Swing Circus - In Colour

by Swing Circus in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 18th October 2018 we successfully raised £2,725 with 30 supporters in 28 days

We will create our first Swing Circus show, combining high level swing dance and circus, talking about identity and the history of swing.

by Swing Circus in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

If we raise more than £2500, we can afford to reimburse a director to work with us for a few days, to spend more money on costumes and set, and potentially to pay a minimal fee to our performers and producers.

We are Swing Circus, an international collective of dancers and circus artists, who strive to combine swing dance and circus. You might have seen us perform at Glastonbury Festival 2014, or at the Edinburgh Fringe 2015, at one of the last two Bristol Swing Festivals or maybe at Beautiful Days…

So far, our shows have been in the style of a compèred cabaret.  We now have an amazing opportunity to create a new and integrated show. We’ve got a cast who are willing to volunteer their time and skills, we have rehearsal space booked and we have a first public performance lined up, on the 19th of October at Circomedia in Bristol. But unfortunately, due to fierce competition, we did not manage to secure arts council funding for this project. We’re now asking for your support, so we can develop our new show IN COLOUR.

About the Show: In Colour

In October, we will create a groundbreaking new show fusing swing dance and circus. Drawing on the history of swing dance, the show will pose questions about identity and ethnic diversity in the modern day. Following the R&D and first performance, we plan to develop the show for touring in 2019.

Swing Dance emerged out of the “Harlem Renaissance” of the 1920s - an energetic and joyful emergence of African-American Arts in Harlem. Looking at the development of swing dance over time – from its African dance roots to its offshoots in hip hop - the show will be connecting the various movements of the swing era to the present day and to popular circus disciplines, including prop manipulation, acrobatics and cyr wheel. We aim to develop a unique movement vocabulary through the close integration of both disciplines at a high skill level: drawing on two very different traditions to create an innovative new dynamic.

This show will be mostly devised by the cast, with creative support from external directors (outside eyes) working with us for a limited time.

Here you can buy your ticket for the show.


History of Swing Circus

2013 - Show creation began in 2013 with initial R&D sessions supported by Circomedia and The National Centre for Circus.

2014 - Swing Circus received Arts Council "Grant for the Arts" support to create a 10 minute piece for Glastonbury Festival.

2015 - Performed a 30 minute modular Swing Circus show at the Edinburgh Fringe. The show had a different cast every few days and we ran dance workshops alongside the shows. Received a Pick of the Fringe award and were rewarded with frequent standing ovations from our audiences.

2016 - Company Director on maternity leave!

2017 - Re-ignited the production with a cabaret at the Bristol Swing Festival and the created a swing dance and circus event for the Bristol Circus City Festival.

2018 - Performed at Bristol Swing Festival and Beautiful Days.

More information about Swing Circus: www.swingcircus.co.uk

What we will do with the money

We aim to raise at least £2500, this will allow us to have the expenses of the creation process covered (including rehearsal studio rent, travel expenses, flyers and posters, costume, props and a basic stage set) and to pay a photographer and a film maker to professionally document the performance, helping us to sell the show in the future.

If we achieve our stretch target of £5000, we can afford to reimburse a director to work with us for a few days, to spend more money on costumes and set, and potentially to pay a minimal fee to our performers and producers.

We are ...

Loz James is an internationally acclaimed hulahoop artist, with a background in fire performance, choreography and contemporary dance with an FdA in Dance Theatre and Performance from Plymouth University. Loz has over 10 years of performance experience including international touring with FlameOz in Canada and New Zealand (includes Halifax, Toronto and Christchurch World Buskers Festivals), performing for the London Olympic Torch Relay touring show, and the MTV European awards ceremony.  She has 7 years of swing dance and solo jazz experience and also teaches masterclass hulahoop classes at international circus conventions. 

Lana Williams has been dancing from the age of 5. Training in classical ballet, tap and modern. In 2006 she found a passion for partner dancing and began an intense training in Swing, Latin and Ballroom. She frequently works with as co-choreographer and performer on BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, specialising in dance styles from the 1920's. She has enjoyed a great deal of success as a guest entertainer travelling all over the UK, Europe, Middle East and Scandinavia, performing, choreographing and conducting workshops. Lana also now trains in acrobatics and juggling to add to her repertoire. 

Moses Opiyo is originally from Kenya, where he trained in partner acrobatics, juggling and hat manipulation. He won a scholarship to take his training further in China, and has since been successfully living and working in the UK as a professional circus performer. He has worked extensively with Let's Circus from Newcastle and a variety of events from corporate to traditional circus companies across the UK. He is a natural dancer and has been performing with Swing Circus since 2016.

Swiss-born Pascal Häring started his circus career at circus school CircoArts in New Zealand and continued his training further at the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne, where he graduated in December 2011, specialising in cyr wheel, juggling and partner acrobatics. Pascal’s performance experience includes touring with Circus Aotearoa in New Zealand, Varieté Et Cetera in Bochum, the M/S Color Fantasy cruise ship, Barnum Musical UK tour. He has also trained in jive and disco fox partner dance and has been working with transposing this to a swing dance style for the past two years. 

It all started when Ezra Weill's dad taught him how to juggle; after that there was no stopping him. As a youth he was performing street shows at local Seattle Festivals. After refining his skills at The School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts and Versatile Arts, he went on to perform with Circus Smirkus in New England. Ezra studied aerial rope and hat manipulation at l’École Nationale de Cirque. Ezra is also a passionate Swing Dancer who’s travelled to Swing Dance Festival across the world to learn, teach and dance. When he doesn’t do circus, he dances the lindy hop.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£50 or more

10 of 10 claimed

Show Ticket and Signed Poster

You'll get a free ticket for the show on the 19th of October, with one of the best seats reserved in your name, plus an A3 poster of Swing Circus, signed by all performers.

£25 or more

Signed Poster

We will give or send you an A3 poster of Swing Circus, personally signed by all the performers.

£125 or more

1 of 5 claimed

Free Private Class

You can choose between a free juggling or cyr wheel private class with Pascal Häring, a swing dance private class with Lana Williams, or a hula hoop private class with Loz Because. These can take place in Bristol (Lana, Loz, Pascal), London (Lana) or Basel/Zurich (Pascal).

£500 or more

Performance at your event

Circus performance (handstands or hat juggling with Moses Opiyo, juggling or cyr wheel with Pascal Häring, or hula hoop with Loz Because) at your event. We will get in touch to arrange the details.

£3,000 or more

Swing Circus at your event

We will come and perform the full swing circus show “In Colour” at your event. We'll get in touch to arrange the details with you.

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