Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Back On The Old Equine Beast

Borrowed from
If you've been following closely you'll remember that at the end of last month I was all fired up about aerial rope and in a quandry over whether to carry on with that, or stick to my 'first love' of static trapeze. Well! As it turns out, THAT was a big fat waste of brain space, since on the day the classes went on sale I spent 45 minutes trying to get through to the National Centre for Circus Arts on the phone, only to be told all the places on Aerial 2 were sold out.

No static trapeze OR rope for me then.

F*$%ing Sh*&ting B*&%$cks!!

To say I was disappointed is a radical understatement, possibly showing that I have far too much tied up with this whole circus skills business, but also testament to the fact that the classes at NCCA are just really good.  Because they are grouped by skill level and have a progressive nature, it means you get (in theory anyway) teaching tailored to your ability and a feeling of personal development. Plus, because you have to sign up for a whole term at once, people on the courses are more committed and come back every week, which makes it feel consistent.  This is quite comforting and slightly 'sense-of-community building' in a city where everyone is in a big transient, unreliable state of flow.

London is just ridiculous. There is literally frenzied competition for everything, even things that involve you spending lots of money on the relatively inessential. It is also really difficult to achieve a feeling of stability - at least as an incomer - because of the constant changeability and lack of commitment.  Everyone and everything is available, but everyone and everything is replaceable. You can escape anything you don't like, the second it becomes tiresome, and never think about it again - but equally, the smallest eddy of the city's current can just wash away part of your life that you were really enjoying.

Aww look at it though, it's kinda lovely no? This was the view from Cambridge Heath train station a few nights ago...
There are times when I absolutely hate London and can't think what the hell I'm doing here (especially when looking for a reasonably priced, non-horrific, new place to live, which I have been doing unsuccessfully for the last month) yet somehow I can't quite process the thought of leaving now either. Crap.

I'll be clinging on for a bit then.

And (having grumbled bitterly into my beard, licked my wounds, and sulked in my room for a few weeks) switching my god damn circus class loyalty to Gravity Circus in Leyton, where I have started doing Aerial Hoop. Raarrrrgh! YOU CAN'T KILL MY OBSESSION THAT EASILY.  Not quite the same as doing Aerial 2 at NCCA, since the classes are drop-in and even the teacher just temporary cover, but hopefully achieving a similar effect - at the moment mostly hand blisters and copious bruising.

Yup, if you've been refused the chance to pay large amounts of money to experience pain and intense physical challenge in one place in London, there'll always be another where you can! And that's why I love it.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Circus Video of the Month - April

Please excuse the long month's hiatus on here. Rain stopped play for a bit - by which I mean I was distracted by a little personal life melodrama, and deflated by a touch of circus-related disappointment (of which more later) - BUT I'm about ready to get back on the blogging horse...

... starting with this beauty of a YouTube item!

For some reason, of all the circus styles that have jumbled their way through my mind's eye since this obsession began, none have included a troubadour-ish, Shakespearean, rose-twined production such as this one seems to have been. But thinking about it, it's actually kind of obvious.  Surely that's where various elements of circus would have originated, in the traveling acrobats and jugglers of ye olden dayes etc.? I should probably brush up on my history.

'Delicately-lit' and 'peachy' are not qualities I would have previously associated with a rope act or hand-to-hand acrobatics, but here they undeniably are. And romping around to the ghostly, lilting accompaniment of a live Marika Hackman no less. I bet this was AMAZING to watch, wish I had been there at the actual performance.

Repeatedly allowing myself to be mesmerised into a midsummer night's village green dream by the video, though - nice work Mad Adam, the maker - is better than nothing. And it's about 50% of what's got me through the last few weeks of upheaval and upset, so thanks Marika and Tangerino (who appear to be NCCA degree students in their 3rd year, the lucky lucky talented bastards)!

Also, if this isn't an advert for being an alabaster-skinned English rose type then I don't know what is. IN YOUR FACE fake tan purveyors.

Go, go, feast your eyes and ears: