Shortlisted Events for CIRCUS MAXIMUS 2014 Revealed

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Shortlisted Events for CIRCUS MAXIMUS 2014 Revealed

The twenty act shortlist has today been announced for Circus Maximus 2014. Britain's only competition dedicated solely to performers of the circus arts is in its second year, with this 2014's prospective finalists spanning the entire range of circus disciplines from acrobatics to contortion to juggling to balancing to clowning.

Set across the course of one week at the Udderbelly Festival's Southbank venue, Circus Maximus sees twenty of the best circus acts in the country divided into four heats, with the winner of each going through to the grand final where they will have the chance to win a prize of £5,000 and the opportunity to develop their own, full-length circus show in conjunction with Underbelly Productions - one of the country's top pureyors of modern circus - and the National Centre for Circus Arts

In HEAT ONE on Tuesday July 8, Tori McGrory will give a classic corde lisse performance of rope-suspended acrobatics before Fulcrum Circus take a different approach to equilibristics by putting on a precision display of hand-to-hand balancing. Flambé Circus Theatre will then put a modern spin on the traditional Maori staff-twirling art of Poi, before aerialists Arbor Theatre take to the skies once more with their Swinging Cradle, and things will stay airborne for the final act with Jalina introducing the audience to the Double Aerial Hoop.

HEAT TWO on Wednesday July 9 will begin with a stripped-back display of handbalancing from Zoe Jones before Darryl J Carrington reimagines one of circus' oldest and best-loved artforms with an exhibition of club juggling. Tom Drysdale then adds a muscular edge to traditional rope balancing, whileLeo & Yam provide a touch of 1920's cinema-inspired satire with their double rope act, and Liz Wickham introduces an alternative form of aerial acrobatics with the cloud swing.

The following day, Thursday July 10, will see HEAT THREE kick off with a silken aerobic salvo from Rebecca Rennison, followed by a rarer but equally hypnotic form of object manipulation in Mark Steyn's contact juggling, before a spectacular return to the silks via Imogen Macrae, a devastating display of gymnastic strength on the Chinese Poles by Aviva Rose-William and a dose of dizzying, death defying slapstick from Acrobatic ClownsMattress Circus.

The FINAL HEAT taking place on Friday July 11 begins with the double-rope stylings of Will & Willy before Leo Hedman brings a futuristic Light Art aesthetic to his aerial plastic performance. Chris & Dani then provide a virtuoso ball-juggling display before Alfa Marks takes us back up to the rope for a one-woman spectacular, and master contortionist Max Beecher provides (get ready to cringe at this pun) one final twist...

One lucky winner from each heat will be selected by the audience to take part in the final on Saturday July 12 and be in with a chance of winning the potentially life-changing grand prize.

This year the Circus Maximus performances will be hosted by an artist once called the biggest voice in London cabaret - Miss Frisky. She is perhaps best known as one half of wildly popular musical comedy duo Frisky and Mannish.

Circus Maximus provides a unique platform for some of the brightest lights in this most diverse and challenging of performing arts to showcase their talents in one spectacular, devil-may-care night of entertainment not to be missed.

To purchase tickets or to find more information, visit www.udderbelly.co.uk.

Underbelly is a UK based, live entertainment company. Their events and festivals division operates one of the largest operations at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe selling over 220,000 tickets for over 140 shows over 25 days. 2014 marks the sixth year of Udderbelly Festival at Southbank Centre and the third year of London Wonderground at Southbank Centre. Elsewhere Underbelly also produces Edinburgh's Christmas; Comedy Hullabaloo with the RSC in Stratford- upon-Avon; West End Live in Trafalgar Square for Westminster City Council and the Society of London Theatre. Through their Underbelly Productions arm they produce and promote live shows in London, throughout the UK and on tour internationally. In 2013 Underbelly sold over 750,000 tickets to their various events. www.underbelly.co.uk

Founded in 1989 as "Circus Space", The National Centre for Circus Arts is one of the best circus schools in the world and it is at the heart of a network of Circus organisations that are leading the renaissance of Circus in the UK. The organisation champions and supports excellence in Circus Arts in the UK and around the world. It is helping to change the perception of circus in the UK by providing an unparalleled launch-pad for present and future performers, with over 40 circus companies accessing studio time and funding through the National Centre for Circus Arts. www.nationalcircusorg.uk

IdeasTap is an arts charity that supports creative people through opportunities, funding, jobs and career development. Since launching in December 2008, IdeasTap has awarded more than £1.8 million worth of direct funding and accompanying expert mentoring to emerging artists. Its membership currently stands at 135,000+ and its partners include the Barbican, BFI, Magnum Photos, Mother London, The National Theatre, Royal Exchange Theatre and Sky Academy. www.ideastap.com

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