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New Victory Blog

The New Victory Blog is a place to learn more about New York's theater for families and the shows we produce. Find out what we do and what we're passionate about—exploring the arts as a family.

Travelling all the way from London, Bromance is an adrenaline-fueled circus show by the Barely Methodical Troupe, where handshakes become handstands and backslaps become backflips. Get to know the creators of Bromance—Charlie, Beren and Louis—as they share how they first discovered circus, what happens when a show goes awry and what "Love of Theater" means to them. 
 


Map of LondonWhere are you guys from from? 

Charlie Wheeller: Southampton, England, but I'm living in East London now.

Beren D'Amico: I'm from South London. The others look down on my neighborhood, but they're just naive about the vibrancy and character of the South!

Louis Gift: I grew up in Islington, in North London. It's way nicer than South London.

 

Charlie Charlie Wheeller
How did you first get involved in circus?

CW: When I was growing up, I loved getting involved in the local theater groups, including one that my dad ran. I was also a physical kid, who loved playing football, breakdancing and even gymnastics. When I was looking at universities, I applied to the National Centre For Circus Arts in London. There, I met the Cyr wheel and I haven't stopped spinning since.

LG: I had always been into flips and acrobatics ever since watching Power Rangers on Saturday mornings as a kid. I specialize in hand-to-hand acrobatics as a base, but all of us make a conscious effort to train in complementary disciplines. This helps keep the creative juices flowing and is also nice for a bit of a change up.

BD: I had a love for all things physical from the get go, since my parents toured with the legendary French circus company Archaos. I found tricking and fell in love. Eventually, I decided circus school made the most sense for me and trained in hand-to-hand as a flyer.

What was your most memorable onstage experience?

 

Beren Beren D'Amico
LG: Opening our second show, Kin, at The Roundhouse was particularly special to me. That venue is close to where I've lived for most of my life and it's also where I saw one of my very first circus shows. Standing backstage and hearing the cheers and support from the crowd as we ran on to start was a moment I'll never forget!

BD: Mine happened at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival during the 'Politicians' act in Bromance. We move and manipulate chairs, whilst sitting and standing. During one performance, a stray Cyr wheel smashed one of the chairs to pieces (thanks, Charlie.) We had to completely improvise. It was terrifying.
 
CW: It worked so well! We even talked about permanently adding it into the show.

What's the most daring trick you've tried?

CW: The craziest trick I've performed is a double somersault with an open out in the middle, back to the teeterboard. We've just started throwing flips from the teeterboard to human pyramids. That's where the risk factor rises another couple of notches. Fingers crossed! 

LG: The most daring trick I've tried was before I was ever involved in circus. I was on a beach in Cornwall, England, and I saw this cliff that seemed jumpable. I went up and looked over the edge to see how scary it was from up high. I spent about 45 minutes repeatedly running up to the edge to get ready, until I eventually went for it. It was about 30 feet so there was a nice bit of airtime. I'm glad I did it, but I wouldn't do it again!

What does "Love of Theater" mean to you?
Louis Louis Gift

CW: An audience leaves their age in the foyer at the theater, entering the auditorium as an ensemble, ready to be whisked up and electrified by the spectacle. We all remember that one show or that one evening, where we travelled home from the theatre a different person, filled with inspiration from indescribable magic.

LG: It means a love of drama and a love of fantasy. When audiences see a performance, it's an opportunity for them to enter a fantasy world in which the performers act out a situation where they can experience emotion and drama, without having to deal with the fallout. Having said that, sometimes what an audience wants isn't the drama or a message, but good, clean fun. I think it is important not to undervalue that!

BD: From the inside, it would be that mad adrenaline that comes from perfectly executing your hardest trick, successfully making a whole theater full of people laugh or the spontaneous moments that take you by surprise. From the outside, it would be seeing something that instantly makes you want to go and create something or train harder than ever before.
 
 
Bromance Thumb In Bromance, the astonishing talent of these mates from London will make a hopeless bromantic out of you. Get your tickets today!
Posted by Beth Henderson

In Something, seven acrobats entertain audiences as they defy gravity, twirl around the stage and perform hilarious dances. We sat down with Mauro Ardenti, one of the performers, and Davide Agostini, one of the company's original creators, to ask them a few questions about how they began their acrobatic careers!
 

