Life changing

Circus for Every Body

Extraordinary Bodies is the UK’s leading integrated circus company. Claire Hodgson, the group’s Co-Artistic Director, has seen first hand how National Lottery players have had an impact on the wellbeing of real people.

"In a room full of circus equipment Derek tries aerial hoop for the first time. He’s good – really good. He moves into upside down formations in silks at some height. Derek is 65 and a recovering alcoholic. He lived with alcoholism for over 40 years and now he’s discovering his talent for aerial work.

"Across the room is Susan, who two days ago, when asked “What are you worth?” whispered “Nothing really” as she laid down on the floor. Now she writes “I am worth to be loved and to be held while I am here and to be missed when I am gone”.

"Dergin twirls wildly on his crutches, lifting the weight of his body through his arms until he is fully vertical. Later, we lift him high into the air in his wheelchair on a pulley system.

"We’ve brought people together through circus, writing and theatre: people who are in recovery, people with mental health problems, with physical impairments, people who are learning disabled and people living in poverty. We believe that people who are marginalised can give us a fresh perspective on how our society might value everyone more fully. Our mantra is ‘Circus for Every Body’."

Where you come in

"We have been funded entirely by National Lottery funding, through Arts Council England since our beginnings in 2012. We are a range of ages, backgrounds and experiences and we are changing circus and performance, so people can see themselves represented on stage.

"I want you to have a sense of the lives being enhanced and transformed when you buy a National Lottery ticket. Funding through National Lottery ticket sales fulfils our dream of making a circus company that shows the beautiful and infinite diversity of humans.

Next time you buy a ticket I want you to close your eyes and see Derek who is flying and having a second chance at this life."

Interested in Arts Council England funding?

Credit: What Am I Worth?, Extraordinary Bodies © Dom Moore

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