Circus performers have always had an itch to travel - Caravans and trains load up and move from city to city, tents are erected and dismantled, and the performances themselves are unique and fleeting. Now two acrobats from the Acrojou circus have created a circular, modular home called 'The Wheel House' that literally rolls through town! The duo decked out their modified German Wheel with all of the necessities for an adventure and then took off down the street in a sweet, comedic narrative that draws upon elements of navigation, personal relationship, and whimsical architecture.
Acrojou was formed in 2006 by artistic directors Jeni Barnard and Barney White. The Wheel House is one of the duo’s six shows that incorporate circus, theater, and design. Outfitted with doors, windows, kitchen accessories, and a bed, The Wheel House exists in a topsy-turvy state of perpetual motion. The rig measures 0.8 m deep x 2.15 m high x 2.15 m long and weighs a hefty 215 kg. Taking advantage of ropes and amazing physical skill, the pair walk around the inside of their home, propelling it along its path. Emerging every so often to take their bearings, the travelers roll across the landscape in their 25 minute performance.
Audiences are able to walk alongside their journey to witness the spectacle. The performers briefly pause along their way to complete daily tasks transformed from the mundane into the absurd due to the nature of their surroundings. The project is a cross between “visual theater”, circus, and architecture, and the house is as much of a character as the humans inside the wheel.
Over 10,000 people have seen The Wheel House all over the world, and the piece is available to be booked for festivals and special events. The entire set can break down into three small boxes for international travel and can be reassembled on site. A hidden PA system operated by the performers provides their tumbling with a musical soundtrack. Melding design with the traditions of live performance, The Wheel House reinterprets space and compels the audience to reflect on how they function and move around one another in their own apartments and houses.
Via My Modern Met
Images via Acrojou and Steve White.