Pedal Punk, a new circus performance riding in on cycling’s ever-increasing popularity, receives its world premiere in New York next month. Conceived by Cirque du Soleil alum Chris Lashua, clowns, trampolinists and dancers all feature in Cirque Mechanics‘ production.
Central to the show is The Gantry, a pedal-powered movable stage equipped with climbing frames and trampolines. ‘It’s a man-powered portable circus platform,’ said Lashua in an interview on the company’s YouTube channel. ‘[It] allows for aerial artists to be lifted via a bicycle that climbs the truss vertically.’
Although The Gantry weighs close to 3000 pounds just two cyclists can move it. The show also features artists performing with a variety of other apparatus built from recycled bike parts.
‘What makes what we do different is that we strive to showcase the relationship between the mechanical apparatus and the circus act,’ added Lashua. The Gantry itself can move at up to five miles an hour and allows the show to be performed outside of traditional theatre spaces.
From a marketing perspective Pedal Punk could not come at a better time. Between 2000 and 2013 bicycle commuting increased by 62 per cent in the USA, while 100,000 more people are cycling regularly in the UK in 2015 than three years ago.
Since it was founded in 2005 Cirque Mechanics has performed in over 40 US states as well as in Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia. Previous shows include The Orchestra Project and Boom Town, which explored the American gold rush.
Pedal Punk premieres at New Victory Theatre, with an initial run from December 4-January 3.