Artistic Director of Upswing circus company Vicki Dela Amedume has been appointed an MBE in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours List 2022. She has been recognised for services to circus.
Vicki said, “This award feels more like a recognition of the circus sector and its value to society than of my work alone. Circus is able to connect and empower people in extraordinary ways, and we’ve seen through our work in care homes and libraries that it positively impacts people who are often marginalised or underrepresented in public life. I’m pleased that the importance of that is recognised. I’m grateful to the Upswing team and all those individuals and organisations that have and continue to support our work.”
Upswing, a diverse led contemporary circus company founded by Vicki Dela Amedume in 2006, are committed to exploring relevant and thought-provoking themes across all their work. Their recent shows include outdoor show Catch Me, which was also presented digitally, and family shows The Ramshackle House and Bedtime Stories. Upswing’s productions and creative engagement programmes – which includes Circus in Libraries and Circus for Older People – aim to unite people from different backgrounds through new narratives. They also provide classes and consultancy for companies including the National, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Cameron Mackintosh, for whom they supplied performers as well consultancy for Barnum. Their recent digital collaboration with artists int eh UK and Australia, Big Village Digital, can be found here.
Vicki Dela Amedume initially trained as a research scientist, entering the circus world in 1997. She performed and created aerial and circus-based work in the UK and worldwide and has worked across all spheres of circus from traditional touring tented circuses to large-scale outdoor spaces and intimate touring indoor theatre. She founded Upswing to bring new artists and experiences to the stage and beyond that reflect a dynamic, diverse world.
Always looking for innovative ways to stretch the art form, Vicki Dela is a dedicated leader in the sector working widely to develop established and emerging artists with guest lecturing at Kings College London, Central School of Speech and Drama, School of Circus and Dance of Stockholm University, The National Centre for Circus Arts and Circomedia, Bristol alongside Upswing’s own innovative Artist Development Programmes that create strategic interventions to support talent and leadership development of artists underrepresented in Circus including Circus Circus Circus and Circus 50:50.
In addition to her role at Upswing Vicki is an Associate Director at The New Vic and Creative Director at The Albany, Deptford. Beyond Upswing she has provided circus and aerial direction to a range of companies including The RSC, The National Theatre of Scotland, New Vic Theatre, The Royal Exchange and Kenny Wax Productions as part of the creative team for the Olivier Award winning The Worst Witch. Vicki is Chair of The Baring Foundation Arts Committee and a trustee of Dance Umbrella.
Link to Article at Broadway World.