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  • Writer's pictureKatie Hardwick

Quarter of a Century of Contemporary Circus in London

The Circus Space (now the National Centre for Circus Arts, NCCA), was begun about 25 years ago - a space in London dedicated to circus training in the UK and to raising the performance standard of contemporary British circus. Created by the circus community.

In 1991 I was at Glastonbury Festival with my family when I queued up to have a swing on the flying trapeze in the circus field. I was a scrappy child who was just starting out in the local gymnastics squad, and when I got to the front of the line, the Flying Dudes teachers said I was too small to fit into the harness. Seeing my desperate face, they found a tea towel, tied it around my waist and let me climb the ladder to the extremely high platform. I still remember the exhilaration I felt as I stepped off the platform and flew through the open air, huge net below me, circus activities all around, and super friendly circus people talking me through what to do. I was invited back later to open the flying trapeze show and was the token cute kid as the female compere sang "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". That was it, my parents had made sure I was never going to become a lawyer.

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