Re: Winter 2013/14 - Page 59

‘This is circus completely outside the box’,  The Times Petit Mal: Concrete Circus is a high energy, action packed show featuring seemingly impossible stunts that fuse acrobatics with extreme trampolining, break dancing and hip hop. As the company prepare to head to Brighton Dome this Christmas, we asked Kalle Lehto, Rauli Kosonen and Petri Tuominen few questions about the show and how they became circus performers. So tell us why Race Horse Company wanted to make this show? The inspiration for the show came from us wanting to make a show with skills that we haven’t seen on stage before. Something that was new took us in a new direction, so we started working on it and then… voila, Petit Mal: Concrete Circus. Where did the show’s concept come from? We started cheap. We didn’t have any money, but Petri had an idea to start from when he was travelling in Nepal. He saw this little kid standing in the ruins with 3D glasses on and I guess he had some kind of idea that it would be good to have that kind of wreckage on stage whilst still having a bit of hope left - the kid was still smiling with his 3D glasses on. So the show takes the reality of that kind of moment and we follow it in that direction. That image was the key point, of course the show doesn’t have anything to do with that situation but that was the starting place and we share that sort of idea of the world. We start with the wreckage and we build stuff onto it, but it’s not completely sad. There’s funny stuff in it so even when there is disaster, you can still have a laugh. What happens when you’re making the show? Sometimes we fail and crash but we just get up and go on again. It gives us faith that we can fail and then get up and try it again or do something else. It’s calculated risk but there’s always a chance of failure. Tell us how you all became to be circus performers? Kalle Lehto: I went to circus school but before then I was a writer and I did a little bit of dance but when I was at circus school I started to do more acrobatics and that was it! It wasn’t like it was a big dream to be in circus, I just wanted to move so I thought I’d apply and it looked fun. Petri Tuominen: I don’t think it was so different to me either. I studied to be an electrician and I didn’t like it so I didn’t even start work, I was unemployed, and then I saw a circus, which looked fun so I tried it. Rauli Kosonen: I wanted to be a stunt man at one point… then I found myself at chef’s school when I was 16, but that didn’t work out as it didn’t feel like it was my thing. I spent all my time on a trampoline at a circus youth space where we got to jump around as much as we liked so I was spending all my time there. Then I found out there were actually circus schools you could go to for real. I went to three schools in the end! How would you describe your style? Kalle Lehto: Somebody called what we do ‘floating’. There’s a special technique we use for work on the trampoline, it’s finding the difference between tensing your body when you’re falling towards the net and how you relax when you’re bouncing back into the air. But the key point I’m always trying to find is the point of suspension in the air, when you’re not falling or rising, when you’re at zero gravity and you’re just floating. It’s those little things that we play with. For me it’s more like breaking. When you’re coming from a certain direction and you stop it somewhere, whenever you want, and just freeze, and that’s the same thing I try to do with my acrobatics. I move as long as I feel like it and then I find a freeze moment at a point in the show and I let it be. In this show, mostly my freezes are when I crash. Crashing to the floor is always good. Petit Mal: Concret