Lost in Translation: Pizza and Circuses

Lost in Translation are at DAGFEST this Saturday with their wonderful circus workshops (from 1-3pm, sign up at 12:30pm) and they are closing the circus zone with a brilliant 45 minute performance (5:15pm - 6pm). We spoke to Annabel, who co-runs the company about Malta, the modern circus and multicultural acrobatics.

What will the workshops be like and how fit do you have to be?

Workshops will be a combination of aerial acrobatics, hula hoops and juggling. The aerial and acrobatics you need to sign up for and you need to be 7 years or older. The fitter you are the more you will be able to do, but we invite everyone to come and have a go. The juggling and hula hoops you can just turn up and have a go.


How did you all learn circus performance? And where did you all meet?

We all come from different backgrounds and different places. Annabel was in a youth circus in Australia, Thibaut got into juggling and then into circus in France, Roisin was an elite gymnast in Ireland and Massi started in physical theatre and street performance. But Annabel, Massi, Roisin and Thibaut all went to professional circus schools. Eduardo is an actor and trained in Italy, he is only having his first introduction to circus through working with the company, and has been learning some acrobatics and getting fitter with us.


How does the modern circus act differ from the older traditional touring circuses of yesteryear?

There are several long answers to that . . . but there are still lots of cross overs. Modern circus generally doesn't work with animals (though I know a few exceptions - usually with pets), and modern circus is particularly interested in integrating other artforms such as theatre and dance into the circus performance. Also modern circus tends to operate in lots of different ways - working in theatre and outdoors as well as in tents, in a very wide range of events, rather than just taking a tent on tour.


What's the strangest gig you've ever done?

Also a rather big question!! I think that would be different for each performer. As a company we are still fairly young but have already had lots of adventures. I think probably one of the most unusual was travelling all the way to Malta with the van and equipment to work with the seeds of an emerging circus scene there to put on a big scale show (produced by CirkuMalta) with the community, in this very unusually shaped open air auditorium in a park there. Had to get our set on stage with a crane - a flying trailer is quite an amusing sight!


What's the hardest thing you've had to juggle?

I think that is a question for our juggler Thibaut. But metaphorically speaking juggling being a performer with running a company, being the rigger, producer, tour manager and production manager is extremely challenging. Massi and I (who run the company) are constantly wearing different hats which can get kind of confusing!


If you weren't doing Lost in Translation, what would you be doing?

Hmmm  - probably working for another circus company, or teaching circus. Or as Massi has suggested - the escape plan is to move to Australia and open a pizzeria on the beach ;-)


Please tell us three things that inspire Lost in Translation

1) Connecting to a wide variety of audience of all ages - the energy and exchange that we share with an audience is always inspiring. We love to take people out of their own lives for a moment and hopefully share something wonderful with them.

2) Working and creating art in a team - we love to create ensemble work, to train, make shows and perform together - though sometimes it is very challenging!!

3) Bringing together and working together with different cultures and languages (hence the name), sometimes a big challenge in terms of communication and cultural difference but it brings rich rewards, and we think creates more interesting work.

Watch Lost In Translation performing at Great Yarmouth last year: