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The project - Djeliya

2 okt 2014

THANK YOU ALL WHO HELPED US REACH THE GOAL FOR OUR CROWDFUNDING!!! We are very happy and are already at the next step, preparing for our first residency in Brussles in the beginning of November. If you don't know the project yet, here is a short description:

We are working on DJELIYA, a tale-inspired performance where circus (acrobalance) meets dance meets live music.

Three artists hailing from Sweden, Chile and Belgium meet to develop an acrobalance trio which, together with a Belgian musician, will tell a positive and rousing story inspired by tales from all over the world. 


The Bench, acrobalance trio with Rebecka in the centre

Without words, no more borders: our project consists of creating a tale of movement and music, which goes beyond cultural differences.

 Arts for everyone: our goal is to perform DJELIYA in places where the arts usually don’t go (remote villages, precarious places, parks, …), and to tell our stories to children (as well as  adults) from all over the world. 



Les Errants (The Walkers) in Kenya, touring with Clowns Without Borders

For immemorial times, tales have been used as a vehicle to convey messages that can help us face and overcome obstacles that life throws at us.

They offer a perspective for us to persevere and face each of those obstacles with courage. If we believe in this ancestral wisdom, life is an amazing gift which is worthwhile investing in.  

We like this optimism and are basing our piece on it.

During our research for this new piece, we met the Kora, a West-African harp used by griots (custodians of oral tradition) to transmit their knowledge in the form of stories and tales. Therefore to us, the Kora seems to be the music instrument of tales par excellence.


Vincent, the Belgian korafola

Introducing our team:

Rebecka Nord (Sweden) 

A circus artist as well as dancer and explorer of the world through humanitarian projects (Clowns Without Borders, HipCirqEurope, …), Rebecka is the project’s leader (

Vincent Wilkin (Belgium)                 

Trained the Kora in Mali and singing in India, currently involved in several projects (folk, singing, dance). His work focuses on the connection between music and bodies (

Catalina Castellano (Chile)             

Flyer and coordinator of Diminuto Circus company in Chile. She organises the South American part of the project by inviting the teamto Santiago de Chile (

Antoine Dutrieu (Belgium)              

He is a base and a Kora player and coordinates the logistical aspect of the project as well as designing its conceptual shape. ( 

Overview of the project’s programme:

February 2014    

Preliminary research in Mali (tales harvesting and deepening of kora skills with internationally renowned master Toumani Diabate)

May-October 2014            

General preparation of the project; funding research, script writing, dossier writing

November 2014

First artistic residency in Brussels

December 2014 

Second artistic residency in Santiago de Chile and four try-out performances in villages on the city’s periphery

March 2015         

Third and last artistic residency in Uddevalla, Sweden & Premiere of our performance at the Regionteater Väst.

Fêtes Romanes - Wolubilis

24 sep 2014

Time is passing by so quickly and we're already at the end of Bench's tour. Last shows this weekend at Fêtes Romanes - Wolubilis in Brussels, Belgium. 

Please come by if you're in the country:


"Djeliya" at kisskissbankbank!

2 sep 2014

As you might already know my company Circus By Me is about to start the creation of its first big show “Djeliya”. The project brings together the cultures of Sweden, Belgium, Chile and Mali; inspired by each country's fairy tale tradition.

We aim to create a poetic family spectacle with partner acrobatics and music from a Kora, a West African musical instrument.
The artists creating this project are Catalina Castellano, Antoine Dutrieu, Rebecka Nord and Vincent Wilkin. Director: Pelle Hanaeus.

In order to apply for (Swedish) national funding for the show we must illustrate that we have secured an amount of private funding. 

We've created a challenge at Kiss kiss bank bank:

So… we are kindly asking you to support our project with a donation; anywhere between 5 euros and 50 euros; or more. Any amount will greatly help us. But of course the more support we receive the easier it will be to attain funding and produce the show.
If you want to know more about the project please send us an e-mail at;

Review in The Guardian.

24 jul 2014

The tour continues and the show is getting better and better, in my opinion. Last weekend we played in Germany and the audience there was fantastic. We had a wonderful moment all together in Kaiserslautern; the city center, the summer weather, the hotel and a generous welcoming of partners/ parents into the festival. 

I would like to share a review that we got in The Guardian after playing here in London at the Greenwich & Docklands International Festival in June. It's short but good and my favourite sentence is: 

"The acrobatics are performed with real grace and skill by the cast of three quick-change female artists in a wittily choreographed show that turns the limitation of public space into a virtue, and invites the audience's complicity."

Read the whole article here

London & life.

12 jul 2014

You know when a city becomes not just a city but also a space full of memories? I guess when that happens it’s the moment it starts to feel like a real home. Also now when I’m not longer going from a place alone to another place alone I realize that London is slowly welcoming me. Welcoming me into its crazy intense world.Last weekend I woke up in a lovely home of Greek friends after not so many hours of sleep. 

