Circus For Every Body--The Extraordinary Bodies Story So Far 

Circus News

Circus For Every Body–The Extraordinary Bodies Story So Far 

We set up Extraordinary Bodies in the flurry of optimism that followed the Olympics in the UK in 2012. We are an integrated circus company of disabled and non-disabled artists that create shows and work with communities to develop future artists. The Paralympics in 2012 changed perceptions of what was possible and disabled athletes were finally visible. I had been on my own exciting journey during 2012  that culminated in co-creating an opening ceremony for the sailing and windsurfing events to a live audience of 11,000 people. 
At the time, I ran a youth company of young disabled people who had told me very clearly that they wanted to be part of an Olympic ceremony– so I felt I should make that happen. I met Billy Alwen from Cirque Bijou at a meeting in 2010. He was developing the idea that would become the opening ceremony and was looking to make it more inclusive of disabled people. I told Billy I had a young company who wanted to be part of it and off we went on the adventure. The young people were central to the show and we brought them together with young disabled people from Brazil. Our young company travelled to Florianopolis and the young Brazilians travelled back to perform as part of the ceremony. Young people flew from cranes and took centre stage as the Navy delivered performers by boat. 2012 people walked into the sea carrying flaming torches in a spectacul...
Thanks for reading CircusTalk.News.
Create your free account or log in to continue reading.
Sign upLogin

Claire Hodgson

Claire is a Theatre, Dance and Circus Director, committed to achieving social justice. Claire founded Diverse City in 2005 and is the co-founder of Extraordinary Bodies, the UK’s leading professional integrated circus company. Claire was a Clore Fellow in 2012 and writes for The Guardian online. She is the former head of Performing Arts at London Metropolitan University and was awarded an MBE in 2016 for services to inclusion in the Performing Arts. Together with Jamie Beddard, Claire won the Clore Duffield 50th Anniversary prize, which they used to tour Extraordinary Bodies across the UK and support 10 ‘Unexpected Leaders’ who have faced barriers to entering the industry. (Alt text description of Claire's bio photo: A white woman, aged 49, with dyed blonde, bobbed hair, rosy complexion, and a pierced nose, smiling. Photo Credit: © Alexa Ledecky)