Base Plume

Jul 31 2014 Sophie Tessier


Interview with Mark Pieklo, Laura Smith’s partner at the Korean cradle, Hawaiian with polish roots who dreamt to be a juggler before becoming a cradle base.


How did you begin circus?

I started juggling as a leisure when I was in high school and at university studying maths. Then I realised I loved circus a thousand times more than maths. And I enter the ENC in Montreal, thinking I would become a juggler. But during the first year, you learn different disciplines and I discovered the base part. When you are a juggler, you are alone, nobody cares for you. The aerial disciplines seemed attracted to me because it is very physical. And when I met Laura who was finishing her studies in trampoline, we chose to work together. When we went out from school, we worked everywhere, even at San Diego Zoo. After a while with irregular contracts, we met the Cirque Plume, our two universes had good connections: we spent 12 years on tour with the show Plic Ploc and l’Atelier du peintre.


What did you think when Feria Musica invited you to work on Daral Shaga?

I was working for an event in Belgium, casually, and I met Philippe who was looking for Korean cradle acrobats, which is so rare! The project interested me a lot, mostly thanks to the link with opera.


What does this theme of the show – immigration – mean for you?

It brings a dramatic dimension that is new for me (with Plume, the atmosphere of the show was more gentle). And this theme is related to my own family history, especially the story of my grandparents who lived the World War II. Their village in Poland suddenly became part of Ukraine, they were ejected from their own house and forced to move in a city more in the west, located then in Germany. It was a real shock for them, they found themselves at the intersection of several countries, without being able to belong to one of them. I come from a family where things have been shaken up many times. My identity is made of those movements.


© Photo : Hubert Amiel

This post is also available in: French