Zip Zap circus school set to wow on the global stage

THE ZIP ZAP CCircus School has been a landmark feature of the Cape Town nonprofit and performing arts landscape.

THE ZIP ZAP CCircus School has been a landmark feature of the Cape Town nonprofit and performing arts landscape.

Published Jan 28, 2024


Cape Town - The Zip Zap Circus School has been a landmark feature of the Cape Town non-profit and performing arts landscape.

Founded in 1992 by South African flying trapeze artist, Brent van Rensburg and French-born, Laurence Estève, the troupe has been creating safe spaces for children to learn circus art, life skills and develop a sense of togetherness.

Their free youth and outreach programmes have given birth to many talented performers – hundreds of whom have been given the chance to live their dream of travelling the world while sharing their creative passions.

Zip Zap’s professional troupe has spent the past three years developing and honing their contemporary circus narrative, MOYA, a story of hope.

The performers tell their stories through juggling, aerial arts, acrobatics and dance – tales of tough beginnings, some living on the streets. All searching for belonging. Having progressed through Zip Zap’s non-profit programmes, their show reveals encountering a circus family which fosters trust, community and, eventually, joy.

After receiving rave reviews from audiences in Cape Town and Johannesburg, the home-grown story is set to take the world stage by storm this year and beyond.

The first stop is this weekend in Port Louis, Mauritius, at the Caudan Arts Centre. From there, they are off to theatres in Dubai, Minneapolis and France, with some surprise runs in their back pocket.

Internationally renowned Zip Zap performer Phelelani Ndakrokra said:

“I’m living my big dream. To get to travel the world, sharing my story through my art, and then getting to come home and teach the next generation is what I want to do with my life.”

Co-founder, Brent van Rensburg represents the South African Social Circus at the biggest international circus event of the year.

Each year, the Cirque de Demain (Circus of the World) sees coaches, performers, directors and agents unite around a common love of circus. The competition is the ultimate invitation for circus performers to present their act in Paris, France.

This year, Van Rensburg has been selected as the president of the jury. With this appointment, the president of Cirque de Demain Alan Pacherie is once again showing his support for Zip Zap as well as the value of social circus.

“I truly admire (Zip Zap’s) founders, Laurence and Brent. For me, they are a true source of inspiration and we have been looking for an occasion to invite them to France for a long time.”

The competition began on Thursday and ends with the announcement of the winners tomorrow.

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