Team Nicaragua Boot Camp!

January 18, 2018

Hello everyone, and welcome to the 2018 PWB Nicaragua Team Blog!

We’ve been in Nicaragua almost two weeks now and the project is off to a flying start. Let me introduce you to the team:

27018213_2187962764550968_1854363733_o

Pictured above from top left to bottom: Willy Bum (Master of dance parties and lover of acro juggles), Jacob (Team Nica coordinator and acro juggler extraordinare), Kit (AKA Leo off stage and a primo clown contact juggler), Helly Hoops (AKA Helen off stage and a lover of circular objects and silly walks), Darine (Magnificent maestro of games and movement), Ivy (Strong woman and spins dragon staff like a clown BOSS), and Sara (Non stop club juggler and other strong woman)!

As the group arrived in Managua at the start of January, we were graciously hosted by a friend and supporter of the PWB Nica Project for a couple of nights as everyone arrived at different times over a couple of days. On the evening of the 3rd we loaded up a minibus with all our kit and travelled 30km to Leon for an overnight pit stop to do some grocery shopping and pick up last minute essentials before heading out to a more remote location for boot camp.  We travelled in the same minibus on the following afternoon to ‘Rigo’s Guesthouse’ on the Pacific coast in Las Penitas to be welcomed by a glorious sunset and a relaxing swim in the somewhat turbulent and powerful waters of the open ocean!

27016487_2187962774550967_284855565_o

Pictured above: Darine and Jake post epic sunset swim!

Over the couple of nights before arriving at boot camp, the group seemed to be bonding well and forging strong relationships despite only having met once or twice over Skype dates before arrival. Upon arriving it was clear that everyone seemed quite comfortable sharing dorms and communicating openly and honestly about everything in our day to day lives, as well as our own lives back home on different corners of the planet!

After dinner on the first night we drew up a schedule for the following week that blocked out our time in order to address our primary objectives, which were; practice and learn about each others teaching styles; develop and workshop show ideas and create the show; learn and practice Spanish; and cooking rotations. Here is what our typical day looked like:

9:00 – 10:00 Morning warm-up and games with a different leader each day

10:00 – 11:00 Classroom style teaching session with same leader from warm up (in Spanish with the rest of the group acting as kids in the workshop environment)

11:00 – 11:15 Break

11:15 – 13:00 SHOW DEVELOPMENT

13:00 – 14:30 Lunch

14:30 – 15:30 Spanish Lesson

15:30 – 17:00 SHOW DEVELOPMENT

Over the course of the week, everyone had the opportunity to suggest ideas for the show, as well as run games and exercises to help us develop our clowns, performance styles, and interpersonal relationships with the focus of developing strong connections on stage. Some extra activities we added into our evenings included sunset swimming, creative jam sessions, acrobatics, juggling, hooping, and board games. We quickly discovered that we have a feisty and competitive group with a wide range of skill sets. Another personal highlight of the week was our costume exploration session where we all revealed the elaborate and whacky costumes we’d all brought and got an idea of what we might want to wear for the show!

By Thursday the 11th we’d finished the first draft of the show, and all of the group members had lead a session with the rest of the group on a topic of their choice. So, in the afternoon we did a dress rehearsal of the show with music, and filmed it in order to make some final improvements before our first show the following day.

On Friday we were invited to a local youth organisation just up the road from our bootcamp called ‘Son Flora’ to perform the show. We had an early lunch, and presented our work in progress to around 70 kids and a handful of volunteers, all during the hottest part of the day! It was a big success, despite a few hiccups (some of the props were forgotten), but all in all everyone was happy with the result. After the show we were given a ride home on the kids’ school bus which was a ‘HOOT’ with all the kids jubilant and intrigued with our crazy circus antics! We enjoyed a well deserved ice cream and swim in the sea to cool off followed by a beautiful show debrief on the beach watching the sunset before heading out to the town for a celebratory meal out with the group.  That night the stars were incredible and we could even see the Milky Way!

IMG_5988

Pictured above: Post show group photo with our lovely audience at Son Flora! The team had a load of fun premiering our show there and are looking forward to returning and teaching some workshops!

