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D & F Bros. Grand Indian Circus

D & F Bros. Grand Indian Circus was specially created by Rhythms and Ragas in collaboration with Access All Areas and 30ips for touring in 2018 to celebrate Circus250, marking the 250th anniversary of the World’s first circus appearing in London in 1768.

Rajasthan is home to the most elite of street circus performers; this fascinating region’s legendary entertainment communities combine their amazing skills –  with optional live musical support from the World famous Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band-  in performing breathtaking acts of courage and bravery. Preserved over many centuries from the time of the Maharajas, they take this ancient, mystical and magical circus format to even greater heights.

The cast of dancers, puppeteers, aerialists, acrobats, musicians and rope walkers, with the eye-watering displays by their fakir, present a colourful, vibrant, fast-moving extravaganza of intrigue, drama, feats of daring, music, laughter and surprise.

Their spectacular, awe-inspiring and unique shows toured Europe extensively all through the summers of 2015 – 2017 under the name of Circus Raj, thrilling audiences of all ages at festivals, melas, community events and carnivals – including Glasgow, Southampton, Edinburgh and Leicester Melas, Walthamstow Garden Party and numerous festivals including Glastonbury, Camp Bestival, Bestival, Lunar, Imagine Watford, Richmond upon Thames, Readipop, Rhythms of the World IOW, Geronimo, Harwich, Middlewich FAB, Sziget in Hungary, Earigail in Ireland, SKIrcus, Stoppenden Verden and Forde in Norway.

The main video on this page here is the provisional line-up of the new D & F Bros. Grand Indian Circus. The second one on the video page is the former Circus Raj group.. Meanwhile, the current videos are examples of the range of skills that make up a typical outdoor show; it can be modified for settings without the headroom for the aerial work, indoors or out. The group can also run workshops for children that include a short circus show and participation in juggling, simple acrobatics, balancing objects, dancing, singing and turban tieing.

The circus is suited to audiences of all ages, available in a street theatre format either in one location or on walkabout or as a fully staged outdoors circus show with a slack rope and other aerial equipment, backdrop and scenery.

Further information can be found by clicking HERE

photo credits. Farzana Neazi and Michael Whitewood

 

 

 

D & F Bros. Grand Indian Circus was specially created by Rhythms and Ragas in collaboration with Access All Areas and 30ips for touring in 2018 to celebrate Circus250, marking the 250th anniversary of the World’s first circus appearing in London in 1768.

Rajasthan is home to the most elite of street circus performers; this fascinating region’s legendary entertainment communities combine their amazing skills –  with optional live musical support from the World famous Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band-  in performing breathtaking acts of courage and bravery. Preserved over many centuries from the time of the Maharajas, they take this ancient, mystical and magical circus format to even greater heights.

The cast of dancers, illusionists, aerialists, acrobats and rope walkers, with the eye-watering displays by their fakir, present a colourful, vibrant, fast-moving extravaganza of intrigue, drama, feats of daring, music, laughter and surprise.

The circus also offer schools visits where they perform a short circus show, introduce the children to the culture and customs of Rajasthan and involve them in some simple circus routines, songs and dance.

The schools visit typically takes the following form.

1. Introduction and welcome.

It is suggested that the teacher prepares a short explanation of the plans for the session, says a bit about the group based on the information above and then hand over to Farzana, the circus manager. Farzana will invite the children and teachers to welcome the artists with the Hindu greeting, “namaste”.

2. Mini circus show

The artists will perform a 15 minute show to warm up the session and will then begin the workshop.

3. Singing.

The artists will sing the song Gore Gore and Farzana will explain it’s meaning and display the lyrics on a flip chart. She will then teach the words to the children, broken down line by line. They will then be encouraged to sing the song with the circus artists.

4. Costumes, turbans and props.

Farzana will introduce some of the circus characters including the horse and show off the beautiful costumes, curtain materials and displays, typical of Rajasthan culture. The artists will demonstrate how a turban is fitted and offer children the chance to have one fitted on themselves.

5. Acrobatics and other circus routines.

The acrobats will demonstrate a simple routine and teach the moves to groups of children, 5 at a time, and encourage them to try them out. For example, squeezing through metal hoops, forward rolls, balancing cooking pots on the head, etc.

6. Dancing.

India is full of snakes and our dancer comes from the Kalbelia community, who live in primitive homes, often visited by poisonous snakes. They traditionally handle cobras, trading their venom and charming them with the been, a kind of flute. Their dance is inspired by the snake’s movements and our dancer will demonstrate a routine based on four movements of the Kalbelia dance which will be taught to the children. The band will play to accompany the dance.

7. The Fakir

Fakirs are performers who wander from village to village entertaining local people with their amazing range of circus skills. Our fakir will show off some his skills including juggling with various objects and balancing colourful spinning tops.

8. Henna

Farzana will explain where henna comes from and how it is traditionally used in India for decorating the hands on special occasions. Farzana and the artists will offer children the chance to have a henna pattern on their hand.

9. Questions and answers.

The teacher should ideally assemble the children in a circle around the band, surrounding the artists, all sitting on the floor. The teacher should set a time limit and encourage questions on ANY subject! Bear in mind that Farzana is the only member in the band who converses fluently in English.

10. Parade

Finally the children can join the artists and parade around the room, dancing, singing and interacting with the artists.

The mini show lasts about 15 minutes and the workshop content 35-45 minutes.

The circus can work with up to 30 Key Stage 2 children at a time. Key Stage 1 children can be accommodated with adequate supervision at the discretion of the school.

We need a clear space measuring about 20 m’s by 20 m’s to perform in. We will bring carpets, backdrops and other decor.

We’d appreciate somewhere private to change and some refreshments please – sweet tea and biscuits essential!

Teaching materials we can provide prior to the visit :-

a video can be viewed online,

an explanation of the day’s activities,

photographs of the circus

and background information on the culture and history of the circus and the region.

A vocal microphone is helpful for Farzana in large noisy situations.

To satisfy Child Protection Regulations the group should be accompanied by qualified school personnel at all times.

For further information please contact :-

Graham or Angie Breakwell

Access All Areas

Tel. 01743 235384

Mobile. 07850 734182

accessallareas@btinternet.com

Team:  8 people
6 artists
1 driver
1 Director

Hotel: 2/3 stars (when agreed in contract)

3 twin and 2 single rooms, with attached bathroom, telephone and if possible at the same floor.
Breakfast, fax and safe parking for one van to be available in the hotel.

Catering: 

Served after the performance
8 hot and very spicy Indian meals cooked by North Indians or Pakistanis.
In case of no Indian meals available, please prefer vegetarian or North African or Italian meals (chicken is agreed, pork and beef are strictly prohibited).
Cold drinks, mineral water, tea will be available.

 

Backstage: 
One rooms with shower, hot water, one towel for each person, mirrors, chairs, tables…
Refreshments provided prior to the performance : Platter of vegetarian sandwiches, vegetarian salads, cold chicken, yogurts, fruits, bread, butter, cheese, spicy sauce, green chilies, salt, black pepper, juice, coffee & tea making facilities. (Yellow Lipton tea bags, milk, sugar, hot water)
Room must lockable with two keys supplied to the group.

 

Timing:
The whole program runs for about 45 minutes, no interval. More than one performance is possible in one day.
 
Production team.
A stage manager should be available and local production assistants to assist with loading the heavy equipment  in and out.

 

Stewards should be positioned to ensure the audience remains outside of the performance and backstage areas, which should be roped or coned off.
Lighting crew are required for indoor performance or exceptionally during an outdoor show in hours of darkness.

 

Installation:
Approx 90 minutes is needed prior to performance to set up the stage, décor  and props and about 75 minutes to dismantle after the show. The stage set can remain in place in between shows as long as the location is safe from interference from the public.
The artists also need about two hours to put on make-up and dress in costumes.

 

Stage plan :
  • Outdoor fully staged show.
Width: 15m
Depth: 15m
Height : 8m clearance above ground or open sky

 

A flat, even, grass or earth surface is the most suitable as metal crowbars will be driven into the ground in order to anchor the H frame and the slack rope, both of  which are supported by pairs of steel poles.
Alternatively, two rings fixed into the ground or into two stands of concrete or cubic metre water containers must be available to tighten the rope and support the artists.
The bamboo poles and stakes will be covered with synthetic rubber at their  extremities.

A 4m long bamboo pole will be erected vertically, sunk into the ground to a depth of about 0.5m.

Confirmation will be required that there are no underground services that could be damaged.

A  4m x 4m area of carpet should be provided for the performers to sit and perform on.

 

  • Indoor, only after consultation with Access All Areas.
Same dimensions with the lighting ramp and projectors fixed at least three metres above the stage to allow space for the artists to perform off the ground. The stage area must be of wood or similar, seamless and splinter free.

Lighting :
Lighting is not required for daytime outdoor shows.
If required, lighting must be as natural and discrete as possible.
Basic Lighting rig with 2 colour wash + open white orchestra wash and Full Moving light rig to follow the artists on the rope and pick up them in light.
Cyclorama (if available)
Backlight and Sidelight.

 

Sound :
A small vocal PA with two speakers and two head microphones for the leader and musician of the Circus Raj show.

One instrument microphone on a stand for the musician and if possible ambient microphones at the front of the performance area to pick up the vocals of the other performers.

 Enquiries :
 
Please contact Graham Breakwell, Access All Areas, 01743 235384 or 07850 734182.
Email accessallareas@btinternet.com

 

 

 

 

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D & F Bros. Grand Indian Circus
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