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Jean-Marie Akkerman blogs Cirque Nova's return to the Astral / 19 May 2010

photo of circus skills training workshop

Cirque Nova circus skills training workshop. Photo © Penny Clapcott

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We thought we’d be able to start our new program called “Astral” in February 2010. This then became March, but which eventually started in April. Due to funding restrictions the members of this new group would be of a much lower age range and would be trained and mentored by the original “Stellar” group members.

We have so far had three sessions in the old venue at Woolwich. On 1 May 2010 we had our last session there. We have prepared two venues with aerial rigging. One in Waltham forest (The Pastures Youth Centre) and another one in our borough of Haringey where we hold a 2 hour a week session as well.

We’ve received some good grants from Children in Need, Comic Relief and Haringey 2012. We are back trading and will slowly repay our debts with the incomes from workshops over the summer. We’re also creating a new show with both groups, which will be decorated and visually enhanced by the work of Disabled artist Ju Gosling.

We have several small contracts in Festivals in London, but Liberty doesn’t yet seem interested in our work. Thanks to this blog we’ve had attention from a TV production company that may make a documentary about what we do, (Thanks to our Editor Collin Hambrook) and so we’re back in business.

We will have a recruitment process over the next three weeks to see which of the young people are up for taking on the full year training program. We’ve also plans underway to continue until December...and so the adventures continue, so keep on reading!

It has been a very difficult winter, but they always say the third year of a company is the hardest, and this has been it!

We’re now also on Facebook with regular updates of pictures and video’s of our training, and the students are keeping a blog about their feeling about the work, which you can find on our website:

I look forwards to writing a sequel to this soon. Cheers guys and keep in touch

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