Saturday was a slightly later start, with a more informal and relaxed warm-up session and a series of performance games which allowed us to deepen our understanding of each others performance styles.  We worked on a few aspects of the show that we wanted to improve, continued with our Spanish classes and took the afternoon off. In the evening we found out that there was a local Nicaraguan circus performing in a nearby Barrio so we went out for some street food and watched a wild show which put us all in a fantastic mood. The locals were super friendly and the show was an eclectic mix of dance, aerial, and clowning (in a language we could barely understand?!).

The waves on Sunday morning were humongous and I personally took a massive thrashing whilst trying to have a little surf, to little avail. Omalia, the project organiser in Leon, sent her son Edwin to pick up the team in his pick-up truck and bring us to Leon where we moved into our new home for the next month. The next day we had our first day off and everyone took some free time to explore the city and relax before starting the teaching part of the project.

Until next time,

Willy Bum

Advertisements

Volunteer Role Call 2018

January 4, 2018

Here is our introduction to our volunteers who are at this very moment making their way to their first week of their tours.

Kenya

 

Jamie Mulligan Smith, 42,USA    –   Combining over twenty years of performance experience in theatre, dance, fire arts, and original spoken word with twenty years of experience working with children, Jamie is returning for her second tour with PWB after touring to India earlier in 2017. We are happy to welcome her experience and energy in helping to make this tour to happen.

Tyler Spades,31, USA   –    Tyler joins us for his second adventure with PWB, having been part of the 2016 India tour we welcome him back to share his skills and experience with our partners in Kenya. Tyler is also helping to run the tour. He entered the circus world with a passion for staff spinning in 2007 and loves multiple forms of contact multi-staff, juggling, dance, performance technique, theatre, and movement arts.

Rachel Butler, 34, AUS    –   With more than 15 years of professional theatre, circus and dance experience, as well as having lived and worked in Kenya previously, Rachel is going to be our ‘in country coordinator’, helping to acclimatise and guide the team through their adventures. Rachel founded and runs the successful company ‘Meraki Circus’.  Touring with PWB combines sharing her passions, giving and travelling  – we think that’s a perfect fit for PWB.

Ariana Madappa, USA   –    A multi skilled circus and flow artist, Ariana has stepped up to join the Kenya Team at late notice and brings with her extensive travelling and teaching experience.  Ariana majored in international studies and dance and since then has performed extensively across the states as well as wider afield.  We are excited to have her join Team Kenya and glad she was available to get involved.

Julia Schmitz, 37, GER   –    An experienced traveller and having travelled in Africa before, Julia wants to return to share her knowledge and skills.  She catches people’s attention with her mime and juggling skills and quit her teaching job earlier this year to follow her dream of working more full time with social circus. She is currently studying on the social circus course at Ecole National de Cirque de Montreal.

Enrico Vinholi, 26, USA/BRAZIL    –    Professional performer and avid traveller Enrico brings with him a variety of flow arts and dance experience.  He has created the ‘sponser a staff’ initiative, and has his own company ‘Solriso’. He says for him that travelling and connection with people from other communities and cultures is the most valuable experience.

Nicaragua

 

Jacob Hirsh Holland, 30, UK     –      Professional highline and slack rope artist and juggler Jake is returning to the Nicaragua tour for the 4th time and we are so happy to have him facilitating the tour this year! Jake has more than 20 years experience performing and teaching circus as well as travelling widely across the world.

Darine Flanagan, 25, IRE    –     Darine has been trying to master the art of having fun for the last 24 years and reckons she is getting pretty good at it. She is an experienced Irish dancer as well as being a hula hooper and training partner acrobatics. She says: “The thought of the project gives me the feel-goods and when I have the feel-goods, I think they get contagious and then the others around me get the feel-goods too. I want to share this with whoever I can!”

Will Borrell, 27, UK    –     Juggler Will is a multi talented performer and says ‘I love circus, I love teaching, I love travelling!’ What better way to combine these 3 things than on a PWB tour?! He has worked with Circus Alba and was part of a youth circus tour for the commonwealth games in 2014 and since then has been a full time performer and teacher.

Sara Noelle, 28, USA     –    Sara joins us for her 2nd PWB tour, the first being to India in 2016.  She is an experienced juggler specialising in club juggling and manipulation and also makes clothes and costumes.  We are excited to welcome her back with the experience of a tour under her belt and that she has the chance to share her skills with even more young people on the Nicaragua Tour this year.

