REGULAR VISITORS to CU Today will be aware of the varied performances being planned by final year Performing Art students for their degree show, and how subjects of particular interest have continued to influence their work.
The work of Alyxxandra Edinboro and Charlotte Barltrop will be the first of its kind to combine an interest in, and first-hand experiences of, the circus, while incorporating some of the acts often associated with it.
In Performing Art terms, the two students will effectively create what is called a ‘Cross Arts’ piece, as it consists of more than one performing genre, which in this instance is the most desirable aspects of dance, theatre and circus.
Their efforts to date have been boosted by the support of Warwick’s Playbox Theatre Company; not only are the students eligible to cast some of the company’s members for their degree show, they have also been given use of the theatre to launch their company, Dancus Circe.
Speaking to Baltrop, she is understandably delighted with the support their project has received from the theatre, saying: “It really makes a difference when you’re starting out in this profession to get the help and support of a local theatre company.
“Playbox have been brilliant and have given us so much help. Both Alyx and I have always had a fascination with the circus, so it seemed logical for us to use elements of it in our final year performance.”
And as is the case with every circus, their performance is also being kept a closely guarded secret, with both students remaining tight-lipped about the acrobatic skills they intend to incorporate.
The decisions they make will no doubt lead to a stellar performance, aided by the fact a number of Baltrop’s previous employers were the owners of actual circuses, as she explains: “I grew up travelling with various circuses.
“But I ‘retired’ from that a few years ago in order to pursue a normal life, but I still needed an artistic outlet so I began my degree at Coventry University.” Baltrop revealed that her father recently worked with the Moscow State Circus when they came to Coventry.
Her project partner, Alyxxandra Edinboro, added: “Now we are heading towards the end of our studies, we are thinking about what we want to do with our skills for after we graduate.
“It was because of our love of performing and community theatre that Charlotte and I decided to set up our own company – ‘Dancus Circe’. We hope to use all the skills we have learned at university, including our circus training, to entertain our future audiences.”
Incidentally, in 2006, an adaptation of Angela Carter’s mythic novel, ‘Nights at the Circus’, was performed for the first time on stage at Warwick Arts Centre, courtesy of Kneehigh Theatre Company Director, Emma Rice.
- Dancus Circe’s new show, called ‘Dancus Circe’, will premiere at the Dream Factory, Shelley Avenue, Warwick on Tuesday 19th May at 7.30pm, and available from the box office by calling 01926 419555.