D & F Bros. Grand Indian Circus (formerly Circus Raj)
D & F Bros. Grand Indian Circus has been 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.
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.
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.
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.
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