Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Life's a Circus

While in Paris for Dancers Among Us yesterday, Cirque Du Soliel juggler Basile Dragon contacted me on Facebook about a photo shoot. I had no idea what to expect, as juggling is terribly difficult to photograph. He turned out to be a fun and collaborative partner, and together we conceived of a clown taking a coffee break.

Even Basile wasn't immune to accidents (this one cost me ten Euro, which is like $2000 dollars in the US).

As I got to know Basile, his story fascinated me. These are his own words:

"When I was a 14-year-old kid in Paris, I met the 'Smallest Circus in the World'. I decided immediately that I wanted to live the circus life, and I started to juggle. When I was 18 I started training professionally, which means 6 to 8 hours of juggling every day (plus dance, contortion, trapeze, acrobatic, theater, etc). At 19 I was already working, mostly in the street and in any underground show I could find in Europe (plus training 6 hours every day).

At 24, I went to the Moscow Circus School in Russia to learn the Russian juggling technique, and I never stopped traveling the world to work with the best jugglers. I created my own juggling technique that takes into consideration the human body in general, and each juggler's body specificity. It is body friendly and made to allow me to juggle until I'm old (very old).

Around 27, I started to work a lot in Cabaret, Circus, Theater, Opera, etc. Probably 200 shows a year, and I was 'only' training 2 to 4 hours a day (you have to spare your energy for the show!). I've worked with so many companies around the planet that I can't count them!"

Sounds like an awesome career to me! To see Basile in action, take a look at these Vine videos I shot after our session:

Vine Video 1
Vine Video 2

Basile Dragon's Facebook page: