TODAY |

Circus performers stranded in NZ during lockdown set sail with entirely new show

While some of us tried learning new skills during lockdown, a group of stranded international circus performers have taken it to the next level, creating a whole new show.

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The group is now touring the upper North Island by boat, putting on community shows. Source: 1 NEWS

Brought together by their unique talents and circumstances, sailing circus Cirque Lemuria is now touring the upper North Island by boat, putting on community shows.

"We've co-created this beautiful adventure that we are making circus, bringing people back to the venues," performer Jorge Roda told 1 NEWS.

Ben Vroom, a seaman from Holland, and his partner Arie Vanderschoot, an artist from Hawaii, were carrying out environmental work on their boat in the Pacific.

They came to New Zealand to shelter from the cyclone season, but then lockdown started.  

"This is what happens [when] we are stuck here and we make it happen, we make a beautiful circus," Vroom says.

They decided to make use of their other talents and put out a mayday call to fellow circus performers.

Ten answered, a group who shared their skills, and their situation.

Rumah Katzen aerialist was on of them.

"I was travelling with Circus Aotearoa, doing our circus here, and with Covid we were no longer to tour anymore," aerialist Rumah Katzen says.

"The boss at the circus I was touring received a message from Arie. And goodness it was an opportunity to travel on a boat and be creative."

Last week they had their first show in Russell, before another in Whangārei.

It has everything from a Spanish clown to an Australian aerialist.

No tickets are necessary, with entry just a donation.

The circus is now making its way down the coast to perform in Auckland.