...with the Nutcracker this year, oh my!!!
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
...with the Nutcracker this year, oh my!!!
Sunday, 21 November 2010
Monday, 13 September 2010
Friday, 23 July 2010
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
You Know You Work For The Circus When......
Brian the Goose wakes you up sqwawking outside your window
The horses poop in the ring and there’s no time to scoop it so you dance on horse poo in the ball scene
You practice walking the wire in your spare time
On your day off you decide to learn aerial dancing on the silks
The cook’s electric scooter is called Henry William George
Your fellow performer has a pet sheep named Colin
You go clubbing and the Russians start dancing like Borat
The showers get turned off on move day so post-show the cast is taking down the tent in full clown makeup and high visibility jackets
You wear wellies with your tutu when not in the ring
You are admitted to see Buena Vista Social Club for free at the Hay on Wye festival because you’re “with the circus"
It has really been the most incredible journey so far. We've rehearsed for three weeks in the Cotswolds (Bourton on the Water where the circus is based), then had ten days of previews in Gloucester followed by two weeks in Hay on Wye, Wales during Hay Festival, and now we're in Cheltenham on the racecourse. As you can see above...there's really never a dull moment when you work for the circus, and I couldn't be happier to be a part of this experience.
The Hay on Wye shows were jam-packed and we had some amazing reviews (just Google Giffords Circus) such as the one done by "The Stage" here in the UK. On our day off we had a chance to record the official Giffords Circus "Yasmine! A Musical" CD so that will be out soon ready for purchase. We had a lot of fun recording it. We've also had some celebrity writers, cooks, and comedians come to the shows so far, but apparently once we reach Tackley or Stadhampton (the closest shows to London) we should have some of the celebrities from last season showing up such as Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter as well as Kate Moss, Kate Winslet, and Vivienne Westwood. I would die if I get to meet any of them, how exciting. I'm such a fan of Tim Burton (see previous post regarding his exhibit at the MoMa when I was back in NY). I don't even need to say anything about Kate Moss or Vivienne Westwood as I model in NY and I am the biggest fan of anything fashion but especially those with the talent of Kate and Vivienne. As for other goings-on in Hay, there were interesting lectures, movie showings (such as the "Dharma Brothers" regarding introducing Vastassna meditation in prisons: great film), and concerts. Buena Vista Social Club was just one of them. I had a great moment listening and dancing to Buena Vista where they played the song "Chan Chan" that Ballet Hispanico danced to in their "Noche Latina." Seeing them live and having danced for Ballet Hispanico made me immensely happy.
Anyway, lots to tell and my mind is so scattered. We are about to pull up the tent here in Cheltenham and my little caravan is all unpacked after the pack-down process we all go through before moving towns. I don't know how I'll ever get used to living in my one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan anymore! I rather like this little caravan of mine. I've also worried less about the unimportant things while out here in the countryside. I'm still a New Yorker at heart, but living in my homeland of England with the carefree-ness of a Brazilian.
Speaking of Brazil: THE WORLD CUP STARTS IN JUST TWO DAYS!!! I have to root for Brazil first as allllllll my family lives there except my parents and brother, then I will root for England next as I was born here, then Spain and USA because I lived in each country for a long time. I can't wait to watch the matches. I've got a World Cup poster hanging on my wall tracking all the games with spots left for filling in the results and who makes it to the next round from each grouping.
More soon, with love
Carolina the Circus Gypsy
Sunday, 2 May 2010
....and it's everything I imagined and more!
Most of the band members are from France and a few from England, the other dancer Roxane (I have been practicing my French with her) is from Paris, we have a Chinese ball and tricycle act, Olivier from Belgium's "Freres Taquins" act where he plays a puppet with a performing partner, Sarah Schwartz from Germany is our high-wire act, Gabor from Germany is a comedian, and Bibi and Bichu are Ethiopian jugglers. In addition to running the warm-ups and rehearsals with Molly Molloy (our American director who I am assisting) I've been notating all of the choreography and helping direct some of the comedic interludes with Barry Grantham. When I learned that Barry had been in the film "The Red Shoes" (which inspired me to dance) as well as "Tales of Hoffman" I was flabbergasted. What an amazing man! His comedic timing and dance and theatrical training are so vast yet he is so humble and fun to work with. He directed Roxanne and the band and I in "Run Rabbit Run" and the "Classical Music" interlude. In two other interludes expect some hilarious surprises in the form of role reversals. I won't say more!
At night when rehearsals are over for the day and the meetings I attend with Molly are over, the cast has a chance to relax by a campfire and the band members play the guitar and drums while others sing and I sometimes get up and dance. A night last week a flamenco tune began to play on the Spanish guitar as Emily began to sing a song about her sombrero and the rest of us chimed in and improvised. The song took a dramatic turn as I got up and began my overly dramatic flamenco dance around the fire with flamenco arms, footwork, and intense facial expressions. It was priceless. On another occasion Gabor tasted his first toasted marshmallow and his reaction was "amaaaaaiiiiiizzzzzziiiiinnnnggggg!" We all, of course, broke out into song following Gabor's hilarious response.
This weekend we've had a bit of time off but unfortunately it rained last night and today, though it didn't stop a few of us from going into nearby Cheltenham to do a bit of shopping, and today we went in two cars to downtown Bourton on the Water to do a bit of sightseeing and go out for British teatime. What a gorgeous and historic little village Bourton on the Water is! All the old stone buildings and little river with bridge running through the downtown are picturesque. I will be sure to post some of my own photos in my next post as soon as I upload them. Disclaimer: the photos won't be of a sunny day as we are in England after all, but the village is just lovely!
Finally, I must share a bit about caravan life. How amazing the caravans and wagons are! I'm in a shared wagon but everyone in the circus has their own bedroom. There is a little cooker, sink, shelves, and bed in each bedroom and room to hang and store things. It is just what one needs, with a heater inside for cold nights, and two windows per room. Some of the trailers are larger and are for the veteran performers and staff. I am so exited to have gourmet meals prepared for us by cook extraordinaire Lance and his assistant cook Evie. The dinner car will travel with all the wagons and trailers as we begin touring in two weeks time, and every night after the shows audience members can join the cast for dinner on a large country table set outdoors in a covered tent. Tickets for this can be purchased online when show tickets are purchased.
I am so thrilled to be a part of this adventure that is Giffords Circus, a theatrical and vintage circus that is well-known across England and the UK. Apparently some celebrities have come to the shows such as designer Vivienne Westwood (Nell Giffords's good friend), model Kate Moss, actress Kate Winslet, and Prince Harry to name a few. We've already had quite a bit of press anticipating the 2010 tour, and I look forward to reading more press once our shows begin! For tour dates and tickets please visit http://www.GiffordsCircus.com.
More to come and thanks for your support!
Lina the now traveling Ballerina