Leonardo Astorga, 28, USA    –     Theatre and circus performer Leo specialises in contact juggling, bubble manipulation and clowning.  He has worked with Humboldt Circus and has years of experience community living, citing 3 important aspects of teamwork as Communication, Organisation, and Respect. He also mentions that there is no angry way to say bubble 🙂

Helen Wardle, 26, AUS     –     Also known as ‘Helly Hoops’, Helen is an experienced hoop dancer and teacher, as well as having skills in balance and character work. She has travelled the world for the last 5 years and is excited to have the opportunity to give something back, to work with children, to work with a team, to be immersed and use her skills in a profoundly different environment and create something magical.

Sarah Ivy Mayer, 28, USA    –    Sarah Ivy is a playful artist always in search of the next adventure. She will twirl any prop in her path, but her main joys include skill sharing, and creating collaborative choreography with any and all who wish to partake. she says: I want to do something that matters… and I am convinced this opportunity could be one of the most rewarding experiences i could ever hope for.

India

 

Livi Little, 30, UK    –     Livi is a professional circus artist and therapist returning for her 4th tour with PWB, previously touring to India and Sierra Leone. She specialises in hoop and has performed at many Hoop events across UK and wider afield with her unique style and skills. Livi is also a qualified acupuncturist and therapist with a degree in Chinese medicine and acupuncture.

Poppy Avison-Fell, 22, UK     –     Poppy has always dreamt of going to India and has just finished a degree in drama, specialising in community theatre and workshop facilitation.  She is a circus performer with skills in workshop facilitation and creating immersive performance pieces.  She says: Play is a basic human right that is taken for granted. Your company brings light and joy into what is becoming a darkened planet. Thank you Poppy!

Kiera Blaney, 25, AUS    –     Kiera has previously lived in India for 2 years in a rural community.  She has travelled extensively over the last 7 years and has a wide variety of circus skills – Hula hoop being her main discipline.  She has worked with various volunteer projects across the world and believes that her purpose is to share my skills and joy with underprivileged communities across the world – touring with PWB definitely gives you that opportunity.

Jules Cooke, 21, UK   –    Jules hails from London, UK and is part of the supportive community of circus and flow artists in our capital city.  She won Silver Award at British Young Juggler of the Year with her main discipline, contact staff and is also trained in dance and theatre.  She believes that circus can break the language barrier and express the indescribable.

Daniel McGuire, 26, USA    –    Daniel is taking time out from being Denver’s favourite children’s entertainer to join the PWB team this year.  A professional entertainer his whole adult life, Daniel brings joy with his clowning, balloon modelling and circus skills.  Clients say of him ‘He is very talented and patient…. a great performer’ We are proud to have you on board Daniel!

Sophie Zuniga, 19, USA    –     Sophie aka Geez Louise, works with Cirque Mythos and is part of  fire troupe MDSO Flow arts and Circus have brought her great happiness in her life, something she hopes to share with others.  She loves children and has travelled for much of her life.  She specialises in fire arts such as staff and hoop and also is a musician and is developing her clowning skills. Welcome to the family Sophie!

Mason Martinez, 24, USA     –     Mason says ‘To me life is a play, so what else to do but play the play?!’ Mason hails from Portland, Oregon and practises yoga, is a qualified yoga teacher as well as being proficient in various circus arts including poi and juggling.  His heart is in circus and he hopes he can help others to find the joy that he has found with these arts.

Xander Paris, 26, USA     –     Zander is an easily excitable flow artist with a martial arts background.  He has a wide variety of skills from dance to rope dart and has taught for more than 10 years.  Xander says ‘I love performing. I love teaching. But mostly I love spreading joy to others.’ That’s what PWB is all about Xander, welcome to the family!

 


Darjeeling week «3 blog. Rinki’s story :)

May 6, 2017

For the first time in my life, I have joined the circus! Circus brought to my life a sense of happiness that I have never felt before. It is also my first time to travel to Darjeeling, which I find to be a quiet place.

It is different from Varanasi, where I live. The people seem very friendly and I never see anyone fighting. It is very clean here. There are many big clouds. The town has lots of trees and flowers that I had never seen before. Chowrasta square is my favorite part of Darjeeling.

During my time here, I have enjoyed my teaching hula hoop, dance, and fans. I like teaching hula hoop moves like vortex and waist hooping. Teaching the Bollywood dance is fun because you can see the different ways everyone dances. Dan and Benji are so funny to watch when we do the Bollywood dance together in the show!

