‘Box of Frogs’ Tour 2012

“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

‘OnOffice’ Magazine Feature

Anywhere can be an office.

https://i0.wp.com/farm9.staticflickr.com/8057/8243288243_bd44bf0e2a_z.jpg

In September 2012, I collaborated with the talented Andrew Meredith, on a feature for OnOffice Magazine.

https://i0.wp.com/farm9.staticflickr.com/8199/8244357348_9f0e081e8d_z.jpg

OnOffice is a design magazine about workplace design, whether it is architecture, interiors or furniture. Every month they dedicate a piece to the more unusual workplaces and the people who use them. Whether a sky diving instructor or mountaineer shot in their given environment… The November issue portrayed a professional hula hoop dancer training at home, in her warehouse in North London.
https://i1.wp.com/farm9.staticflickr.com/8485/8243288381_127d36e498_z.jpg
It was lovely and really good fun working with Andrew. I was also very pleased to be picked for an article that might make people think and consider how others go about their somewhat unorthodox jobs.
https://i0.wp.com/farm9.staticflickr.com/8345/8243288319_5b6e8c90a5_z.jpg

Hoop manipulators

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/45277185″>Hoop Isolation – Lab : Time Experiments</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/greenjon”>Jonathan Green</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

This hoop isolation film is the result of a short period of research and development that was supported by the Circus Space and the funding from Lab:Time – experiments in circus. Francesca Martello and I wanted to explore the possibilities of circus, and specifically hoop manipulation, on film. We originally started our R&D together with Lynn Scott and Helen Orford, with the idea that the piece would be made for film and on location. However, when  Jackson’s Lane theatre gave Lab:Time winners the opportunity to perform their work in progress in a mixed bill of freshly created performances, we reoriented our focus towards creating a stage performance. I hope that we will be able to keep developing this work further, both for film and the stage. Special thanks to Jon Aaron Green, director and producer and Ben Green, editor of the film.

Gynoid

Here is a brand new teaser for my new glow hoop act ‘Gynoid’.

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?

Many thanks to Thomas Forsyth for editing this video.

‘Box of Frogs’

In October 2011, I started working with Stumble danceCircus on a very different circus – theatre show, ‘Box of Frogs’. Under the direction of Mish Weaver, I joined another 4 circus performers and 2 musicians to explore Bipolar disorder and the connections between mental health and performance. After an extremely interesting and emotional first month of creation, we premiered the show at Jackson’s Lane Theatre, London. We will be bringing a newly developed version of the show back to the stage, in April 2012, so come and check it out: http://www.jacksonslane.org.uk/whats-on/event/2012/box-of-frogs

Hula Hooping Bon Bons at Fortnum & Mason

Is it possible to fit eight hula hoopers, with 50 hoops each, in one of the world’s oldest, poshest department stores? Hell yeah!

In the run – up to Christmas 2010, I had the opportunity to work with some of the best hoopers in London (including Craig Reid, Jessie Rose and Tiina Tuomisto), performing as part of the ‘Big Give’ fundraising event at Fortnum and Mason, London.

Our performance area was on the ground floor of the shop, where they have the most amazing displays of sweets, chocolates, wine, tea, cakes and biscuits.. Basically, all the delicious things in life.

With the direction of Marawa the Amazing, we created a bespoke piece, specifically for the event, inspired by all the treats in the shop and taking advantage of the dramatic spiral staircase that they have.

Stephen Fry was the host of the night and we had a chance to hang out with him in the cellar of the shop, in between performances. He was very friendly and liked our hoops a lot!

The result was a very sparkly, brighter than bright hula hoop routine, which was pure fun to perform.

A big thank you to the Circus Space for making this happen. More fun photos of the night are on my Flickr page.

Balagan – The Circus Music Show

Balagan (literally ‘chaos’, in German), is a state of mind, a mood, a feeling of joy and pure energy.

Last August 2011, I joined forces with eight true musicians, a charismatic singer and other circus performers from all over the world to create a colourful sea of images and feelings – the Balagan show, directed by Sebastiano Toma.

The cast was made by incredibly talented and friendly people, including:

Alba, a gorgeous and superfunny contortionist.

Thomas Dürrfeld and Marie Seeger, as known as Fernando and Serafina, who did lovely ball and club juggling.

Momo Kohlschmidt, one of the most beautiful women I have ever met, who accompanied us with her sweet voice.

I loved spinning my hoops to the live music, a cheeky mix of classical, klezmer, tango and even punk music. The energy of all the musicians on stage added a real buzz to the joy I feel when performing.

All the artists involved in Balagan made this one of the best experiences I have had so far.

Photos were taken by Sebastiano Toma and Giorgio Radoja, during our tour in Binz ans Sylt, Germany 2011. You can see more on my Flickr.

Glastonbury Festival 2011

This summer I got to live one of my dreams, as I got booked to perform in the Circus Big Top at Glastonbury Festival.

Despite the extreme, hardcore conditions, it was one of the best, most fun and exciting experiences in my life. The Circus  Field was possibly one of the best areas on site, and I was lucky enough to camp, work and spend most of my time there.

Behind  the Circus Big Top there was an amazing team of smiley, hard-working and talented people, coming together to keep the show going on day and night, for 4 days. Performing on a massive stage to such a varied audience was truly incredible.

To me, Glastonbury was like a joke, the best joke I’ve ever heard. I am very much looking forward to the next one.

Photos were taken by Jon Green,  Andrew and Joey Allcock.

‘Spherical Movements’

My friend, the very talented Jonathan Green, asked me to collaborate on a video project for Purpl, an independent clothing company that delivers high quality streetwear and showcases original artwork. A group of friends with different passions, we took our tools, toys and ideas to Hungry Tiger Studios, London. The result was ‘Spherical Movements’.

Director & DP: Jonathan Green
Camera & Editor: Ben Green
Key Grip: Lisa Bennett
Music: Joel Harries

Uncomfort Zone

What is dance? What is beauty?

‘Uncomfort Zone’ explored the key aspects of Mehmet Sander‘s renowned ‘Manifesto on Dance’: dance is a premise to refuse comfort, emotion and music, in favour of collision, maximum velocity and gravity as enhancements of – rather than inhibitions to – performance.

I took part in a five-day workshop where Sander, performer and choreographer of high-impact dance, challenged the participants physically, mentally, and intellectually. He pushed us to overcome some of our most natural fears as human beings – falling, colliding and trusting people – and led us into a whole new way of perceiving dance, purity and beauty.

The workshop was followed by 2 live public performances in the Great Hall, People’s Palace at Queen Mary, University of London.

Photos were taken by Bobby Whittaker and you can find more on my Flickr.