The team has all assembled and one by one from the airport we stayed for a few days in Arossim whilst everyone arrived and recovered from their varying jet lag. Volunteers this year totalled a huge 112 hours of travel to our first destination, Bootcamp and residency hosted by Bliss Circus in Palolem Goa. 

How much circus does it take to get a smile from a child ?

This is not a question we’ve consciously been trying to answer during our time here. But seeing toys fly in the air whilst adults act silly automatically gets everybody’s attention.

The Bootcamp residency period was rich in social connections and artistic experimentation. We all felt blessed for the opportunity to work with Bliss Circus, who shared their stunning workspace, strived to find local meals within our tight budget and homely accommodation. Not only this but being so outstandingly wonderful in welcoming us and our new partnership. Thanks to such generosity, we successfully managed to prepare our teaching curriculum and two shows, a children’s show and a fire show.

  • Our first step in devising our kids show was our ‘why?’, are we just here to show off tricks or to help our next generation to grow emotionally and as a larger community, a nation, a planet. 

The kids show is an overly silly-clownesque story about a young girl who falls in love with the circus, but then her father forbids her to do circus. She then becomes really good at it with the help and love of a clown mentor and circus family, and he becomes proud of her and accepts her choices (sorry I just spoiled the ending). A show mixed with circus-theatre, beatboxing, live music and faux magic. Women’s rights and pollution are such major issues in India that we decided a show around up-cycling rubbish into circus props and toys, women’s empowerment and chasing your dreams through success and embracing failures as growth would be an ambitious but achievable venture.

Some games and activities we now all have in our common “mental game treasure chest”, range from call-and-response games inspired by the great ‘Flying seagull project’ to silly-walks, circle energy management, circus skills and off the top of the head improvised activities. Learning improvisation techniques during Bootcamp wasn’t just for our clownesque performances, but also for during less organised workshops with a surprise over 150 children in the blazing hot sunshine.

As a team we have decided to focus more this year on project longevity and supporting progression in the programs to be able to best give back to the communities we work with. So with this in mind we want to look at a deeper way of giving back, like teaching the staff and mentoring the older children and teenagers so that we can help to create a self perpetuating cycle!

Some numbers for you:

50hrs (roughly) at Bootcamp training/games/workshopping.

1 outreach workshop with street kids. 

4 shows (2 fire, 1 Walkabout, 1 kids show)

40hrs of Admin/Job roles

Over 11 days

1 day off

Next up, a crazy 36 hour train ride to Ahmedabad to perform and work with hundreds of outreach children and communities. 

Lots of love

India team 2020 

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