It’s six o’clock in the morning and I’ll have to leave for Skegness to teach children at a festival. My love’s making me coffee and toast with orange jam and even if I’m not fully awake (or maybe because I’m not) I feel a strong warm feeling of belonging, something I missed so much last year and that slowly enters my life now. It’s incredible sweet. After kisses I go down to a bus that brings me via Canary Wharf where a man with a wrinkled suit and a confused look goes on the bus. It reminds me of one of the first weeks when I came here and went to that business area to get my UK phone number. The bus passes the place where we played Bench just a couple of weeks ago and I smile at the memory. By Hackney Station I buy a tea in a typical British breakfast café, it drizzles and a man is shouting into one of the big recycling containers. This is London an early Sunday morning and lonely people wander about in empty roads. I drive the van for the first time out in traffic, we’re driving up north and I get used to drive into the roundabout to the left and look for the cars to my right. The slowest lane is to the left and the change is refreshing. I like to take part of a team. I like to be one of three Mimbre girls, there’s a strong happy feeling between us and we’re flexible and professional when we’re out working. After a long day with seven hours driving and four hours of teaching we’re finally back in London where I am welcomed to yet another home, this time in the west of the city. I’m served a glass of red wine. A shower. Friendly faces. Caring arms around my tired body.

London slowly fills up with emotions and life here starts to make sense. I’m grateful of the friends of my friend that actually welcome me in their world and I’m thankful to play in an active interesting company that shares my values of circus and the life as a performer.

Thank you all!

Supermouche festival Brussels

17 jun 2014

The wonderful audience in Brussels last Sunday!

A beautiful day.

7 jun 2014

I have a Friday OFF. I decided to work in front of my computer but when I saw the blue sky I realised it could be a day to discover one of London’s biggest parks; Hampstead heath. I crossed a woman talking on the phone: “It’s SUCH a beautiful day”, she said. Ten minutes later I crossed two other women, one of them insisting: “It’s a beautiful day, A BEAUTIFUL day.” So I guess that’s what this day is about, to be a beautiful day.

Sometimes I feel a little bit sad when everything is quite perfect. It sounds stupid I know.

Today I’ve thought a lot about the different aspects of my life ad it couldn’t be much better.  I’m happy the tour has started and more satisfied with the show now when I’ve seen that it can really work with an audience. The summer is here and the sun is out giving hope deep down in my soul.

I’m excited about the different festivals we’ll get to during this summer and the new places to discover; Tynemouth, Stockton, Cardiff and Skegness in England and Wales, Amersfoort in Holland, Tarrega in Spain and Kaiserslautern in Germany. We’ll play in Brussels both next week and in the end of September and I love to come back to Brussels, it feels like home.

My health is much better and my energy is going up!

But the best of all, better than everything above, is love. I fell in love already in January and I’m falling deeper and deeper in love for every day. It’s actually quite amazing. I get so much positive attention and I get the possibility to care for someone. I get to talk, be foolish, laugh, and kiss in a buzz of emotions and not to forget just to BE in the most wonderful man’s arms. To breath in a deep feeling of being protected from anything that could ever harm me. 

There are no clouds on my sky this beautiful day and yet I walk melancholic in between ponds and trees.

Is it because it reminds me of all the lonely walks I’ve done in my life? I remember it started in Copenhagen, nineteen years old; I walked around the city and the parks looking at happy couples and happy families and felt alone in the world. I remember thinking; if ever I had money for a coffee…

Then, as I do like to discover new places by walking, I’ve had many of these moments later on, loads of them in Lille, then in Buenos Aires, Athens, Barcelona, Brussels, Santiago de Chile, New York.

Are my days of lonely walks over soon? Or do I at some level enjoy these endless walks where my mind can travel freely and I can observe the world as if I’m not a part of it?

I think the best thing right now would be to buy an ice cream. I mean, who can ever feel down with an ice cream at hand?

Tour start at Bath Fringe!

31 maj 2014

Yesterday we were finally on the road to the first festival on our summer tour. It was Alcina the base, Silvia the flyer, Lina the director and I. Four happy women heading west in a big blue van.

When we came to Bath we checked in to the hostel and went out to one of the meeting points of the festival, the Spiegeltent, where a band played the most beautiful English folk music. 

After all the rehearsals it felt wonderful to drink a half pint of beer, listening to the concert and feeling that now: now are we here. We're together and it's soon showtime!

I like to discover a new town, the excitement before a show and being in a context; my circus world. 

I really love this part of the work. Check the performance space, set-up, sound-check and get comfortable backstage.  Make-up, warm-up, some biscuits and then PERFORM! It's such a nice festival and the staff and the audience are all very friendly.

Bench is on tour and Rebecka is happy!!!

