Two free weekends of original contemporary circus, hip hop dance and music performances in the fountain courtyard this summer to celebrate 250 years since Philip and Patty Astley pioneered circus in London.
Alongside participatory activities, expect exciting, large-scale work from 65 artists including hoola hoop acrobat and twelve times Guinness World Record holder Marawa the Amazing and the Majorettes. Watch them perform their special brand of synchronised hoola hooping and roller skating or join the hoola schoola at the end of the show and learn how to spin a hoop yourself.
Far From The Norm stage a new show that combines their signature fast-paced footwork and physical floor-work with Chinese Pole and tight-wire. Union Black is a bold fusion of hip hop and circus that draws parallels between the worlds of football and current European politics.
Accompanied by the rousing sound of brass music played live by Circus Tsuïca, a French band of musical acrobats, trailblazers Gandini Juggling premiere a special commission, Cascade. Performing within the rhythmic rise and fall of the 55 water jets of the courtyard fountain, the 30 jugglers will send balls large and small flying through the air. With the constant flow of movement, water and sound, Cascade will be a mesmerising celebration of life, beauty and music.
Complementing the action outside, the East Wing galleries host talks and an exhibition that includes a compelling new installation from artist Rose English. Learn about the history of circus, watch short films, and uncover a selection of the pioneers and new thinkers who have transformed the circus field today.
Supported by the Garrick Charitable Trust, Creative Europe programme of the European Union, the Institut français in Paris and the National Lottery through Arts Council England.