Interview: Sarah Lett from Cirkus Cirkör (hot new circus at Southbank Centre)
We were delighted to catch up with acrobat and cyr wheel artist, Sarah Lett from Cirkus Cirkör.
Their show Limits comes to London for just 5 performances! The show circus to tell vibrant stories of migrants in the company’s native Sweden is part of Southbank Centre’s Nordic Matters festival.
Tell us about your journey to Cirkus Cirkör?
I had my first encounter with circus at the age of 8. As a child, I used to climb wherever I could, as much as I could! My parents found a circus summer camp nearby our house and from then, I couldn’t stop. I went from recreational classes to a professional school until it became obvious that I would make it my career. At the age of 19 I graduated from Quebec city’s circus school and have since then worked for many different companies across the world. I started with more traditional variety and turned more and more towards creations shows with different companies, the latest being Circus Cirkör.
I started working with Cirkus Cirkör last year for their other co-production Satyagraha, afterwards I was asked to join the cast of Limits and have been with this show since then!
What can an audience expect when they see your show Limits?
Limits is a blend of circus arts with true stories from migrants living now in Sweden. The show makes a parallel between our circus life and theirs, showing the similarities but mostly the differences. We both play with danger and live a nomadic type of life, one is by choice while the other isn’t. We experience borders in totally different ways but both face fear on a daily basis, while one is controlled but the other one is not.
We use their stories to inspire our own acts and invite the audience to reflect about their reality. For example in my Cyr wheel act, I use the feeling of being trapped and working for my escape as a storyline. I try to get under their skin and translate this emotion through my physical language, in the wheel.
The show also compares the limits of the bodies with the ones from borders and societies. The similarities of training a circus trick and working for a more open society is present: It’s about daring to do something that you have never done before and are willing to make an effort that might get you into certain discomforts. The process might take you through various emotions but in the end there is a lot of richness gained from both the process and the achievement.
The show considers borders and migration. What do you think your London audience should take away around these issues?
I think that the audience is very free to take what they want out of this show but hopefully people come back feeling closer to this reality and with a better understanding of the issue.
Who or what inspires you to make circus performance?
I love to perform in general and feel very at home on stage. I find it very interesting to find how I can translate my own circus material to a different topic or emotion and see how the same technical movements can give a totally different feeling to the audience.
What are your favourite London haunts?
It will be my first time in London so I want to do everything!! Hopefully get to see all the classics as much as some great local pubs and restaurant and obviously the circus spaces!