The Showzam! Festival kicked off, quite literally, on Friday 13 February at The Tower Circus when the mighty Circolombia troupe danced, balanced and somersaulted their to launch five days of spectacular entertainment. The Circolombia troupe consists of ten performers, all hailing from Colombia, South America. They are not your usual circus troupe.

The magnificence of Circolombia lies in the balancing, tumbling and aerial performances. It is absolutely jaw-dropping to see this level of precision and synchronicity up close. The troupe perform their stunts to their own music which is sung, in Colombian and comes with a bold Salsa vibe.

Balancing and tumbles became more complicated and breath-taking as the performance progressed. Apparatus, such as spring board and vault, were brought in and the pace quickened, only to slow down with the suggestion of a romantic act which developed into a spectacular aerial show. The male performer in this duet began to climb a rope, holding with either hands, knees or feet which really does take strength but looked effortless. As he was suspended from the ceiling, he then unfolded himself from the rope, spinning and cartwheeling in the air. The rope was lowered back to floor, where a woman was waiting.

The next part of this act was extremely innovative, she inserting her arms into the sweater he was wearing fitting as they were hoisted up into the air. From here, the performance became more phenomenal as the couple were entwined around each other, with only the rope for support, to perform their daredevil moves. At one point she was suspended by a small rope which was actually around her neck and held between his teeth whilst she span in mid air (not to be tried at home!).

The Circolombia show came to a close with the troupe using what looked like large spot lights, suspended by wire from the ceiling, to spin around the floor, creating shadows as they swung and rotated in fluid motions. Circolombia is one of the most innovative circus acts I have seen, and was most enchanting. The troupe trains for up to eight hours every day in order to perfect their art, which is clear from this creative and disciplined performance.

I spoke with Renatto, of Circolombia, briefly after the show, and he explained that the dedication of the troupe comes from the fact they were, at one time, just street kids but the troupe became an international circus company in 2006; Circolombia moves on next to Paris. Renatto, originally from Brazil, said, “Blackpool is an amazing place.” He expressed his love of The Tower Circus said that to have performed here is a privilege.

Felicity Simpson, director of Circolombia, founded the troupe and the company. She ran away to join the circus at the age of seventeen and has been travelling with them since then. Felicity joins Circolombia three times per year in Colombia and trains the street kids to be the super troupe they are now.

Circolombia makes for a splendid evening. It’s a truly amazing show with definite WOW factor. So a giant welcome to Circolombia for opening Showzam! and an even bigger cheer for their immensely co-ordinated and thrilling performance.

Circolombia is on until Wednesday. Visit Showzam.co.uk for booking information.

Images by Jill Reidy of Two Old Birds Photography.

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    Local artist, (painting, drawing, collage, and occasional photography, (for reference), of landscape, and abstract, in oil, acrylic, and any other medium which captures my imagination. Contributor, and writer for altBlackpool. Collector, of sometimes anything, but mostly pot, and ceramics.

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