Circus in the Medina (12:27)

Circus Post is a series of short films made by Crying Out Loud and film-maker Deborah May contextualising the development of contemporary circus over the past 40 years.

Everyone in the Medina knows the  Hammich family. From the oldest grandfather to the youngest granddaughter, the Hammichs are famous acrobats, trained from an early age in skills that have been preserved through seven generations.

Members of the family used to tour the world, performing acts in the great traditional circuses, but in 2003 their lives took an unexpected turn when they met the French circus director Aurélien Bory and resolved to collaborate on a new work. Combining their vernacular style of acrobatics with Bory’s exact vision for space, scale and transformation they made their first full-length show, Taoub.

Here we visit them at their home in Tangier, a shrine to the family’s wide-ranging achievements, and hear how Taoub was made, as well as how later work Chouf Ouchouf was inspired by the bustle, the colour, the rooftops and markets, the dangerous alleys, the swarming cats, and the incredible everyday stories of the Medina – the city’s bustling old quarter.