The second Saturday of the IADF was the public show. Some of the classes presented the work they’d been doing the past week,or two. After which was the after-party (and as we’ve said, circus parties…). After which was an AFTER after-party in our apartment while I frantically packed to head to Dublin, fly to Amsterdam, and then to Budapest.

I spent the week working with about 20 other people from Ireland, England, Spain and Hungary on elements of performance which could be incorporated into fire performances. Much like the IADF, a lot can be accomplished with some focused effort and only a few days work. Monday night when everyone presented their pieces and saw the two Hungarian fire troupes, there was a general feeling of dejectedness.

But come Thursday , as the 12th Hungarian Juggling Convention opened and we all performed our reinvented pieces there was an overall feeling of pride. During the week a lot of our time had gone into games and questionable imaginings, but through these exercises we hadn’t first appreciated came a lot of good things. Motives and characters had become clearer and everyone’ pieces were more interesting and enjoyable to watch. 

I think this illustrates the importance of theatre in circus. It certainly proved the use of considering circus as a tool with which you can convey meaning and story. Circus acts are often very technique heavy and just based on tricks, which has its merits. But to a plain ol’ audience member it can get very boring very fast. 

That weekend we also got to enjoy the juggling convention. For the national convention it was quite small but had a lot of unusual things at it. Something that looked like three cyr wheels combined was seen knocking about, a lot of high skill acro, generally very high skill level juggling. Their renegade show was also of a high skill level.

Unfortunately Hungarian isn’t like any language I have even the slightest familiarity with. I was told it’s like Finnish in the way it’s unrelated to any other European language. So I didn’t have too many conversations with the locals.

I left during the convention, to return to Galway after three and a half weeks, promising to see people at the European Juggling Convention.

Published by Blue Hanley

Galway-based Theatre-maker who loves circus, conventions and travelling.

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