On Thursday, December 10th, the online premiere of the documentary “El Vuelo Circular” (The Circular Flight) will take place. It is made by Circontinentes, the organizing company of the Festival de Circo Iberoamericano (FIRCO). The documentary will be available at no cost on the Teatro Circo Price’s Youtube Channel.
This project was born under pandemic circumstances. By early 2020, FIRCO was already working on what would have been its third edition, scheduled for September 25th. That edition would have been the one to consolidate the project and take the festival to the next level. It was expected to be held at the Teatro Circo Price in Madrid, as were the first two editions.
FIRCO was born in 2018 with the aim of becoming the event of reference in terms of gathering and promoting the circus in Ibero-America, bonding both sides of the Atlantic Ocean , as well as an opportunity to show the world the quality, diversity and the uniqueness of the circus in these regions. After two successful editions, the team was preparing the third one with enthusiasm and eager to continue growing as a project.
In March, COVID-19 spread throughout Spain and the world, paralyzing all cultural activity. The uncertainty regarding the situation for autumn was total, so Circontinentes, in collaboration with Circo Price, thought about a different edition for 2020: one that would be adapted to the new situation while maintaining the values that characterize this festival. The final proposal this year was in documentary format, accessible worldwide. It is a fresh approach since there are hardly any circus documentaries geared towards the international level.
In the words of Carlos Such, artistic director of the festival: “We thought it was the right time to support artists who have a lot to tell and who need to remain present on the international scene. It is also the ideal time to export the Madrid brand as a cultural city through its architecture– to produce a documentary that does not depend on border closures, event cancellation or spatial limitations.” For Teatro Circo Price, co-producers of the project, it is an opportunity that arises from circumstances that seemed to be unfavorable for a festival. “In addition to drawing attention to the quality of Madrid’s circus level (there is nothing moreMadrid than the many origins of those who live here), our work also aims to enhance the richness and diversity of spaces in the city, so we contribute to generate current circus documentation,”explains María Folguera, artistic director of the center.
Thus, they selected five circus companies, each from an Ibero-American country, paying attention to a balanced representation of disciplines and genres: Marco Motta, a Brazilian specialized in straps; Andrea Ríos, a Colombian who flies hung only by her hair; Aimé Morales, a Venezuelan clown enclosed in the body of a cyr wheel acrobat; Dulce Duca, Portuguese juggler master of club balances; and the young Trocos Lucos company, from Spain, with its teeterboard show. “We are very pleased with the five companies that accepted the challenge, as they shared a great technical quality with personal stories and powerful thoughts, but also reflecting the diversity of the Ibero-American circus,” adds Such.
At the same time, they chose five representative locations of the city of Madrid for these artists to perform in, some of them quite unusual. “It was not easy, but after many efforts we got five spaces which became ideal to host these circus performances. One of them is the Circo Price, of course, as we did not conceive of FIRCO without this unique space,” explains Miguel Chávez, also a member of Circontinentes. The other chosen buildings are the home of the Town Hall of Madrid Palacio de Cibeles, the sport venue Frontón Beti-Jai, and two cultural spaces: La Tabacalera de Lavapiés and the Matadero de Madrid.
Taking advantage of the uniqueness of the initiative, a photograph book of the documentary has been created for the occasion. It is titled El Vuelo Circular, and the photographer is Gaby Merz, a circus specialist. It has powerful images of the performances that took place in these locations unused to host circus, as well as behind the scenes pics, warmings, etc. Gaby shows in the book a great photographic eye, an excellent ability to transmit the movement, colors and intensity of the circus and its artists. His is a careful tribute to this project born in the pandemic, and that can be purchased through the FIRCO website.
El Vuelo Circular A documentary by Circontinentes S.L. Artists: Marco Motta, Dulce Duca, Juan de las Casas, Cira Cabasés, Ismael Pérez, Andrea Ríos and Aimé Morales Directed by Jorge Bartolomé Jesús Nicolás Producers: Circontinentes and Teatro Circo Price Original Idea: Damian Riera Screenplay: Jorge Bartolomé Writing: Carlos Such Edited by Jesús Nicolás, Jorge Bartolomé and Sergio Pradana Narrator: Inma Cuevas OST: Miguel Rodríguez Robles and Susana Pérez Fernández
. All photos courtesy of FIRCO. Photo credits: Gaby Merz. Feature photo Dulce Duca