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Published : March 25, 2017

Midlandia Urban Circus and Comedy Festival Launch.

Words: Juanita Pirozzi
The launch of the Midlandia Urban Circus and Comedy Festival took place on Thursday 23 March 2017 at Midland Oval.
Standing at a plywood table in the beer garden of Midlandia on a cool evening, I sipped my Hurricane cocktail and munched on the delicious Pulled Pork Brioche Burger, courtesy of Greenhorns Eat House. The DJ enhanced the evening with his dance music playlist from mostly the 1990’s and 2000’s. Listening to the sounds of Fat Boy Slim’s Praise You, TLC’s No Scrubs, along with Gwen Stefani and Eve’s Let Me Blow Ya Mind provided a reminiscent backdrop to the relaxed outdoor setting.
Then it was time to line up at the tent to see the 360 ALL STARS, a talented circus group whose acts are based on improvised forms of rotation. Featuring in the 360 ALL STARS was Peter Sore, a two-time world champion BMX Flatlander, Bboy Physicx and Bboy Leerok, who are two world champion breakdancers, a basketball freestyler known only as Basketball Man, and Rhys Miller, a roue cyr artist. Musician, Gene Peterson provided the catchy soundtrack with loop artist, Sam Perry.
Each performer from the 360 ALL STARS entertained the crowd by spinning themselves around with their props in clever and complex ways. This started with Peter Sore who rode his BMX bicycle in circles on the stage performing stunts where he contorted his body as well as the bike. Eventually he swapped this for a unicycle which he then wowed the audience by balancing it on his chin! Since that wasn't enough Sore did the same with the bicycle too.
The spinning theme continued with the Bboy Physicx and Bboy Leerok who engaged in a live action breakdancing video game where they tried to one-up each other with their headspins, one armed handstands, and doing the worm across the stage. Rhys Miller made his carefully timed spins of the cyr wheel look deceptively easy. Miller went on to impress the audience by balancing himself inside the cyr wheel as he rotated in a 360 degree angle. Miller spun inside the cyr wheel so many times that I got dizzy just watching him.
The most crowd pleasing act was from Basketball Man. The stage backdrop featured a banner with the words DO NOT PRESS with a red button underneath it. The act began with him toying with one basketball before leading the audience into a chant of ‘PRESS IT! PRESS IT! PRESS IT!’ The idea being that each time he pressed the button, another basketball was added to his complicated repertoire. Not only did Basketball Man wind up dribbling five balls with both hands, he spun two of them on top of each other with one finger, and balanced one basketball on the back of his neck so he could remove his jersey without dropping the ball! As far as novelty sports entertainment goes, Basketball Man’s tricks were worthy of the Harlem Globetrotters.
Hysterical dance moves and amusing scenarios from the circus group resulted in giggles and applause from the audience. Everyone laughed with Bboy Physicx who was too scared to jump into the hoop so he jumped onto Rhys Miller for a bear hug instead. The audience showed their support as Bboy Physicx eventually succeeded. Seeing the group onstage together for a collaborative performance brought their set to a riveting close.
I have no doubt the 360 ALL STARS will continue to thrill crowds with their physically charged spins and rotations during their show times at Midlandia.
The Midlandia Urban Circus and Comedy Festival runs from the 23 March – 2 April 2017. Please click on the following links for more information on Midlandia events and to pre-book show tickets.

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