bloomsbury Big Top, London.

You may remember that Grace and I collaborated before, on the creation of ‘Teardrop’, an exquisite LED hula hoop act that combines dance and smart technology LED hoops.

This season we not only got to perform our hoop duo, but we also devised a sassy fire act that combines fire eating, fire ropes and lyco – HUGE FLAMES!

A lot of fun was had and I’m looking forward to fresh collaborations with Flame Oz in the new year. Thanks to the whole cast and crew in the Big Top, we made a lot of people happy!

‘Cløwns & Queens’ – my journey into the wonderful world of Gandini Juggling

What are your taboos?

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This spring I literally threw myself into a wonderfully mad journey of self discovery with the world-renowned Gandini Juggling.

If you don’t know them yet, the Gandini’s are a company of ridiculously talented object manipulators, whose work has been reinventing and reinvigorating juggling over the past 20 years, whilst challenging people’s perceptions of contemporary circus all over the world.

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I joined them for a 5-day, French run of ‘Cløwns & Queens’, a beautifully brave and visceral show that comes with balls, plush penises, exchanges of bodily fluids and horizontal juggling.

‘Full of sex, but never sexy’, the show depicts a mad court full of queens and clowns, engaged in a ‘constantly shifting dance of desire’. With echoes of Stanley Kubrick, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Federico Fellini,’Cløwns & Queens’ explores the nature of lust and imbalanced power relationships in a brave cross over between circus, dance and performance art.

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For me personally, this was an incredible opportunity to explore some of my own taboos, both as an individual and a performer. The risk of juggling on stage for the first time ever in my career, after only a few rehearsals with the company and the specific task of hula hooping without the shield of technical tricks were emotionally charged challenges that stripped me down to my most vulnerable… let alone the actual naked scene on the cold, white lit up tables.

The risk paid off. When life offers you the opportunity to manifest your feelings through work and by doing that, learn about yourself, that’s when the most exciting adventures are bound to happen.

Immense gratitude and big respect to Sean Gandini and Kati Ylä-Hokkala, Artistic Directors of Gandini Juggling, all the performers in the company and Le Maillon Theatre de Strasbourg , for adopting me onto this crazy journey.

 

Hula Hoop & Motion Graphics – Live on the John Bishop Show

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.

Silvia hula hoops on ‘Blue Peter’ – BBC

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!

‘Atma’ for SmashFestUK, the Albany, London 2015

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.

Glastonbury Festival 2013

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!

‘Gynoid’ Photoshoot

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.