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Sarah Jane McMorrow is performing with fire and LED on the island at events, resorts and parties as Jungle Experience and Maya, having recently collaborated with Natali (also an island performer).
“Together we are creating a different kind of entertainment, a show with choreographed acts and interaction. We enjoy working together in Koh Phangan, it is the perfect place for our type of performance - the island gives us a chance to unleash our creative ideas and we are both looking to eventually move onto new adventures around the world.”
Each year a group of international circus artists come together on Koh Phangan to join Spark Circus, an organisation with a mission to reach thousands of under-privileged children through circus arts and play.
Focused on the many Burmese refugee children located on the Thai-Burmese border and providing them with the fun, joy and laughter that is sadly over looked for so many, even if it is just for a day.
Tell us about your Koh Phangan projects...
Joining Spark is such an incredible and bonding experience for the group, I learn so much in such a short space of time.
Each member of the team have his own creative ideas and flare, their own unique talents - hours were spent each day learning, teaching, skill sharing and improvising together. This was sara’s first experience of collaborating with a group to create performances.
It felt great to finally share my passion with others who felt exactly same.
The following month we continued to put on shows in refugee camps, clinics, orphanages, Burmese towns and Karen Villages, where we were hosted beautifully with each visit. Often our visit became a cultural creative exchange, with locals performing and doing shows for us! Nu Poe Refugee Camp invited us to stay at the camp itself, here we performed a fire and aerial show for over 4000 people. Alongside performing we were able to meet with and share stories and experiences with English speaking students at the camp, meeting some very interesting characters!
Travelling over dusty roads through the jungle in two tuk tuks piled high with circus toys and packed full with excited circus performers, to reach remote villages in the Karen state, Burma. We performed on valentines day, and decided to use this as a wonderful opportunity to incorporate one very important theme into our show - love. It worked beautifully.
Every child deserves freedom, fun and the right to play. The smiles and laughs we got at the end of the workshops, during parachute games and our giant dance parties at the end of each show was the best gift in return we could receive. Bringing the circus to these communities, is not only inspiring but has many other benefits for children. It can teach life skills, encourage perseverance, teamwork, trust and positive risk taking. A way to share experiences and express emotion. Spark Circus will in fact be taking a break next year to focus on refining their vision and expanding, potentially visiting children affected by the Syrian civil war.
After taking part in such a project, I have been left feeling inspired to continue on my hoop journey. The experience confirmed for me a love of the flow arts and circus, and how these arts can help people in so many ways. Returning to Koh Phangan, I set up a flow art workshops in Baan Tai, teaching hoops, poi, fans and staff. This is perfect for anyone who wants to try something new, or simply to practise with props and share with others. The flow arts provide many benefits. From coordination, balance and body awareness, to focus, alertness and persistance, not to mention a great way to stay fit. One of the most important things, is that it is a way to bring yourself to the present, completely absorbed by the task at hand. I want to share this with others, so they can discover the benefits themselves.