Announcing Bassalto! The New Creative Europe Funambulism Ensemble!

Creative Europe funded funambulist ensemble announced after January auditions

We are delighted to announce the happy news that we now have our 5 chosen artists for the new funambulism ensemble as part of our Wires Crossed project: Head, Heart, Balance, funded by Creative Europe.

Wires Crossed: Head, Heart, Balance
, is a Creative Europe Small-Scale Co-operation project, running from Oct 2019 – Sept 2022. The programme will focus on the creation of a new professional Funambulism Ensemble 'Bassalto', the creation of a new funambulism performance and scientific research into the neurological effects of funambulism on the brain.

The project will be lead by Ecole de Cirque de Bruxelles along with Galway Community Circus, The Serious Road Trip Romania , Université Libre de Bruxelles ULB and Associate Partners: NUI Galway NUIG, Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture Galway 2020, Timisoara 2021 European Capital of Culture Timisoara 2021.

Led by Director Sergi Ots, Choreographer Mariona Moya Monsuner and Technical Manager Bruno Frenette, Bassalto will complete residencies in Galway, Brussels and Timisoara over the course of the project, performing a show in each place with a group of 10 amateurs from each location!

The all female ensemble were chosen after auditioning last month in Belgium. The name 'Bassalto' is a fusion of 'basalt'-taken from the basalt columns of the Giant's Causeway, Ireland, and the legend that accompanies that area and 'basso'/'alto'- 'low' and 'high', referencing the wires at different heights that will be used for their performance. Speaking of the performance and energy behind the ensemble, Director Sergi Ots had this to say:

The name 'Bassalto' first came when it was decided that the first presentation of the ensemble would premiere in Galway, Ireland. We quickly thought of one of the most breathtaking natural landscapes of Europe, located in Northern Ireland: The Giant’s Causeway. This geological area is made up of basalt stone, and basalt is a volcanic rock that covers almost 70% of the planet's surface, and has a unique hexagonal column shape produced by the crystallization of the fiery lava from the earth's interior, suddenly cooling when it reaches the Earth's surface. In addition to this journey and its morphological transformation, which is undoubtedly a magnificent spectacle of nature, this place has a beautiful legend. It is said that the basalt remains of the area are what remains of a huge bridge that once linked Ireland with Scotland, crossed by giants. One day these giants became angry and destroyed the connection between the islands, leaving this place as the only vestige of the bridge. The motivation for this project, is to metaphorically reconstruct this bridge made of basalt, to start the journey that would unite us with the continent and take us on the way to Brussels and later to Timisoara.

The second concept from which the ‘Bassalto’ name was born was the conjunction between the words 'basso' (bass in Italian) and 'alto' (high). The configuration and technical design of the show will provide two different heights where funambulists will work. This offers us the opportunity to dramaturgically create two worlds- the lowest cable and the higher cable will represent a transfer between two worlds, an ephemeral bridge that can unite two territories, just like the giant’s basalt bridge.

Profiles of the artists involved will be published on our Facebook page in the coming weeks: Wires Crossed