We said a fond farewell to Cirque Éloize this week as they headed off to continue their world domination tour! So, we bring you the final installment of our Dancers’ Diaries.
This time Ashley tells you about Cirque Éloize’s final week in Cardiff. Ashley plays the Clown in Cirkopolis and you may have last seen him swinging from a clothes rail.
Ashley Carr studied theatre and circus arts at The Circus Space (now the National Centre for Circus Arts) and the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. While still a student, he co founded the Kicking the Moon Company, which won the first annual Jerwood Circus Award in the UK. The Guardian described Kicking the Moon as “a delicious mix of circus and theater.” With funding from Arts Council England, Kicking the Moon’s show went on a multi year world tour. While performing with Kicking the Moon, Ashley also launched a solo show, Bien Accroché, which he presented in theaters and festivals throughout the world.
With his diverse background as a street artist, circus performer and clown, Ashley was invited to join Cirque Éloize’s production of Rain – Comme une pluie dans tes yeux in which he performed for several years. Ashley’s other passion in life is flying kites, so don’t be surprised to find him outside with a kite in his hand!
Here’s what he had to say…
“And so here lies the last diary of the U.K tour of Cirkopolis.
A tour that started in London in February and over a month and a half in 7 cities, 1,261 miles and playing to over 35,000 people we have arrived at the end of such an adventure.
For myself it was a wonderful return to the country I am from, where I grew up and learned circus before moving to Montreal and starting with Cirque Éloize. To play in such a rich show with a multi talented and generous cast before friends and family. Here in Cardiff I had my brother that came up from cornwall to spend the week with me by the bay in an unexpected week of sunshine and summer time.
It is easy to loose sight of the beauty of what we do and give to the public. With such an intense schedule and repeating the same show in many different venues not only around the U.K. I love what I do and enjoy the moments I spend on the stage and with the people I share it with though it can easily become repetitive.
I met a couple with their son, Callum, who had come to Cardiff for his birthday to see the Dr Who exhibition as it is something he loves. They had met one of the artists and were interested to come and see the show. So they booked an extra night and bought tickets. They were waiting for us when we came back after the show to say hi and say how much they had enjoyed it. I talked to them a bit and after invited them backstage to see what it is like. Seeing his face light up I then said, ‘well would you like to watch from backstage?’. Again his eyes became even bigger so he stayed with us and watched the ‘behind the scenes’ unfold. The experience he had and the magic he had in his eyes reminds me why we do this.
It is paradoxical how one can fall into a routine in a show that talks about breaking away from the mundane. How even in this world we can sometimes forget to see the beauty in all of this and that seeing it through this young man’s eyes can bring it all back.
So thank you Callum and to all those that were involved in this tour. Those that made it happen and those that came to see it.
Until the next time,