The magic of street dance and circus combine in this new show celebrating 250 years of the big top, starring the Diversity dance team who shot to fame a decade ago when they won Britain’s Got Talent.
Here, creator and choreographer Ashley Banjo answers questions about the show, which Diversity have created in collaboration with Gandey World Class Productions, one of the biggest touring circuses in the world.
How excited are you to get back out on the road?
We’re very excited, especially with a show that is so different! We have been doing this for a long time and we love nothing more than pushing the boundaries and trying new things. This circus is going to push us to the limit and create something that has never been seen before.
What can people expect from this show?
People can expect all of the signature Diversity moves and routines but mixed with death-defying stunts, all types of illusion magic and some of the best circus acts from all around the world. There will be some of the most weird and wonderful talents you can imagine.
How long does the preparation for each tour take?
There isn’t really an official start date when we prepare for the tours. I am thinking of shows all the time, consistently working – my wife would probably say too much! On paper you could say we work on each show for 6-8 weeks but realistically I am thinking of ideas and talking things through all the time, it’s a never-ending cycle!
How many dances will be in this show?
It’s impossible to split the show up into different dances, but it’s going to be almost two hours of action!
Is there a storyline behind the show?
There is indeed! The storyline is about a young boy who doesn’t really have much in the world. He manages to find something that he loves and adores but then he has to find himself and become the best he can be at it, and earn the trust and respect of all the people around him. Really it is a reflection of Diversity’s own story.
Where does the inspiration for your dances come from?
All over the place! All different situations in everyday life, but really and truly I think more about what I want people to feel and experience. And then I think about the best way to create that with what I do.
How much does everything you’ve experienced as a group help you when putting together these shows?
Experience is everything, we wouldn’t be able to do it without all of our experience. That’s what makes this possible for us – from our personal life, our experience in audiences and putting on shows, including the technicality of creating a show this big and this long.
Does that longevity make you feel like you’re doing something right?
Of course. If we weren’t doing something right, people wouldn’t want to watch our shows so that is really what drives me. Audience reactions, public perceptions and working hard to just entertain people. If you entertain people and you do it well people will want to come back and watch again, so yes, but it is hard work!
Ignite is at Meadowhall on Friday and Saturday, September 28-9