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ISACS Member - Spraoi
ISACS Member - Spraoi St Patrick's Parade 2017 | Photographer Graham Cullen
9 minutes reading time (1786 words)

10 incredible Irish Circus duos

10 incredible Irish circus duos

In 2018, Ireland is celebrating 250 years of Circus! While we're all reflecting on Circus in the last centuries, we have decided to highlight ten incredible Irish circus duos in the current Irish Circus scene. Some duos have been working together for years and some are only starting their collaboration.


1. Fanzini Brothers - 1997

Fanzini brothers russianscrop


Fanzini Brothers are two stage brothers Con Horgan and Denis Butler, both from Tralee, Ireland’s only proper Italian Kerrymen.

'We have been working together since 1997.  There were originally three of us, but Wayne left to go to Circomedia and Denis and I created our duo show then.'

Their specialty? Clown, comedy, absurdity!

These heroes of Irish circus have been making people laugh since the last century. Dripping with personality, doused in skill, oozing with comedy and fountains of knowledge, these masters of street and circus performance will beguile and thrill you with their amazing, interactive comedy circus.

Fanzini Brothers are part of contemporary circus company Fanzini Productions created by Con Horgan, also producer of the famous National Circus Festival of Ireland.


View Fanzini ISACS profile | www.fanzini.ie 

Read also, National Circus Festival of Ireland member showcase to know more about Con's thoughts on the sector.


2. Lords of Strut - 2008

lordsofstrut 3

Lords of Strut is formed by Sean Tastic and Famous Seamous working at regular jobs in their uncle Tony's Bistrot in Cork but who dream of changing the world through dance, one massive eighties tune at the time. Irish performers Cian Kinsella and Cormac Mohally combine comedic theatrics with dance and acrobatics. They take on the persona of celebrity-obsessed but socially impaired brothers full of pomp, swagger and incompetence.

Their show has brought them performing worldwide with Riot the Show and at the renowned international and national street arts festivals. They also hit the screens with a semi-finalist place on Britain's Got Talent 2017 and in Eir advertising campaign.

'We started working together in 2008, spurred on by the Arts Council Funding that Tumble Circus received to run a training programme. See it works. We created Lords of Strut in 2009 with support from the Arts Council.'

'We specialise in clown using circus techniques such as partner acrobatics, contortion and just being complete idiots.' 


View Lords of Strut ISACS profile | www.lordsofstrut.com 



3. Squarehead Productions - 2012

Squarehead med

Squarehead Productions collaborates with partners from both the artistic and academic sector and communicates through a multitude of different formats such as performances, lectures, laboratories and publications. Founded in 2012 by artistic directors Elena Lydia Kreusch and Darragh McLoughlin the company is based in Ireland yet operates internationally.

'We founded the company after a chance encounter at a juggling convention in Austria in August of 2012.' 

'With roots in the contemporary circus movement we situate our activities at the interface of artistic practice and knowledge production: We create spaces for reflection and experimentation around contemporary performance. Our work takes on the form of live performances, experimental festival formats, artistic research labs, publications, and conferences.'


View Squarehead Productions ISACS profilewww.squareheadproductions.com



5. Elaine and Jonah at Loosysmokes - 2012


Elaine McCague, was recently awarded by the Arts Council Ireland as part of the Circus Project Award Scheme. She is an aerial performer, multi-disciplinary artist and the co-creative director and producer of Loosysmokes, a close collaboration of aerialists, acrobats, dancers, tree surgeons, stunt-riggers, sound and visual artists. Jonah McGreevy is also the co-creative director and producer of Loosysmokes and an acrobatic choreographer and award-winning aerial and acrobatic performer. Elaine and Jonah are also partners in life.

'We’ve worked together since 2012, when we performed together in Constellations, winner of Spirit of the Fringe. We formed Loosysmokes together in 2014. '

'We specialise in writing and producing visual circus art and swinging about on the trapeze. Elaine likes climbing the rope and Jonah has been known to be stood on from time to time.'


View Loosysmokes ISACS profile | www.loosysmokes.com 


5. Aisling Ni Cheallaigh and Ronan Brady - 2012

aisling ni Cheallaigh ronan brady

Picture: Maurice Gunning

Ash and Ronan have been training together ever since they met in 2012, mostly just for fun. Performing together with Fidget Feet Aerial Dance in outdoor spectacle work and indoor theatrical children’s shows such as ‘Cinder and the Ella’s they’ve built up a solid duo partnership. Having dabbled in some doubles trapeze research they got the opportunity to represent Irish Circus on the international scene, performing at the closing ceremony for the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku (2017). As a duo they specialise in trapeze and recently performed their first full act as part of a project with Shane Holohan a the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in Limerick.

This year they are creating their first full show “How to Square a Circle” together with the support of the Arts Council. It will premier at Dríocht in Blanchardstown on May 4th and can also be seen in Athlone and Letterkenny.


