Straps, Swings and Bankina. Getting to grips with Circus.

This month the internationally acclaimed Circolombia bring their circus acts of Acelere to The Lowry with guts gusto and grace.

Circolombia are a spectacular young circus company heralding from the streets of Colombia who will be visiting The Lowry Thu 24 – Sun 27 March. Their new show Acelere brings together circus, dance and traditional, gravity-defying acts that many acrobats nowadays would be terrified to attempt!

So here’s a lowdown of the disciplines you will see in Acelere:

Straps

CircolombiaRoundhouse London Photograph by David Levene 11/4/15

Circolombia Roundhouse London Photograph by David Levene 11/4/15

Straps are a type of aerial apparatus on which various feats of strength and flexibility are presented in a dual performance. Wrapping the strap ends around hands and wrists, the performer holds, twists, rolls and manoeuvres.

The discipline of aerial straps was originally a Chinese specialty, but the pioneers of contemporary aerial straps were identical twins Yuri and Valery Panteleenko, otherwise known as the Panteleenko Brothers. Previously a straps routine would be static with the performer moving up and down the straps. Yuri and Vallery introduced swinging, circular and two-person moves, adding a new level of grace and beauty to the balletic nature of the apparatus. Circolombia takes this act to another level introducing an old technique of dental force where the flyer is suspended solely by the strength of the partners teeth and gum.

Cloud Swing

CircolombiaRoundhouse London Photograph by David Levene 11/4/15

Circolombia Roundhouse London Photograph by David Levene 11/4/15

This aerial act combines static and swinging trapeze skills, drops, holds and rebound lifts. The apparatus itself is a soft rope about 25 – 30mm thick. Two high-caliber swivels support the weight; the swivels are anchored to a crane bar or stationery rig, with the swing itself hanging in a ‘v’ shape.

The cloud swing is a relatively new apparatus. Circolombia performer Julia Sanchez Aja is the first person in the world to complete triple full twists whilst flying on the Cloud Swing.

Korean Teeterboard

Teeterboard

Circolombia performing circus act ‘teeterboard.’

The teeterboard resembles a huge playground seesaw make of oak and around nine feet in length. The performer stands at the end of the board on a square padded area, before being catapulted into the air by their partner.

 

In the early 1960s the finest teeterboard acts trained in the Eastern Bloc countries. The Acelere teeterboard is a more recent invention where two performers jump vertically in place, landing back on the apparatus instead of dismounting. We well-trained flyers perform various aerial somersaults and have to return to the padded square in order for the acrobatic game to continue. It is tense and exciting and there is no room for error!

 

Bankina

CircolombiaRoundhouse London Photograph by David Levene 11/4/15

Circolombia Roundhouse London Photograph by David Levene 11/4/15

An acrobatic act with a group of six astounding performers. The base performers from a platform with their arms and hands interlocked which the flyer uses as a take-off position for somersaults and other aerial tricks. In 2009 six Circo Para Todos graduates were awared bronze medal for Bankina at the 30th Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain, opening the door to a successful new international career.

You can see all these acts performed in Acelere at The Lowry from Thu 24 – Sun 26 March. For more information and tickets click here.

 

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