1. What do you love most about being an acrobat? Do you have a favorite act to perform in Something?
MA: To me, being an acrobat means fighting gravity, one way or the other. When I'm doing acrobatics, I feel like nothing exists except my body in the here and now. Everything else disappears—at least until I put my feet back on the ground! My favorite act in Something is my handbalancing solo, but I also have a lot of fun with the final "Panels" act, too!

2. Why is Something special to you?
DA: Something is very special to me and to the rest of the company because we created the first incarnation in just three weeks. It was right after we failed to get into a festival, so the fact that we're now performing it at The New Victory is incredible. Also, it's very fun to perform!

3. When did you start learning tricks? 
MA: When I was five years old, my sister was doing rhythmic gymnastics. One day, I went with her to the gym and I saw some of the other girls training. I remember it like it was yesterday—one of them did a cartwheel and I thought it was the most amazing, beautiful thing I had ever seen. I immediately started practicing cartwheels everywhere, including at my school and our church! My mom eventually surrendered when I was seven years old and took me to a gym so that I could start doing artistic gymnastics. 

DA: I've always been interested in circus. My background is in artistic gymnastics, so everything related to acrobatics catches my attention. My first experience as a performer was in an athletic dance theater company, but after that I wanted to go beyond dance, and also beyond circus. Thus, Liberi Di… Physical Theater was born!
 
The Something Cast The cast of Something

4. Mauro, your character is always reading a book in Something, do you have a favorite book?
MA: I haven't had a lot of time lately, but I love reading anything from the back of a cereal box to a biology essay about breeding tropical frogs. Choosing my favorite book is tough... at the moment the Harry Potter saga sits right at the center of my bookshelf. I've read each of the seven books four or five times, and I love it every time!

5. Do you have any advice for kids who want to become acrobats?
MA: Being an acrobat looks fun (and it is!) but it's also very hard. It requires constant hard work and a lot of endurance. If that's what you want, go for it. Don't give up, no matter what! 

6. How did you first get involved in Liberi Di…Physical Theatre?
MA: The company was founded in 2007 and I joined the following year. At the time, Liberi Di... didn't have a training facility, so they were using the circus school where I was training and teaching. One day, Davide told me that he wanted me to be a part of their first theatrical production, Inverni. I was so nervous the day of the premiere, but the show was great and the audience loved it. That's one of my favorite memories.

DA: Liberi Di... was created by me and three other people—Stefano Pribaz, Valentina Marino and Giulia Piolanti—in 2007.  The four of us had spent the previous seven years as artists in another company. We wanted to be the creators of our own art and free to do anything we could imagine. As a matter of fact, "Liberi Di..." in Italian means "free to..."
 
 
Mauro Ardenti Mauro Ardenti began practicing artistic gymnastics at seven years old. After graduation, acrobatics were just a hobby for him. However, a school soon asked if he would teach full-time in 2005. Ever since then, he's worked as a professional artist. He joined Liberi Di… Physical Theater in 2008 and has been a regular member of the company ever since. In the summer of 2015, he performed with Cirque du Soleil at the Expo Milan 2015 show Allavita! Through acrobatics and circus, he explores the worlds of dance and physical theater. His specialty is hand balancing, but he also performs aerial acts, hand-to-hand and physical theater.
Davide Agostini Davide Agostini's career in artistic gymnastics started when he began competing at six years old. He attended the University Institute for Motor Science in Padova, while joining the athletic dance company Kataklò Theater. As a part of this company, he toured around the world for seven years, even performing at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin. He also studied dance with several internationally renowned teachers such as Sonia Bianchi, Gus Bembery, Dmitri Chabardin, Anna Rita Larghi, Paola Corio, Gaetano Petrosino, Michele Oliva and many more. After a number of new experiences, he founded Liberi Di... Physical Theatre to pursue his own creative vision. He's now also a choreographer and teacher at some of the most prestigious schools in Italy.
Posted by Beth Henderson
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