New York based clown Seth Bloom and his partner-in-clown (and life) Christina Gelsone are all set to bring their awe inspiriting, heart warming and hilarious show to the Arts Centre this summer. Known collectively as the Acrobuffos, the couple met at a circus in Afghanistan, were engaged while street performing in Scotland, and married in China.
Says Bloom: “It sounds like a pub joke, “Two clowns meet in Afghanistan…” I was creating shows with Afghan performers to teach children about land mines and malaria. Meanwhile, Christina was stilt-walking and juggling with another Afghan troupe in schools and orphanages. Later, we became clown partners in Japan, dated in the States, got engaged in Scotland, and then married in China.”
The couple have made numerous shows together for street theatre and circus. Bloom posits that most of their shows fit in a single suitcase. “Air Play is our most recent show, and biggest: it travels in 28 road cases! Because of the super-high air sculptures, Air Play only fits in large theaters,” says Bloom with characteristic humour.
The Acrobuffos have been wowing audiences with their spectacular brand of magical wonder since 2006. Their stage show is phenomenal in its creativity and imagination and is a family experience that is incredibly unique and filled with the passion that both Bloom and Gelsone share and apply.
For Bloom, the desire to be a performer grew while he was a juggler in high school. “I was all set to go to regular university, and found out I could apply to clown college, wear big shoes, throw pies, fall down, and learn to make people laugh,” he says. “They auditioned 3,0000 people my year and took 30, including me! It was harder to get into than Harvard. As for my main inspiration, it’s to be as funny as my wife Christina. ”
Air Play marries the comic physical antics of the Acrobuffos with the breathtaking air sculptures of artist Daniel Wurtzel: Flying umbrellas, larger-than-life balloons, kites that float over the audience and an enormous snow globe are the constant companions of a sister and brother whose rivalry is only matched by their affection.
The merger between the creatives sprang from Wurtzel’s 2010 Facebook video post featuring his revolutionary air sculpture “Pas de Deux.” “Christina and I were dreaming up a new show, saw this video, and thought it would be a great challenge to combine his beautiful air sculptures with our popular comedy,” explains Bloom. “Daniel’s also based in New York City. None of us knew if this show would work (clowns and air sculptures!) but it took off beyond our wildest dreams.”
Air Play is a stunning visual delight attracting the big and little kid in all of us.
Says Bloom: “The show is so visual and beautiful, words don’t do it justice. So I whip out my phone and show people a picture, or a short video and they’re hooked. For an 8 year old kid, I’d say we fly giant kites over the audience and get eaten by enormous balloons, and for adults I’d say its a visual poem to childhood, inspired by the vast canvases of surrealist painter Joan Miro. Often we hear from adults that they were laughing and crying at the same time. ”
January 18 – 22