When the circus comes to town, it usually brings a twist with it. Maybe it’s lots of water, freakishly flexible children, Shaolin warriors or stunts with motorbikes. Acéléré, a ‘circus concert’ from the Circolombia troupe, has been given a Latino spin. A fierce female ringmaster raps in Spanish and English to warm up the crowd, before the stunts begin.
Many of the performers here trained at the National School of Circo Para Todos in Colombia, a school that supports underprivileged young people. There are weightless gymnasts flying through space; extreme swinging action way up high; a solid muscleman balancing a bendy girl in a rotating hoop on his forehead, and aerial acrobats gracefully hanging upside down by ropes held in their teeth (there are loud gasps for the last pair, possibly from any dentists or chiropractors in the crowd).
It’s all soundtracked by boomy drum & bass, hip hop and reggaeton, with the artists taking turns to throw shapes in between routines. When the show’s over, the audience, who’ve been bouncing along in their seats, pour onto the stage for a South American dance party. Fearless fun with no safety nets or subtitles, just a lot of adrenaline and heart-in-mouth moments.