Aim To Fly is a Berkshire based circus company delivering high-quality inclusive circus performances and classes, for adults and young people of all ages and skill levels. Aim To Fly is formed with a diverse team of artists who are part of the Black, BIPOC, queer and disabled communities, as such we ensure we include all of these communities in everything we do.
Coronavirus and all of the events of 2020 have had a strong impact on us all, not least the circus community, as we've been unable to meet, to train, to perform, and to connect the way we are used to, however, we as a community are resilient and have made the most of technology to turn this adversity into an opportunity to connect and share with people all over the world.
The film will reflect on the experience of our artists during the Coronavirus Pandemic in 2020, as part of the film we also provided an LED Hula Hoop Disco for the community in Newbury in December and over Zoom in January, to celebrate our resilience and to look optimistically to the future, by showing how we can all remain connected, build new connections, & play safely in the new normal.
WHAT WE'LL DO WITH THE MONEY
We've managed to receive funding from the Arts Council England to cover most of the costs associated with the film, however, to ensure our film is as high-quality and accessible as it can be we need to raise at least £1350 on top of the money we have raised from the Arts Council England. This money will go towards:
- Professional BSL Interpretation
- Transcription and subtitling
- Audio Description
- Artist Fees
- Project overheads (including Crowdfunding transaction fees etc)
- Access a person in isolation with Arts sessions
- Provide a child in poverty with fun sessions
- Any additional money we make above our original target will be used to allow us to create safe accessible space and activities for LGBTQ+ communities, inspired by the film.
THE PROJECT TEAM:
Aim To Fly Artistic Director & Founder, Mel Stevens, has taught dance and performance from the early ’90s. Since retraining following a spinal injury in 2003, Mel was the first physically disabled person internationally to gain her aerial teaching qualifications with Nimble Arts USA, along with sports coaching, personal training, accessible teacher training, and circus performance with Circomedia UK and began this journey as part of the London 2012 Paralympic legacy.
Since launching Aim to Fly in 2014 Mel worked with over 200 diverse bodies in UK & Europe and currently manages a crew of 12 professional circus artists, worked in France with the support of Fred Deb at Les Rencontres de Danse Aérienne delivering accessible arts to the local disabled community, & providing performances and public workshops for Readipop festival in the UK, and assisted Circomedia with the launch & delivery of ICAN workshops until the pandemic, and created teacher training for adapted aerials internationally to assist disabled artists having been mentored by Serenity Smith- Forchion to safely access the world of physical movement & self-expression.
More recently in Lockdown Mel has been busy supporting diverse people from LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities, and children in poverty, delivering safely accessible sessions.
Documentary Filmmaker, Christian Britten
BAFTA-nominated Producer and Multi Award-winning Director Christian Britten has received notable acclaim across the breadth of his portfolio. His work has ranged from Channel 4 series ‘Random Acts’, to feature documentary, commercials, and music videos.
At the start of his career, Chris formed a tight collaboration with NoFit State Circus, his passion for performance art has seen him producing all of the circus’ visual content for the last decade. Channel 4 Random Acts in which he also produced a film with World.
More recently the collaborative relationship with Shlomo culminated in a commission for BBC Arts - Culture in Quarantine series where they produced a film called RECONNECT: Digital Raving. Chris looks for the human stories buried beneath the blinding noise of superficiality and is passionate about using film as a tool for positive social influence.
Hula Hoop Choreography, Elly Clibbens Hula Hoop tutor and choreographer. Elly is an established performer and teacher, regularly performing at festivals including Glastonbury, Readipop and working with Frozen Light for years.