The rise of contemporary circus is a universal phenomenon. Hannu Karjalainen don't have our own space, and there are not so many places that will show productions from outside their own companies." That means Circo Aereo travels extensively, and out of at least 150 performances in 2007, more than half were staged outside Finland. Although the company is comprised of just three full-time performing members, Circo Aereo is supplemented when necessary by freelance performers and frequently collaborates with musicians. "We are very low tech in our shows," says Maksim. "We are on a very intimate, human scale. Even if we have 26 people on stage, as we did for the Louisiana circus when we collaborated with the Finnish UMO Jazz ensemble, the space was for just 150 people, with 20 musicians and six circus performers. It was a miracle that we could fit it all in! You could feel the air move as the trapeze artists flew through the air. I was directing that one, so I could watch and enjoy the performance every night!" PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES Although they see their work in the adult context of pushing back artistic boundaries, a childlike enthusiasm shines through in all members of the group. Maksim's interest in the circus started when he was a young boy, who borrowed library books that showed him how to do magic tricks. He learned to juggle when he was about 12 years old. "I tried other things, such as studying at university, but it became clear that the circus was for me." Maksim met another co-founder of the troupe, Jani Nuutinen, in the mid-1990s and the company was founded in 1996. "We both started to feel that there were more possibilities for circus than people in Finland realised at the time. From the beginning we were quite experimental, exploring areas where circus had not gone before. We started to cooperate with other performers, such as musicians and dancers, and the next step was when Jani went to study circus in France. We opened an office in France, and had producers in both countries. Then our third member, dancer and acrobat Sanna Silvennoinen, joined the company." "I always went to circus when I was young and I watched it on TV but I never thought I would be doing circus for a living," recalls Jani. "It was my cousin who taught me threeball juggling and that opened the door for me. I realised that it is something that can be done even if you don't come from a circus family. In circus there are so many disciplines and in the beginning I wanted to do everything. "When I met Maksim and we started to work together, I decided that my Number One discipline would be juggling," Jani continues. "Before deciding to do circus for a living I wanted to be an architect or a stage set designer, and today I am doing both. Today, circus for me is still the young boy's dream of adventure and this adventure allows me to do things that I like and as a bonus I earn a living from it." Circo Aereo's umbrella shelters a prolific output of projects and collaborations; in autumn 2007, for instance, Jani was in France touring with his solo show, one part of what he calls his Object Circus trilogy. "It's an intimate and minimalist circus show in a tiny circus tent that I designed and constructed especially," he Maksim Komaro and Jani Nuutinen in "Super 8," which was a co-production with the Helsinki Festival and the Lille Circus in 2004. FEBRUARY 2008 BLUE WINGS 43
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