Our promotional video for the Weighting Tour 2015 / 2016
Extraordinary Bodies is a partnership between Cirque Bijou and Diverse City. To speak to us please call Cirque Bijou’s office on 0117 902 9730.
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Ensure you are using the right language when talking or writing about disability. Download the Extraordinary Bodies Language Guide.
Thinking about a career as a circus performer?
Extraordinary Bodies is committed to making circus accessible for everybody. The performing company provides professional opportunities and employment for people from diverse backgrounds including Deaf and disabled performers.
What about entering the profession if you haven’t had any circus training?
Extraordinary Bodies has brought together a panel of experts to look at how to provide more accessible career pathways and develop more opportunities for Deaf and disabled practitioners to train in circus. National Centre of Circus Arts, Circomedia and Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists are working with us to develop an action plan to influence and promote inclusivity in circus training and in youth circus.
Where can you find the existing accessible circus training opportunities?
A few youth circuses are fully integrated including Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists, National Youth Circus and Circus Eruption.
Circomedia and National Centre for Circus Arts are committed to making their FE and HE training inclusive. Contact them to discuss opportunities.
Let your local youth circus or community training space know how they could make it easier for you to work with them and find out their access policy. They will make reasonable adjustments to accommodate your needs.
Do you run circus training and want to know how to be more inclusive?
One aim of the Extraordinary Bodies panel of experts is to provide inclusivity training for circus trainers so more youth circuses have capacity and skill needed to become inclusive.
We are creating a toolkit available for download from this site and we are working to ensure that training in inclusive practice is available for unaffiliated circus teachers/trainers.
For information on teacher training contact National Centre for Circus Arts or Circus Works.
For information on best practice in inclusive training please see Doing things Differently, or contact Diverse City.
In June 2016, The British Paraorchestra invited Extraordinary Bodies to collaborate on a one-off performance of Terry Riley’s iconic cornerstone of classical minimalism, In C.
Composed in 1964, In C consists of 53 short repeated melodies in C major. How often each melody is repeated, coloured or intensified, is completely the choice of each individual player – but each player also has a responsibility to the whole ensemble, and each performance is different to any other performance of the piece that has ever happened.
Extraordinary Bodies took cues from the musical structure. We devised a series of physical ‘gestures’ to develop and combine in a complementary style to the musical phrases. It was a fantastic opportunity to experiment with movement, sound and the senses; to share the skills of our artists with new audiences; and to work alongside a company in harmony with our vision and values.
The combined effect of Extraordinary Bodies and The British Paraorchestra playing In C was described as cathartic, uplifting and engulfing. The aural equivalent of climbing inside a giant lava lamp…
The British Paraorchestra is the world’s first professional ensemble of disabled musicians. Based in Bristol and led by pioneering innovator of classical music, Charles Hazelwood, they are ideal allies, partners and collaborators for Extraordinary Bodies.
To bring this unique performance to your area please contact us, we are always interested in new partnerships.
This performance was commissioned for Fast Forward Festival 2016 at Bristol’s Colston Hall.
First created in 2013, Weighting is an uplifting, large scale, outdoor show that combines circus, theatre and live music to tell the story of an extraordinary family. The show celebrates risk-taking, transformation and asks when is the right time to let go?
The cast includes seven extraordinary disabled and non-disabled circus and theatre artists who take to the air on a huge transformative set. A stupendously talented five-piece band, playing an original score, accompanies the piece along with a captivating BSL interpreter and dulcet-toned audio describer. The show’s memorable finale includes a massed, integrated local community choir, singing and signing together.
Supported by Arts Council England, Weighting was redeveloped in 2015 with writer Hattie Naylor. We toured to 5 locations across the UK including a headline performance at Bristol’s Doing Things Differently event in September 2016.
The show’s haunting and memorable soundtrack, composed by Dom Coyote and Ted Barnes, is available for download along with a invitation to support Extraordinary Bodies with a suggested donation.
DOWNLOAD ORIGINAL SOUNTRACK
Alongside Weighting, we run a groundbreaking integrated and inclusive participatory programme called Sings, Leads & Plays, inviting everyone to experience, enjoy and learn first-hand about artistic integration. In 2014-16 this was funded through Diverse City’s Clore Duffield 50th Anniversary Prize Fund win.
For more information, please contact us.
Our journey of discovery in 2017
In 2017 we are travelling the country visiting communities in 10 different places across the UK and Ireland. In each place, we are sharing circus, music and storytelling skills with diverse community groups, in return for their ideas, stories and responses to the question What am I Worth?
We want to understand how people see their own value and how they would like their worth recognised in society.
By the end of the year we will begin to make a new show: What am I Worth?
Joyful, radical, bold and accessible, the performance will tackle head on our assessment of value and our fear of difference. It will celebrate the stories of people who create their own sense of worth, despite a culture that devalues them.
Performed outdoors by an exceptional cast of disabled and non-disabled circus, theatre and music artists, What am I Worth? will tour from summer 2018. The show will include live music, BSL interpretation and audio description, and will play to audiences of up to 1000 people.
Find out more about our journey, our partners and the communities that we are working with by browsing the map below.
This project is funded by Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence.
Extraordinary Bodies is a company of artistic activators and activists, a collaboration between colleagues from Cirque Bijou and Diverse City, and a diverse and exciting array of creative minds, artists, theatre practitioners, musicians, writers and crew. Click on the people below to find out more.
Extraordinary Bodies is the UK’s leading professional integrated circus company. We create large scale, bold, radical and joyous performance. Our artistic practice increases awareness, capacity and leadership for integration of D/deaf, disabled and non-disabled artists working equally together in the arts nationally.
We make work with, for and about our communities; work that represents the diverse makeup of our society – onstage, offstage and in the audience.
We are a strong and unlikely partnership between leading showmakers Cirque Bijou and leading arts and diversity practitioners Diverse City. Our partnership breaks boundaries and our work does too.
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