Wings In My Heart

Swiss Nouveau Cirque
Big Sexy Circus City (Venue 347)
Aug 18-23, 25-30
Times: Tue-Thurs 8pm
Fri- Sun 2.30pm & 8pm


Rigolo Swiss Nouveau Cirque’s new stage performance “Wings in my Heart” beckons you to explore the journey of a woman in search of her own destiny. Rigolo’s founders Lena Roth and Maedir Rigolo wished to create a show for their youngest daughter, Marula Eugster, who recently concluded her professional dance education to take to the stage, spread her wings and fly. An international cast featuring ex-Cirque du Soleil artists combine dance, acrobatics and theatre to a beautiful score of music and striking light display. Hosted by an ex-No Fit State production crew this demanding rig-construction includes thirteen scenes of mind-blowing artistry.

Fire lights the stage, a female explodes out of a pit of water and writhes and slips around like a newborn animal. A single quilled feather pen distracts the audiences attention, as it writes metaphorical script on projected screens flanking the stage. A wind-up ballerina doll pulls stilted mechanical characters on stage and brings them to life to create a slightly crazed carousel. With fixed manic smiles they totter around on stage, as the main character (Marula Eugster) dressed in white, dances around with a kite. The ballerina doll gifts her the spine of a date palm leaf. Although it is not obviously apparent, this symbolises the growth and development of Eugster as a woman, from birth (the water pit opening scene) through childhood and so on.

“Creation is sound. If you are in tune with these all encompassing primordial sounds you are one with all beings, one with the whole universe,” writes the quilled pen as the stage is prepped for the next act. Two artists ride winged contraptions, which spin in all directions, almost colliding with one another. A solo tap dancer (Daniel Borak) jumps around the stage following a spotlight creating his own music through the power of his feet. Borak’s tremendous focus builds the intensity and he is subsequently joined by a drummer (Julius Oppermann) who performs along with his tap. It is clear there is a powerful connection between the two artists. The audio energy increases and the audience “whoop” with encouragement and enjoyment. The drums are exchanged for another palm spine gift as Oppermann taps out a rhythm. Eugster plays chase for a palm leaf spine, symoblising love and relationships. Pendulum balls drop from the ceiling and the seven strong ensemble duck and dive, twist and flip while trying to avoid the swinging balls. UV lights glow creating outstanding visual moving patterns as hip-hop artist (Kemal Dempster) dodges the swinging balls. From a lowered stage section a vertical rope duet involving a limp, almost fragile female body is pulled and spun by aerial artist Suren Bozyan, a rippling slice of eye-candy. The momentum builds as the balance and counter balance creates a sea-saw effect of one launching into the air as the other tumbles down.

The Interval arrives and it’s time for some liquid refreshment and a wander around the site. Along with ‘Wings’ there are other circus acts ‘Hitch’ & ‘Swing circus’, fire shows, cabaret, bar and food vendors and kids workshops throughout the day. The Big Sexy Circus City space was once home to a brewery and it took five weeks to clear and recreate to space into a marvelous new festival venue. With 50 people working in and around the Circus City it is an impressive set-up.

A thundering hanging drum in the big top tent breaks the interval. Tension mounts and raw primal cries echo around the space. A light shines bright, like the sun and mystical feathered wings gracefully descend from the rigs. The beauty of this act warms my soul and there is a feeling of peace. The cast appears holding models of seagulls and they swoop and fly through the air, mimicking the birds until they gather on a tree creating a portrait of the lead artist, Marula Eugster. Peculiar animals appear and a score of sand tap dancing is performed. The finale is an intense balancing act using all the palm leaf spines, representing the elements and dimensions of Eugster’s life experiences. It was a shame the auditorium appeared to be only half full. The extensive show may be £20 but you definitely get your value for money during this two and a half hour performance. This ambitious circus is risky but enchantingly dynamic and I implore you not to miss it! FIVE STARS



Reviewer : Sarah Lewis

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