Seven of the city’s Zip Zap Circus performers have been invited to the Ivory Coast to participate in the second edition of the Intercultural Encounters of Circus of Abidjan Festival. Photo: Irene McCullagh
Cape Town – The city’s Zip Zap Circus has set its sights on wooing Ivory Coast circus lovers after being invited to an international circus festival in Abidjan later this month.

Zip Zap performers will share the stage with organisations from around the world at the second edition of the Intercultural Encounters of Circus of Abidjan Festival from January 26 to February 11.

They will also take part in workshops and interventions with schools and youngsters from Ivorian communities.

Zip Zap founder and artistic director Brent van Rensburg said seven of their performers, aged 18 to 25, and comprising six males and one female, would be representing the circus and South Africa at the two-week festival.

They are Jason Barnard, Phelelani Ndakrokra, Jacobus Claassen, Inathi Zungule, Aviwe Mfundisi, group leader Mosuli Ntshonga and Masixole Mbambatho.

“I feel very privileged that Zip Zap has such a good name in the international circus world. We keep getting invited to these festivals and competitions around the globe.

“This will be the 36th international tour to more than 20 countries by Zip Zap. Our first tour was in 1996 to Denmark.

“This time the young Zip Zap performers who are now the leaders of our programme will be doing the entire tour by themselves, which includes installing the equipment and taking care of the technical sides, which are the lights and the sound, as well as performing in the show,” Van Rensburg said.

“So basically I’m handing over the baton to the young adults of Zip Zap. This will be the first international tour where they will be taking full responsibility for all aspects of the tour.”

Van Rensburg said that companies from countries such as Canada, France, Japan, Ethiopia, New Guinea and Morocco would participate in the festival, and he hoped South Africa would be a future host country for the festival.