‘Circus Helped Me Realise that Academic Abilities Aren’t the Be All and End All of Success’ - CircusTalk

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‘Circus Helped Me Realise that Academic Abilities Aren’t the Be All and End All of Success’

Luke Hallgarten grew up in Golders Green and attended Hampstead Garden Suburb primary and King Alfred’s before running away to join the circus. He tells BRIDGET GALTON about his choices.

Q How did growing up in Golders Green prepare you for circus life?

A The biggest influence on me was the Heath. Having a large green open space was the biggest privilege of my adolescence. Walking or cycling to school everyday with trees all around gives you time to think more openly about your future.

Q What prompted your decision?

A I’m dyslexic and school never came easily to me, I’m not very good at sitting still and had little academic confidence. Circus gave me a passion and confidence in myself. It helped me realize that academic abilities aren’t the be all and end all of success.

Traditional circus is generally about human ability whilst contemporary circus is about the human condition. In the same way that ballet is close to pure expression of technical ability, whilst contemporary dance questions what can we express with that ability.

Q What’s the difference between traditional and contemporary circus?

A Good question! Traditional circus is generally about human ability whilst contemporary circus is about the human condition. In the same way that ballet is close to pure expression of technical ability, whilst contemporary dance questions what can we express with that ability. People think circus is all elephants and red nose clowns whereas now it’s about reality. There’s no illusion, no hidden string. Just real people with very real risk.

This article was originally published in etcetera