I like learning new skills like slackline, ball juggling and poi. During free play, I especially love connecting with the girls who are close to my age, we like to make jokes and listen to hindi music. With the small girls I like to sing songs and play hand clapping games. They remind me of my friends back home in a good way.

I have never performed in a circus show like the PWB show before, so it was very exciting for me my heart was beating so fast before our first show together! In the show, I do clowning, the Bollywood dance, and I am in the fan section. My favorite part of the show is when we all cry together on stage when we break the blender, it is so funny to cry with everyone. In the fire show, I perform a fire fan solo act! When I do fire fans I feel relaxed and I am able to enjoy myself.

Back at the house, we cook meals together and I love to cook with everyone. I try to cook indian food for everyone, last night I made onion pakora! It is so funny to see everyone cry when they chop onions! It feels good to share evening meals and cooking. Sometimes after dinner I have Hindi class with Dan. Other times after dinner we play the game Cuberdhee- Cuberdhee- Cuberdhee which is an indian game I taught the group that makes everybody laugh a lot.

Everyone on the team loves me, and I love everyone too.  I really like being a PWB volunteer. I will really miss this experience once its over. It has gone bytoo fast. I do not want PWB to end!Photo on 02-05-2017 at 17.30


We made it to the mountain ciTea of Darjeeling!

April 24, 2017

20170410_132139

           After saying goodbye to modern Kolkata, the team boards a train heading towards lush and mysterious Darjeeling.  Our train deposits us in Siliguri, where we smuuuush nine clowns plus a full circus’ worth of equipment into one jeep.  And up and up and up the mountainside we go — towards Darjeeling, a trip that takes about four hours.  Four hours pass by quickly, despite our being squished and squashed, because one cannot stop oneself from marvelling, mouth agape, at the magnificent views!!! Darjeeling sits, wild and green, just beside Khangchendzonga, the tallest peak in India and the third highest peak in the world.  Gazing up at Khangchendzonga sends the message home; we have arrived in The Himalayas! Glorious! 

            This isn’t anything like the other places we have visited.  Gone are the endlessly noisy and dusty roads filled with cows, people, bikes, and cars.  Instead the roads are neatly paved and different types of trees line the roadside.  The roads explore the landscape in sleek ribbons that even give my San Franciscan upbringing cause to wonder.  Darjeeling was named after the famous Dorje Ling monastery sacred to both Buddhist and Hindus.  The local streets loop back on themselves to snake through steep land and everyone walks everywhere in spite of the extreme slopes. For the first time in 4 months, I feel …….cold? The feeling is almost unfamiliar at this point, but the group welcomes it like an old friend and we all bundle into our socks, hats and jackets, most of which are being aired out for the first time since our arrival in January. The dogs here have longer thicker fur than any I’ve seen in india so far and it must be to battle the cold, and everyone wears colourful sweaters and thick scarves.   The Tibetan influence can be seen here in the architecture, the temples, the food, and the thousands (not an exaggeration) of Tibetan prayer flags that hang everywhere.  Even more impressive is the way the flags survive the storms! Within the first couple of days we are welcomed to Darjeeling by one of the many famous thunderstorms.  Thunderstorms here take themselves very serious and include (for free);  the electricity in our home coming in and out (mostly out), the water in our tap following suit, the rain drumming on our thin tin roof , the powerful wind blowing our front door open, the deafening thunder (louder Johny’s nighttime sneezes ) and the lightening! Oh, the most wonderful performance of lightening, with the fingers of light reaching every which way, up and down and most amazingly, sideways, lighting up the entire sky and gifting a half second glimmer of the mountain ranges across the valley.  These storms are to become regular and beloved pastimes to us during our stay here.  

         Another amazing thing to share is that we will be having a student called Rinki, whom we worked with during our month in Varanasi, come to teach with us for the last three weeks in Darjeeling.  She is an exemplary student, a leader in her community, and a great fan spinner.  She has shown herself to be responsible and trustworthy, and she will be the first female student to become a junior volunteer for PWB, setting the precedent for many students to come.  We are so excited to collaborate with her, as this deepens the work we can do here with PWB, and is a huge opportunity for her to grow and experience teaching and performing with PWB.  We are honoured to be joined by such a thoughtful and kind student, and I know we will be able to make magic happen with Rinki as a new addition to the team.  I will be going to Varanasi to travel with her here on the train, and we will all resume ( as a team of ten!) teaching and performing together until the end of our tour.  

