Photo: Stefano Scheda
Photo: Stefano Scheda

- Hello Giulio, nice to meet you. Congratulations on the wonderful performance! What are your impressions from the show tonight?

Tonight was a good show. The first show we did here in Belgrade was a bit harder because of the temperature, because it was a first day of autumn and it was cold, we had just arrived from Spain, but before that we performed 40-50 times around Europe during summer and it was hot. So it really was a little bit shocking at first having to warm up, we were not ready, we had to warm up our bodies, not to be frozen and hard. But yesterday and tonight was better, because it was warmer and we got used to it, we were better prepared.

- We heard so much laughter and comments from the audience during the show tonight, especially children, they seem to enjoy the show a lot. Also, there’s a certain communication between the performers and the audience at some points through the show.

The audience was also very good tonight. This year we did a big European tour, we were in Italy, and all over Europe after that, and the reaction of the audience really changes from country to country. Here it is more similar to Italy and Spain. We were one month in Belgium, and it’s really different because they don’t react so much during the show, but in the end it’s like an explosion, but during the show you feel strange because it’s quiet and polite and nobody with mobile phone or nobody laughing, no children talking, it’s unusual for this kind of show. Here, it’s almost like Italy, we prefer it this way, it’s more friendly with the audience.

- What can you tell me about Magdaclan and your relationship? As we could see here tonight you have a complete trust in each other.

We are Italian contemporary circus company, we exist 10 years already, with this circus tent. We work close together, we have a strong relationship. This is a fact, one of the things in the circus because you don’t work alone, but you work with somebody, of course you train a lot, and during the training you build up also a connection. Of course, you need to trust each other in order to do everything we do here. Magdaclan it’s like a family, no? We stay 7, 8, 9 months all together with the caravan and with the trucks. It’s not just the show, it’s a way of life. You build up the kind of energy, the synergy of the group also with the other things that you do, travelling, problems, good things, party, mornings when you wake up, warm up...

- What have been the challenges with working in circus, during these times of social crisis?

We can say that we are more or less lucky in this situation. Of course it affects us, but we can raise above it, we do our work. When Covid arrived, we had to be locked in our houses, but after couple of months, even though we still couldn’t do the show, we could move freely, and we met all together in a country house in Italy, we built up a tent and we stayed there for couple of months meeting, talking also about the past, future, the company. We did some rehearsals, some research of circus. We actually enjoyed this period so much. It’s a nice way of life, as we said, but it’s also challenging. One time you drive, you build up a circus tent, you perform, so you don’t have a lot of free time. As for everybody, Covid time was also a time to stop and think about what you are doing and what you want to do. After that we did big European projects, tour around Europe...

- This show is not only an acrobatic performance, it’s the whole package. Music and lighting is also a large factor, they transmit your emotion and add a lot to the overall experience.

For us the show is when everything comes together - music, lights, costumes, set design, acrobatics and acrobats. We work together, we rehearse and create the work together and of course the music is big and important part of the show, it helps to give the color and emotion to the show. “Hemisphere“ is the show that exists for 4 years, but we did this 2 years break because of the Covid, so this is the third year we are actually performing it. We are almost at the end of the tour, we come back to Italy now, we have two more festivals and we take a break. And the show changed during these 4 years, we continue to work on it, but anyway the circus show is different every time you perform it, it’s never the same, even though it’s in the detail. When we stop during the winter, in the beginning normally we do couple of weeks when we get together and talk one more time about the show, so every time we make some change.

- I’m curious about the hoverboard you are using in this performance, everything here is a physical experience, you, your bodies working together, pushing the boundaries, and then you have this robot, a mechanical thing that you use.

It’s something that arrived in the everyday life of people you see in the street. All the time in the circus we try to do an investigation into something we see around us, and change its meaning and use. Daniele Sorisi, one of our acrobats, tried to do something with the hoverboard and it worked, especially for this show. It’s funny, and every time he stands on it, he is taller than everybody so it gives him a presence on the stage and a boost. We just had to do it.

- Thank you very much for the performance and for this conversation!