Circus Xanti: As a Tiger in the Jungle

Work in Development
Circus Xanti

This international collaboration between Wales, Norway and Nepal is a Theatre/Circus Performance with Norwegian Writer/director Sverre Waage & MD Per Zanussi, Welsh producer (Ali Williams ), design team (Tarn Aitkein/Rhi Matthews-nofitstate) and Nepalese artists Aman Tamang and Renu Ghalan.

Two Nepalese circus artists ask questions about life, soul, love, science and nature, tell stories from their culture that relate to these themes through text, ceremony and circus. They talk about the visible and the invisible parts that make us human. The parts that the audience see and don't see. They explain that through the performance they will make the invisible, visible and expose who they are. Through tales of life, grandmothers, temple trees and children sacrificed to change destiny it becomes clear that they were lost children, the lucky ones, creating new memories to light up the darkness. A final image of the empty shells of children's clothing laid out on the stage represents all the other lost children and the opportunity for them to be free.

Aman and Renu were originally trafficked into Indian circuses and spent their childhood in bonded labour, and the performance is particularly powerful and authentic because of the artist's backstory. The themes of the piece help to raise awareness about human trafficking of children, which UNICEF reports 1 million children fall victim to each year. So while it is a show about love, life and humanity it will also carry a strong message to raise awareness about the reality of this world.

Current state of project

The construction of this project began when Ali Williams spent a sabatical year from NoFit State working in Kathmandu. This was followed by a partnership with Circus Xanti to bring 12 members of Circus Kathmandu to Norway/UK in 2014 to perform Swagatam (a show created in Kathmandu) at Circus Village festival and Glastonbury, which also raised awareness about the realities of trafficking.

This was followed by an R&D led by Ali and Sverre in Norway in July/Aug 2016 and the research was shown to audiences in the Circus Village.

Funding from Arts Council Norway and Arts Council Wales has been secured to expand the project and employ four artists from Circus Kathmandu. In February, Ali and Sverre again visited Kathmandu to work on the project and present the material t the rest of Circus Kathmandu, and the local community.

In the next funded phase which takes place in UK and Norway for three months August/Sept/Oct 2017 and will include residencies at NoFit State, Pontio, Jacksons Lane, and the Circus Village festival in Norway.

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