           As we settled into our new accommodations (2 houses, 5 people each house) we began to prepare for our first week of teaching.  We will be working with two main organisations; Edith Wilkins School for Street Children, and the Salvation Army School for the Deaf and Dumb. We also will work a bit with an organisation called Hayden Hall.  We will work with some of these children at least 5 days a week— this is a real opportunity to relay an array of skills and form deep connections.  This leg of our journey will emulate our time in Varanasi because we have more time to spend with the same group of kids over the course of one month.  This allows for a real relationship to be made between teachers and students.  At the end of the month we will be helping the kids at both organisations put together a show for their community.   The kids here have a true sense of mindfulness, their prop closets are kept in pristine condition and they seem to have a true reverence for the work.  We spent the first week evaluating skills and seeing what the kids had in mind for what they wanted to learn during our time here.  So many enthusiastic students!  Many of them have already established skills in juggling, hoops, spinning plates, and poi.  We hope to introduce fans, rope dart and staff to them as well.  So we have a lot of work to do! I am really looking forward to empowering the children to perform and share their passions with the community here and I cannot wait to see the beautiful art we will make together.

Looking forward with a cup of Darjeeling tea in hand,

Ling Ling 

20/4/2017

PWB INDIA 2017


New PartnerShips Set Sail

April 17, 2017

The winds of growth blow in our direction this week as our fantastic team of 9 volunteers divide and conquer throughout the sprawling neighborhoods of Kolkata. In addition to working with our long-term partner Hope Foundation, the team spent this week laying a strong foundation with new schools and shelters.

IMG_7375

One of the schools reaches a large group of 4-10 year olds in the red-light district of Kolkata. These young children have mothers who are sex-workers and are provided with free education by a local NGO. On our first day with these boys and girls the children were naturally a bit shy but opened up with laughter and smiles half way into the morning. These young children were enthusiastic about hula-hoop, clowning, toroflux, table-top acrobatics, hula hoop, juggling, poi, oh yeah and did I say hula-hoop?!?! The team developed their knowledge and skill of creating lesson plans that are developmentally appropriate for young children. A helpful offering from Jamie, who taught 2nd grade in the U.S., was to focus on developing more basic motor skills for children ages 6 and under.

rpc 2

The largest group of kids met PWB in 2016 and were highly recommended to do more workshops with. This group of one-hundred boys come from families living in poverty throughout West Bengal. They are extremely enthusiastic about learning circus and display unwavering levels of high-energy. These kids love to play games and pick up circus skills very quickly. We performed our fantastic circus and fire show for these children in their local community center. The feeling of the show was joyous and the children constantly interacted with us throughout the show. The great finale included our Bollywood dance and all of the children singing and dancing with us on stage.

IMG_7474

We would like to give a tremendous shout-out to Jaes, the man who organized all of these new amazing opportunities with us. The work felt like it was a huge benefit to the children and we hope to see these partnerships expand in the years to come.

As our days came to an end in Kolkata, we performed one more circus and fire show for the children of Hope Foundation. We blocked off the street in front of Hope Cafe, a restaurant run by Hope Foundation that provides job opportunity for many young people in the community. The show brought together many children from various Hope centers and the local neighborhood. Ling met a journalist who wrote a newspaper article on the event, providing visibility for the work of Hope Foundation and PWB.

hope

The last 19 days were full with 22 workshops and 4 shows held at 8 different centers. Leaving the children here is difficult because of the connections that we formed with them. However, new experiences await in Darjeeling… an amazing city perched in the foothills of the Himalaya. This may be our first breath of fresh air since January.

Your captain and French stow-away
Avi and Benji


Dan-yhavad Kolkata

March 29, 2017

17545389_10154477609371824_7866791028308574186_oBenji, Mika, Johny and Grant enjoying the session.

With everyone refreshed after the break, a group meeting was needed to discuss the plan of action for Kolkata. The organisation we are working with is called The Hope Foundation. The Hope Foundation carries out vital work in the local community helping children in extreme circumstances escape their lives of tremendous difficulty. The children we are working with have experienced lives of poverty; living in unsafe conditions on the streets and the organisation maintains its operations protecting and relieving children’s experiences of physical and sexual abuse. With many children as young as five needing support, The Hope Foundation provides an important service for them. It releases them from lives of hard labour previously required to earn money for food and provides a safe and nurturing environment to help the children grow. It provides food, water sanitation, education and frees vulnerable children from child labour funding and operating over 60 projects. It’s healthcare programme provides immunisation and ante-natal care, saving the lives of thousands of children and their mothers.