View Ronan Brady's ISACS profile | www.becomeyouranomaly.com 

View Aisling's ISACS profile | www.aislingcircusarts.com 


Read more on Aisling ISACS member showcase to learn about her views on the sector.



6. The Fairy and the Fiddler - 2014

Fiddler and the Fairy 1 12

The Fairy and the Fiddler is a performance duo of The Fairy Hooper and Master Multi-Instrumentalist Dansky. The Fairy and the Fiddler met in September 2014 at Cregg Castle.

'An instant magic and love was born. We started performing together pretty much straight away, improvising with Dan on the Fiddle and Shazzy either doing hoops or fire display on the streets of Galway, Cork, and Limerick. We have created and developed our shows including other artists, performers, musicians and taken our artform to a variety of different audiences and stages including weddings and festivals.'

Dansky is a musical genius, with his main instruments Violin, Piano and Viola. He has experience on every kind of musical stage. The Fairy is highly skilled in all things hoops, fire performances with a strong leadership background.

'Whilst we are performers together we are also celebrating our one year in business as a music, circus and events management company on the 20th February 2019.'


View The Fairy and the Fiddler's ISACS Profile



7. Aoife Raleigh and Tony Mahon at AcrophobiA - 2015


Tony is Dublin born and bred and is also a born performer with a natural ability to win over any crowd with a cheeky grin. Tony’s specialties are juggling, acrobatics, trampoline and rigging. Aoife is a professional circus artist and facilitator. Her solo Irish Circus Strong Woman act fuses circus and theatre in unexpected ways, representing strong un-conventional females in both character and physicality. Aoife's specialties are hula hoop, acrobatics and theatre.

'We have begun to train together in 2015 (back in the day of the giant see-saw!)'

Together with Ben Carpenter, they formed AcrophobiA Productions in 2015 - a three-person operation taking circus to the masses with all business managed, performances produced and performed by the three members. Aoife and Tony have also been life partners for the last five years, congrats!


View Acrophobia ISACS profile | www.acrophobiaproductions.com 

View Aoife ISACS profile 



8. AcroAer Sligo - 2017

acroaer sligo

Jayne Lynna began training in the aerial arts in Dublin since 2012 and started teaching in 2014. She is a qualified aerial instructor and has also completed Level 1 & 2 Circus Arts Therapy in Atlanta, GA. Orla Buckley has been training in aerial since Jane moved to Sligo in 2015. Orla began teaching alongside Jayne in 2017 and completed her aerial teacher's training in aerial silks the same year with Paper Doll Militia in the UK. Orla is continuing her teacher training this year adding Trapeze and Lyra to her repertoire.

In February 2017, Jayne and Orla set up AcroAer to expand on what Jayne started in Sligo and to bring aerial training and performance opportunities to the community of Sligo Town and surrounding areas. Currently, Jayne and Ora are teaching weekly classes to adults and young people. They have run a performance showcase and have been involved in local events such as Cairde Arts Festival and Boyle Arts Festival.

'AcroAer's mission is to make aerials more accessible to the wider community from various backgrounds. Our plan for the future is to develop and promote social circus in the North West. We have begun accepting referrals from Tusla to provide aerial opportunities to young people and hope to partner with more local community groups.'


View AcroAer ISACS profile



9. Henrik and Ali - 2017


Photo Luiz Andrade

Ali and Henrik is brand new formed Hand to hand duo based in Ireland and UK.

'We have worked together for almost a year now, we met in May 2017 doing a show with Tumble Circus; "Unsuitable". At the time both of us were looking for an acrobatic partner and found that we worked well together, so decided to continue training. We specialise in Hand to Hand and Partner Acrobatics, but train a lot of handstands as well. Our new hobby is learning to headbalance!'


Watch Ali & Henrik Tempelhof Berlin on Vimeo.


10. Davi Hora and Isabela Mello - 2017

Isabela Davi

Picture: Alex Allison

Isabela Mello and Davi Hora met each other while Isabela was doing her application for National Circus School of Brazil almost 5 years ago. Both of them are multidisciplinary artists who like to experiment their specialties with dance, body expression, acrobatics and drama. Davi is a circus artist and youth circus facilitator whose main specialty is juggling. Isabela is a circus artist and workshop facilitator whose mains disciplines are handstand, headstand, contact juggling, acrobatics and hand to hand. Their Brazilian duo has an Irish twist.

In 2015, Davi joined the company Maleta formed by Alex Allison in 2013 to 'escape the weather'. The company uses juggling, manipulation and the body as a base to construct languages in which they can explore aspects of human condition. In 2017, Isabela joined Davi in Galway to work with Galway Community Circus and they got engaged at the National Circus Festival of Ireland in November. While Maleta Company continues to experience, explore and share their vision of circus, poetry and performance, we are expecting more duo pieces with Davi and Isabela and other Maleta collaborations!

'We never actually trained or worked together in the same specialty, each one of us invested in our own solo. Although, we already talked about creating a company together'. Isabela


View Maleta's ISACS Profile | View Isabela's ISACS profile

davi hora alex allison ISabela mello

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