Clothelines puts spin on circus act

Last updated 05:00 03/02/2014

ROUNDABOUT: Tess Munro Pedreros, creator of the Fringe Festival show Between the Lines, where an strengthened everyday washing line is turned into an exciting circus apparatus.

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Wellington circus performer Tess Munro Pedreros is keen to defy the stuffy circus stereotypes of clowns and somersaulting dogs with her new show Between the Lines.

Her team will be bringing their circus to the Fringe Festival, with the unique twist of the entire performance taking place on top of a clothesline.

The 26-year-old, who lives in Newtown, says this is her first self-produced show in New Zealand and her first time at the festival, after beginning circus performance five years ago.

"About five years ago I did a gap year in Chile because I'm half Chilean. So I went over there to meet everyone and learn Spanish," she says.

While in Chile, she met up with a friend of her father who was involved in stage art and mentioned circus school.

"I ended up going there for two years. It was really good but really hard work."

Munro Pedreros says that enrolling at the circus school was somewhat out of character for her.

"My mum is really excited about the show but she didn't believe me when I said I wanted to go to circus school because I wasn't big on exercise. She's amazed at how it's changed me."

But she says circus has opened up international opportunities, with nine months at a circus school in China and three with a circus troupe in Nepal.

"That gave me the confidence to develop my own show, which I've always wanted," she says.

Other performers in Between the Lines include aerial dancer Andrea Knox, poet Ben Fagan and Evelyn Coulson.

Munro Pedreros says she was interested in turning everyday objects into performance props for a while.

"We had the apparatus built especially. It spins and has the big crossbar, pretty much like a standard washing line only a lot safer. Don't try it at home."

The different aspects of the show connect the concept of the laundry cycle to the cycles of life, she says.

Munro Pedreros says the Fringe Festival is an incredibly helpful platform for emerging artists.

"There is something for everyone. Humour and wit, beautiful dance and talent and a bit of audience participation too."


Between the Lines will be on at Glover Park, Te Aro on February 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 6pm. Koha appreciated.

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- The Dominion Post


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