Tini Tinou International Circus Festival 2015

 

The Tini Tinou Circus is in town!

When Bart saw the event post online that the circus would be in town, we jumped at the chance to see their performance. We’ve heard of the Cambodian circus troupe who was mostly based in Siem Reap and was happy to hear that they decided on a tour around Cambodia with cities such as Battambang and Phnom Penh. More than 50 performers from Asia and Europe were set to perform at the 3 iconic Big Tops circus cities in the country.

The circus is held from May 7-16th 2015 with so many sponsors from such as ANZ Royal, Smart, Cambodia Airports, Total Cambodia, All Dreams Cambodia, Infinity Insurance, Shinta Mani, Samsara Villa, supported by Institut Francais Cambodge, Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and Harlequin Floors. They are only here in Phnom Penh until 9th May 2015, and after that they will be in Battambang before heading to Siem Reap. The tickets were sold at $10 (general seating at the sides) and $20 (special seating in front of the stage). We got the cheaper seats but still managed to see whole show as the stage was just nice.

Performance I: The Formosa Circus Art (Taiwan)

Program for last night was divided into two parts, starting with the Taiwanese circus performers, called the Formosa Circus Art. Combining traditional and modern element,dance and acrobatics, street culture and theatrical works, the Taiwanese artists of Formosa Circus Arts expressed themselves freely without being confined to one kind of art only. This included a taichi performance and glow-in-the-dark spinning wheel act from the group. The good part was that they injected some dance, making it more interesting to watch. How the guy balanced himself on those stacked chairs amazes me until today.

Website: The Formosa Circus Art

The acrobatics performance from the Taiwan Circus troupe.

The acrobatics performance from the Taiwan Circus troupe.

You need strong upper bodies for this trick.

You need strong upper bodies for this trick.

 

Performance II: The National Circus School of Cambodia

After the half hour performance, the National Circus School of Cambodia was up next. The talented students cover a great variety of circus arts disciplines including duo or group acrobatics routines, hoop and aerial hoop, hand to hand acts and even clowning. However, on this night they decided to forego the clown act and went with a traditional Khmer story with a Princess, her  nymphs and a Prince. There was a lot of bending (she’s so flexible) and ballet elements with a surprised swinging act from the hanging cloth. When she tightened the cloth and swirled down, my heart made a giant leap, but of course she came out of it with ease. Phew.

Website: National Circus School of Cambodia

Adorable female performers from the National Circus School of Cambodia, using acrobats and aerial cloths.

Adorable female performers from the National Circus School of Cambodia, using acrobats and aerial cloths.

A short clip of the performers swinging in the air.

 

Performance III: Phare, The Cambodian Circus

The next highlight of the night was the young group from Phare, The Cambodian Circus who astonished us with their contagious energy, in a spectacular mix between performing arts, theatre and music. This was one of my favourite act for the night, simply because they did such a wonderful job in keeping us entertained and distracted with their quick, short acts. The troupe consisted of mostly men who could tumble, summersault and twirl in mid-air. They were supported by 2 musicians who played drums and a traditional instrument, making us tap our feet to the beat. There was also a girl who could shoot an arrow with her feet! For their final act, they did a sketch where the guys tried to woo the girl with their acrobat skills, and in the end the girl chose…another girl! That was quite a twist.

Website: Phare, The Cambodian Circus

The boys from Phare, with gymnastics movements.

The boys from Phare, with gymnastics movements.

The girl who shot an arrow using her feet! She burst the balloon by the way.

The girl who shot an arrow using her feet! She burst the balloon by the way.

My favorite performance for the night which combined a little comedy act.

My favorite performance for the night which combined a little comedy act.

Here’s a video snippet of the funny performance by Phare troupe.

 

Performance IV: O Ultimo Moment (France)

The hosts then announced a 20 minutes intermission where we could go out to get food or drinks while the Circus performers from France, O Ultimo Momento set up their equipment. Revolving around the use of the Chinese pole, this French troupe mixes acrobatics, dance, music and video in a splendid and mesmerizing show, “Ce qui reste”. The show went on for 45 minutes with the men climbing all the way to the top, using their upper bodies to do vertical splits and raise their bodies away from the pole. Although the story was a bit dragging, I could feel their exhaustion as they carried on with the show, stopping once awhile to take a drink and wipe the sweat off their faces.

Website: O Ultimo Momento

French performers on a Chinese pole during the TiniTinou Circus performance.

French performers on a Chinese pole during the TiniTinou Circus performance.

Here’s a video snippet of the French circus performers.

 

More weekly circus performance in Phnom Penh!

The whole show was surprisingly good, especially from the Cambodian team who amused us all with their sketch plus circus act. It was modern, keeping with the times and hilarious. I can’t imagine the hours they put in to practice for such acts before this big day. The organizing team did well in managing the audience going in and out of the tents. A big love to them too for allowing us to take as many photos and videos as we want, to share it out with the world.

At the end of the show, we were informed that there would be a weekly circus performance at this venue starting 22nd May 2015 by the National Circus School of Cambodia with tickets going for $2.50, $5.00 and $7.50. I wouldn’t mind watching it again if their routines are different, at least there would be something to look forward to in this city during the weekends.

Me, in front of the circus tent which was in orange.

Me, in front of the circus tent which was in orange.

Address: National Circus School of Cambodia. National Assembly Street (near Tonle Basaac Market), Phnom Penh, Cambodia | Show Time: Every Friday evening @ 6:30pm | Tickets: $2.50, $5.00 and $7.50 | Website: NSCOC | FB: #Tinitinou |

 

About Yafieda Jamil

A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.

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