After a quarter-century of promoting circus and performance arts in structurally challenging environments, Zip Zap Circus is about to open their first permanent home in Salt River, on Saturday, September 16, 2017.
Over the last 25 years, co-founders, Brent van Rensburg and Laurence Estève have raised and lead their Zip Zap Circus troupe from strength to strength. They have worked through and overcome many challenges over the years; the greatest of these has been the endless search for adequate venues to teach circus skills to eager South African youth. From under-equipped schools in Langa, to abandoned warehouses, no challenge has been too great to thwart the passion firmly lodged in the co-founders hearts – to use circus arts and performance as tools for social transformation, youth empowerment, and community enrichment.
“The new, vibrantly painted academy captures circus magic in its structure, the centrally-located performance stage projects a theatrical atmosphere, and the variety of rooms and spaces create the possibility for different learning experiences” says Y Tsai of Tsai Design Studio, who tailor designed the building specifically for Zip Zap. “We have quite literally been breaking down barriers and walls to create a more permanent space for our growing circus family,” adds Estève.
Zip Zap’s current accommodation, the Dome in Founders Garden, functioned as a multipurpose facility for the past nine years. With the expansion to the Academy in Salt River, there will be greater capacity to cater to growing outreach and youth programs. The Dome will continue to be used for performances, to conduct workshops, and to train its growing and sought-after wing of professional performers.
“We have long dreamed of having a permanent home and our dream is finally becoming a reality. This is a great message for our young performers as we always tell them, ‘dare to dream’ and now they will see how our dream is coming true,” says van Rensburg.
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Source: Zip Zap Media Release