R&D in Newbury little video clip.

26 maj 2014

A couple of holiday days.

19 maj 2014

My parents came to London and we were walking around London in the sunniest days ever. It was too good to be true!

This is the place where we train with Mimbre.


A trailer for Bench

11 maj 2014

Research for TIME. Newbury.

6 maj 2014

My new home for the next five days. We're with Mimbre in Newbury to do research on their next show's creation that will start in 2015


This is how my work place can look, a night like tonight. Or like this:

An exciting week as always.

There's life after the premiere.

25 apr 2014

It’s a beautiful sky over London tonight that makes me think of summer. I realize I haven’t written any blog posts in a while and I have so much to share I don’t know where to start.

The two weeks before the premiere were really difficult. My body didn’t cope with the situation and the illnesses and wanted me to stay in bed, but I couldn’t and just had to push myself forward to finish the creation and the three shows. A four-hour commute per day, eight hours at work, eat and sleep. It was tough and I questioned my whole circus career, to be honest I questioned pretty much everything; myself as an acrobat and artist, living in London, my health, my social abilities, the future…

It all had its peak when I hurt my back on the last show and afterwards when I lay in the quiet dressing room whilst the others were out meeting their relatives and friends I thought; I don’t have anything more to give. I’m finished. I lay on a spike mat, feeling the warmth spreading in my aching back, relaxing for the first time in weeks. Tears run down my face and I thought; this is a crazy life, do I still have the strength and the will to fight like this? 

Then we went out with the Mimbre women to have a burger and a beer and I suddenly felt a true belonging to this company. The achievement we reached together, the hard work, the laughs, the creativity, the stress and the joy of performing. Already the day after I started to feel like myself again and I understood how tired I had been.

Now I’ve had a week of rest and I’m happy. The premiere is done! I can see things clearly! I’m still tired and recovering slowly from the coughing, the throat ache and the fatigue but I love my work. I love the circus life even if it’s completely stupid sometimes. I love the art and performances we produce and give to the world. I love the people, the big top, the nomadic life, the applause, the creativity and the travels.

This week we’re back to calmer technical training with the trio, I’ve been helping out at the Mimbre office and now I have to catch up with the administrative work for Circus By Me. Not to forget the preparation of the production for the children’s show “Once upon a time…”

It is all about finding the perfect balance!

Photos by Marco Berardi

Premiere Bench!

6 apr 2014

We are in the middle of two rehearsal weeks at the Laban theatre and I'm having a real slow Sunday today. Actually the first Sunday in my home since I came to London in the middle of January. My health is not the best, during a couple of weeks I’ve had an infection that travels around my body and it’s very tiring. I know that what I need is some days of rest and apparently iron, but with five days to the premiere, what to do?

In spite of these problems I’m very pleased to inform you about next weekends events: On 11th and 12th April our show will be part of the Crossing The Creek family dance weekend at Greenwich Dance and Laban. This event will be indoors and is a great, weather-proof chance to preview the show before the outdoor tour starts in earnest!

The day includes all sorts of amazing performances and activities, suitable for families but not exclusive for people with little ones to enjoy, all ages welcome from 11am – 5pm. Our performances of Bench will be:
Friday 11th April
15:15 at Laban Building
Saturday 12th April
11:00 at Laban Building
14:45 at Greenwich Dance
You're all very welcome!!!

A national grant for my own project.

31 mar 2014

It’s an intense period of my life right now. I’m trying to land in London, to feel that I live there, but after the overwhelming weeks in Mali I went to Brussels for ten days to give a workshop, and since then I’ve been both in Stockholm and in the south of Sweden, so to get the home feeling in London is not so easy. At the same time we’re in rehearsal preparing the premiere of Bench that will take place at the Laban Theatre, London, in only two weeks. I will keep you updated about the details.

I have some great news to share with you: The project to make an children show with my two acrobatic partners, Catalina Castellano and Antoine Dutrieu, got a national project grant from Sweden and it makes it possible to start the process of really doing this show. We still need more money and are at this very moment searching for other grants in Sweden and Belgium.

The rehearsals will start in the autumn and we have a very interesting musician for the show; Vincent Wilkins, you can listen to him playing here:

Other amazing news is that my first choice director for the show; Pelle Hanaeus, is interested in the project and motivated to work with us! Pelle is a very talented yet humble person that I admire for different work he does all around Sweden. We met at a tour with the Clowns Without Borders in Lebanon some years ago and now he’s artistic director of Regionteater Väst, a theatre in west Sweden. I’m unbelievably happy having him in the team and I look forward starting to prepare for the creation.

Now I just have to focus on finishing Bench and then I can start thinking of what is coming next. It looks as we will be very busy touring from June to September, but in May I will hopefully find some time to work on the fairy tale project and to get to feel at home in my new home town! 

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