The sky’s the limit as Fly High Circus Convention returns to Norwich

The Hogwallops at Edinburgh Festival Fringe Circus Credit: JL Preece

The Hogwallops at Edinburgh Festival Fringe Circus Credit: JL Preece - Credit: Archant

Internationally acclaimed acrobats, aerialists and other circus professionals will be winging their way to Norwich this weekend for Fly High, The Oak Circus Centre's annual circus convention.

Fly High Credit: Floor Jansen

Fly High Credit: Floor Jansen - Credit: Archant

Aimed at everyone from absolute beginners to world-class experts, Fly High is a chance for circus fans and aficionados to come together for an intensive weekend of training, talking and networking.

This year it is also part of Circus250, the worldwide celebration of the first ever circus.

Running from Thursday 20 to Sunday September 23, Fly High will be a mix of industry events and opportunities for the public to try their hand at circus activities with training from some of the world's leading experts - and they'll be able to watch those experts in action too!

This year, world-class trainers who have worked with internationally renowned companies and schools including Cirque du Soleil, Ecole Nationale de Cirque, NCCA, Circomedia, Aerial Edge and Circus Alba, will be providing coaching to participants of every level.

The convention kicks off on Thursday with a symposium, for and about performers looking at circus disciplines, their development over the past 250 years and the directions they may take over the next 250.

Experienced performers from different backgrounds will discuss their routes into the circus and offer advice to those seeking to carve out a career in the big top.

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Friday, Saturday and Sunday are dedicated to physical training and participants can choose from a range of workshops and masterclasses covering everything from trampoline, trapeze and aerial skills to Russian bar, Cyr wheel and Chinese Pole with experts including Kirsten Schiller, Kris Maddon, Joseph Keeley and Forma Fortis.

READ MORE: First look at Bodyguard finale plus the (37, ahem) questions we need answered in the last episodeThe weekend ends with the Circus Olympics, a friendly competition pitting aerialist against acrobat against juggler with the winner being crowned ultimate Fly High Champion.

Fly High by Circus 250 Credit: David Sandison

Fly High by Circus 250 Credit: David Sandison - Credit: © photograph by David Sandison

Massimiliano Rossetti, The Oak Circus Centre and Lost in Translation founder, said: 'Fly High has really taken off since we launched it three years 'It is putting Norwich on the international map as a destination for circus creatives and is providing opportunities for people from this region to make connections and expand their horizons.

'We certainly think that Fly High and The Oak has certainly been a big factor in Norwich being designated one of the six Circus250 designated Cities of Circus' added Lost in Translation Co-Director Annabel Carberry.

A special additional Fly High event this year, is a circus poster printing workshop on Thursday 20 with Norwich screenprint experts Print to the People.

There is also an exhibition of historical circus posters 'Pablo in Print', named after Pablo Fanque, the famous Norwich born black circus impresario, celebrated in song by The Beatles.

The Hogwallops at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Circus Credit: JL Preece

The Hogwallops at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Circus Credit: JL Preece - Credit: Archant

The exhibition illustrates the heritage of circus and print in the east of England and has been made possible thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

READ MORE: New Rambert production will 'blur the line between reality and illusion'Saturday Night Cabaret Public Performance

One of the highlights of Fly High is a Saturday Night Cabaret show, open to the public and featuring performers taking part in the convention. Confirmed so far are husband and wife duo Forma Fortis with their stunning and romantic adagio acrobatics act, Joseph Keeley, a virtuoso on the aerial silks, and Fern Carpenter, director of Norwich's Central School of Dancing and Performing Arts, performing her stylish silks act in the style of a Moulin Rouge cabaret.

And of course, the cabaret wouldn't be complete without members of the Lost in Translation team - Natasha Rushbrooke will be demonstrating her incredible handstand prowess and Annabel Carberry will perform her hilarious hula hooping routine.

The event starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £10 (including a free drink).

Fly High Circus Convention runs from September 20 to 23 and you can purchase day and weekend tickets on the Oak Circus Centre website.