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Acrobats And Stilt Walkers Will Bring Carnival To Fever Pitch

By JEFFARAH GIBSON

Tribune Features Reporter

jgibson@tribunemedia.net

MEMBERS of the Cirque Fever Junkanoo carnival company will not only be gyrating to the vibrant rhythms during the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival 2015, but will feature circus skills such as stilt walkers, acrobats and jugglers in the parade.

Cirque Fever is the premiere circus-based road fever company participating in the highly anticipated event next year but is one of the few that is not a Junkanoo group affiliate.

The group is made up of professional performers and a cast of 25 young Bahamian artists between the ages of 14 and 37, all born, raised and trained in the Bahamas.

Though the group was present at the Carnival Costume Expo at the Melia Resort over the weekend, Cirque will be officially introduced to the wider public during two events at teh start of next month.

Circus Playground is an interactive pre-carnival event children’s on November 1, beginning at 4pm, and will include a haunted house, face painting, magic shows, bouncy castles and a trapeze.

The same day the group will host Pick Your Poison, an event for adults and includes food, drinks and entertainment. Venues for both events will be announced.

Cirque Fever was founded by Jarvis Grant and his wife Dereka, who also established the first Bahamian circus, Emanji Circus Arts.

Emanji is a not-for-profit circus arts and entertainment company that presents live family entertainment.

The Grants have always been passionate about passing circus arts on to the youth and increasing the awareness and appreciation of professional theatrical entertainment in the wider Bahamian community, and the Bahamas Carnival involvement was the perfect platform to do so.

It was their joint idea to bring a unique circus element to the Bahamian Junkanoo Carnival experience.

Members of the company believe they will bring a new and exciting element to the road fever parade.

Cirque’s uniqueness can be seen from its talent and skill to costume design and concept.

“Because the group’s founders and members have strong theatre and visual arts backgrounds we are very keen to concept creation,” Regina Smith, sales and marketing officer of Cirque Fever, told Tribune Arts and Entertainment.

“Our costume concept is entitled Metamorphosis of the Butterfly.

“Our costumes will reflect each stage of the evolution of the butterfly: caterpillar, cocoon, into a beautiful butterfly. Very symbolic of Emanji’s evolution and growth over the years.

“We will be utilising circus skills such as stilt walkers, acrobats and jugglers in the actual parade. You do not have to be a circus performer to be a part of cirque fever. We are looking for people from all walks of life that want to have a fun and a memorable experience.

“But for those that are interested in participating as a stilt walker, we can teach you how to do that as well.”

Ms Smith said the group has a unique positioning amongst the other companies given that Cirque is not a Junkanoo-affiliated group.

“We will bring a circus atmosphere to the road parade,” she said.

“We will have the largest contingent of stilt walkers at the parade.

“Cirque is looking take costume design to a different level and bring more originality to the costume design process.

“We have collected indigenous Bahamian products such as sisal, shells and pine cones and used them to make wings, hand bands, ankle bands and fabulous headpieces.

“One of our goals as a group is to provide excellent and wholesome entertainment.

“We offer alternative unique and affordable costume designs for the professional and family group who want to participate in road fever parade.

“We also wish for visitors to develop an awareness and appreciation for professional Bahamian theatrical entertainment.

“We realised that this was a great opportunity for the Bahamian artist and the Bahamian economy so one of the groups objectives is to stimulate the Bahamian economy by empowering Bahamian artists and providing annual entrepreneurial opportunities for local artists.”

Ms Smith said the Cirque family is beyond excited and in full anticipation to participate in the road fever parade.

“For years we have wanted to extend our reach and share our talent and passion with the wider Bahamian community and with the world at large.

“We are proud of our talent, skill, our culture and our country and we look forward to sharing that with the world,” she said.

For more information on Cirque Fever developments log on to its Facebook page - cirquefever; Instagram page - cirquebahamas; follow on Twitter - @cirquebahamas; or contact 242-433-0774.

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