Creative of the week – Circus Abyssinia

April 6, 2022

Circus Abyssinia is a world-famous circus group performing surreal acrobatics, juggling, contortion, and dances with Ethiopian rhythms and songs. Circus Abyssinia’s Ethiopian Dreams show was inspired by the story of two little Ethiopian brothers (Bibi and Bichu), whose dream of joining the circus is made real by what they call “the Man in the Moon.” The adventure begins when the brothers realize their shared dream. Their journey is joined by a host of high-flying, contorting figures, some fascinating, others frightening! It’s what they call circus dreamers, whose acrobatic acts call up a new world with a possibility of becoming real.

The show dives deep into the rhythms and roots of Ethiopia’s rich musical and artistic traditions to incorporate its story through incredible tricks/stunts and feats of juggling, clowning,, and contortion. Of course! Every performance required ground-breaking beats of Ethiopia’s song. Cal McCrystal, stage and screen director, is responsible for the brilliant direction of the 2015 show with Giffords Circus named Moon Songs. It stages musical and acrobatic stunts of the little boys’ childhood imagination as a waking dream. The circus show unfolds a sense of surreality inspired by the songs and creates a beautiful story through the physical and musical language of the art.

Circus Abyssinia’s second creation, Tulu, is a family circus backed by 70s Ethiopian funk to modern Ethio-pop and rocking with the exuberant joy of its cast. Tulu tells the story of the first African woman to win Olympic gold, Ethiopian distance runner and Olympic legend, Derartu Tulu. Meaning both ‘valley’ and ‘mountain heights’. Dancing with flags and flames, invoking the iconic Olympic rings and showcasing Ethiopia’s diverse culture, the show emulates the mesmerizing and heart-racing thrills of the race that made Derartu a star.

Circus Abyssinia aims to thrill and inspire, celebrate the beauty and power of the imagination and the real possibility that it comes true when they work together and fight for them. The show has realized the goals of its Ethiopian acrobatic cast because the circus group believes that performing is to be happy and free. It also shares the beats and excitement of acrobatic dance with an audience. The show stages the journey through which Ethiopia’s culture passed to tie traditions that brings us close together. Although our culture dominates the show, it celebrates the notion of hopes and dreams, common to all cultures and continents, as Circus Abyssinia believes that we all dream under the same Moon wherever we’re going, whatever our hopes are.

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