Circus festival ends with fabulous closing night

Farah Montasser, Sunday 21 Oct 2012

International Circus Festival wrapped up a month of performances with a wonderful show at Cairo’s Al-Azhar Park on Saturday


CirCairo, the International Circus Festival, ended its series of events with a performance at Al-Azhar Park on Saturday.

From juggling and rope walking to acrobatics, choreography and puppet sketches, CirCairo wrapped up with a diverse show.

All the performers took the audience by storm but the highlight of the evening was Balagans from Spain and the Kosha Puppet team from Egypt.

"Revolutionary" was a term used by some audiences members as Balagans brought new dance moves to the traditional circus show. Consisting of a male and a female performer and accompanied by a musician, Balagans used brooms as part of their routine which attracted such wild applause and whistles that one could not hear the music at times.  

They added some Spanish touches, mainly Salsa and Tango, to their circus routines. Their graceful routines gave life to the wooden brooms they held.

Adding to the audience's wonderment, the musician used a remote control attached to his drum to make a number of brooms dance. Audience members, who could not see him what he was doing, kept wondering how the brooms moved alone on stage.

“Those brooms have magnets attached to the stage making them stand up straight and move as the performers please!" a female audience member told her friends.

Besides the broom sketch, Balagans performed a traditional rope-walking sketch.

Accompanied by gypsy-style music, the performing couple danced together on the rope. Their choreographed routine included acrobatics like the famous Canadian troupe Cirque du Soleil.

Following them and ending the show, Kosha Puppet Team from Egypt danced and engaged with children and adults in the audience to bring street art to life.

They chose a mawal (traditional Egyptian chant) that spoke of poverty, unemployment, food shortages, and most importantly gas cylinders, known as ambouba. The ambouba has been a problem for many Egyptians over the past year due to price hikes and shortages.

A Kosha member wearing an ambouba costume toured around the audience singing and dancing with children.

Sadly, CirCairo has come to an end but throughout its almost month-long programme it managed to reach out to many people in Cairo, Alexandria, Mansoura, and Menoufeya.

"We were welcomed in every place we visited across Egypt, and the general public, especially those in the governorates outside Cairo, asked us to be a frequent presence in their communities," CirCairo director Ashraf Kennawy told Ahram Online.

CirCairo 2012 opened on 4 October and finished on 20 October at Al-Azhar Park.

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