Name: CIRCO INFERNO
Mission: TO TRADE REASON AWAY FOR WONDER THROUGH THE LOVE OF CIRCUS
Over the years working at festivals with Green Stewards, I got to know some of the other Stewards really well. There was a good group of us who would come back and work the seasons year after year. A group of friends from Cornwall have gone on to do something rather spectacular and set up Circo Inferno.
About 2 or 3 years ago these Cornish friends had met each other through mutual friends and had started fire spinning together. Fire spinning involves using manipulated objects with wicks which are designed to sustain a flame. These objects include; poi, hoop, staff, fans, nun chucks, swords, and juggling clubs. Fire shows often include fire eating and breathing. It was at Mischief Festival in 2013 that they formed Circo d’Eliatrix and performed at a number of performances and fire shows between 2013-2014.
At the beginning of 2014 they decided to collaborate with Truckstop Trapeze an aerial teacher who trained at Circomedia in Bristol. “We thought a name change was appropriate after we teamed up with Truckstop Trapeze, and our original name was too confusing to say. So we recently changed our name to Circo Inferno”.
Due to the fact that there are so many people involved with Circo Inferno I am unable to write in detail about all of them but here are few brief bios about some of the performers.
Eloise Currie: She was professionally trained at the Royal Ballet School in London studying ballet, tap, modern, contemporary and Irish dance. With her past experience in dance and performance she has enhanced her talents with fire spinning, acrobatics and aerial skills. Both Zippo’s Circus and Circomedia accepted her for training. She has now taught circus skills and toured with Swamp Circus as well as performing at over 10 UK festivals in 2014 with Circo Inferno. Past tours include dancing for the band Sicknote, and touring as a dancer and aerialist for Hawkind. She is currently on a European tour with the production The Women of Ireland.
Dhaibhidh Welch: He was brought up as a traveller in Cornwall and never really fit in at school which made him broaden his mind to other things. It was then he found fire spinning and practised fire staff. He met one of the members of Cicro Inferno at a fire show at Crasken Farm. Then he discovered a collection of fire spinners who met on the moor in Falmouth to share tricks and techniques. It’s called ‘Fire on the Moor’ and happens on a Wednesday night. He started training at Circo Kernow which broadened his skills to include acro balance and trapeze. He tries to do at least 2 hours of training each day. An hour of strength building excises for trapeze, and an hour or more of various manipulation such as staff, club juggling and contact ball. “I perform because its what I love to do and I’ve always been a bit of an adrenaline junkie growing up and who wouldn’t want to play with fire, or dangle from the celling, or to be able to lift someone up with one hand? I couldn’t imagine myself working behind a desk or flipping burgers that’s just not me. I was born for the circus life.”
Nome Truckstop Trapeze: She began learning aerial around 2000 and is mostly self taught with input from Mike Wright at Circomedia. She trained with him one on one for 2 years. After arriving in Cornwall in 2013 she got a job at Swamp Circus and set up adult classes in Cornwall. She also teaches areial skills at Circo Kernow. It was here she met Eloise and they amalgamated their talented crews to form Circo Inferno. Her skills include swinging and static trapeze, ropes and silks. “I saw a double static routine performed in a big top at Glastonbury Festival. I saw everyone, of all ages and nationalities, enjoy and understand it. I thought Circus might be the last truly innocent pleasure left in the world. Little angels flew around the light bulb over my head, singing ‘you want to be an aerialist’ over and over, so I went and did it!”
Christian Smith: His introduction to spinning was about 6 years ago through a girl who taught him the basics in staff manipulation. He spent many hours practising throughout his degree and met other performers. After a few introductions he met the other members of Circo Inferno. He doesn’t have a rigorous training program but works harder when he trains with other people. “I had no background in performance before I took up staff. I do it for the love of it, or possibly the sake of it. But my inspiration comes from the people around me. Spinning alone I stagnate, repeating the same old routines or moves. With my friends around me I flourish. We encourage and push each other in the best kind of way.”
Freya Fox: She started fire spinning with some of her mum’s friends at 13. She heard about ‘Fire on the Moor’ through a friend and this was where she met a majority of Circo Inferno. Eloise told her about Circo Kernow and she has been a student there for just over 2 years. She has performed at various shows, festivals and events in and around Cornwall with Swamp Circus. She met Nome who became her aerial teacher and together they have developed routines. She goes to circus school twice a week for 5 hours and an aerial class on a Saturday for 2 hours. “I perform simply because it is my most favourite thing to do. There is nothing like it. I long to do Circus full time, I have never been so passionate about anything else in my whole life!”
Sam Barnes: When he left home at 17 his uncle bought him a set of juggling clubs. He moved to Cornwall and as he didn’t know many people, occupied his time learning to juggle. After moving in with Christian he was introduced to fire spinning and subsequently met the rest of Circo Inferno at ‘Fire on the Moor’. He is currently doing a degree in Circus and Physical Theatre at Circomedia. His daily routine is 7 hours of training in acrobatics and aerial, and will be for the next two years. “I perform because it makes me feel alive. Circus is my passion and since I have started I have never looked back.”
Niamh Wrench: She has a performance background in theatre and dance from when she was younger. About 3 years ago she started going to ‘Fire on the Moor’ and it was here that she met the other members of Circo Inferno. She stretches every day to improve her flexibility and practices silks for a few hours every weekend with a fire practice at least once a week. “I perform because I love to hoop more than anything else and because it justifies pyromania a bit! Also I was told running away with the circus wasn’t a viable career choice and it would be nice to prove everyone who said that wrong!”
To date Circo Inferno have performed at an impressive number of festivals including Boomtown, Beat Herder, Mischief, Sunrise, No Man’s Land, Nozstock, Lakefest, Symmetry, Sunset and Secret Garden Party.
Taking their inspiration from the likes of Cirque du Soleil as a collective they take their work seriously. Circo Inferno “not only want to spread the love and awareness of the circus arts, but we want to give folk a chance to be a part of the show”. They are organising some fundraising events for 2015 in the hope they will be able to bring the Circus environment to places it normally wouldn’t go with a touring show. Offering easy access circus workshops and getting more people involved and interested in learning new circus skills.
As you read this Circo Inferno are busy training hard for some exciting upcoming events. They will be performing at Montol Festival in Penzance on the 21st of December. Not to mention their upcoming New Years Eve performance at Swingamajig hosted by The Electric Swing Circus at Alfie Bird’s in the Custard Factory, Digbeth. Circo Inferno will also be taking part in a collaborative performance venture with Falmouth’s newest Arts Space ‘A Curious Hall’. Somehow they have also found some spare time to start planning their festival circuit appearances for 2015.