Performers Without Borders have a broader remit and contact with many children here providing a safe space for the children and engaging them in fun activities. This is providing relief and helping their cognitive development.  We provide circus skills, games as well as shows across the community. The organisation has returned to the same areas and the children clearly look forward to and get excited prior to the few weeks we spend here. Most of the children we work with here did not have a fixed residence before they were cared for by The Hope Foundation. They now have a home with many organisations developing their lives. This huge difference and certainly gives me hope.

17620422_1498959526781728_7062186924505409905_o

After show fun at the Seagull Project

The children often have a restricted space to practice circus skills which requires us to adapt our teaching methods and our performances in order to effectively teach the children. Many relationships have been built with the children along the way. They certainly all know my name and I need to improve my retention of theirs. I find my relationships with the other members of my team have continually developed along the way as well. There is a collective openness within the group which resolves any conflict along the way. This is expected with 9 people in a house. I definitely find myself having a lot of fun teaching the children circus skills, performing the shows for the children knowing that I am providing them and safe and happy place when I watch the smiles on their faces. I very much enjoy the company of the people I work with and I consider them all friends. Don’t think I would every have an underpants party in a kitchen with people who I didn’t consider friends. 🙂

My current designated position within the team is ‘Team Mum’. We have different roles at different places. I feel quite a lot of pressure due to the requirement to keep the household maintained with essentials like food, water, cleaning equipment etc. I wish to please everyone and the last team mum Benji, who did an excellent job, made life smooth for everyone. I am doing OK at the moment. I have 10 GPS points in my phone to manage my way around the place and function as team mum. I often get good deals due to my ability to speak more Hindi and just general friendliness. My competitive nature amongst such good people and performers has improved my skills a lot. I love India, the people I work with and this experience with Organisation. I will feel sad when it ends but will enjoy the rollercoaster whilst it’s still rolling.


Bye Bye Benares

March 21, 2017

Our adventures in Varanasi (Benares) have now ended! The closing curtain of the Asha Deep show marked the end of a significant chapter in Team India’s tour and this moment brought up an incredible range of emotions – we were elated, exhausted, proud, and a little sad.

The Asha Deep Vidyashram Annual Function was a truly spectacular event. The staff and students of the school worked tirelessly to put together an extravaganza of singing, dancing, theatre, stand up and of course, circus. Many of us were taken aback by how multi-talented the students were as they remembered not only the choreography for their respective Performers Without Borders acts but also the lyrics and choreography of the many other items they took part in. As a team we were incredibly proud of the kids and we felt privileged to be a part of the event.

The Asha Deep show held further significance for the team as it highlighted many of the relationships we’d developed with the local community. Within the audience were staff and students from our other major partner schools, Duniya Education and Jeevan School, in addition to people from our outreach partner, Ashray School. It was also rather touching to see the faces of the various shopkeepers, tuk tuk drivers and neighbours who have led to Varanasi feeling like home.

IMG_9441

Although our official PWB time in Varanasi had ended, it did not mark the end of our relationships with the community. Many of the team still returned to the schools during our break to juggle and play with the kids after class and develop their skills. Dan and Rowan also spent time developing a “check-out system” at one school. They were keen to ensure that the equipment that was left with the school may be used regularly but also provided a simple and easy method to keep track of what equipment is available, who has props in their possession, and strategies to deal with misplaced or damaged equipment. One of our favourite experiences was being invited to spend time with the kids to celebrate Holi. Never before have we been assaulted with such a beautiful array of coloured powders, water balloons and water pistols! The kids’ smiles and energy brought the experience alive for us.

Copy of 20170310_124039

While on the break we also had the opportunity to represent PWB in a less official capacity. Seven of our team spent some relaxation time at the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve southeast of Kolkata. This was a stunning region of the country filled with twisted mangroves, winding rivers and fearsome tigers and crocodiles! Our hosts gave us a freshly prepared stage in a paddock and we provided the local community with a short circus and fire show – for many, the first circus show they had ever seen. Celebrating with the locals afterwards in the form of singing, dancing, eating and conversing was a wonderful way to share what we do. It also served as a nice prelude for our next project in Kolkata. We can’t wait for the second half our tour in India to begin!

IMG_0085