Upside-down circus act entertains shoppers at Parkway
Duo famous for upside down act entertain shoppers at Parkway Parade
This is their first time in Singapore, but they have managed to turn our world upside down.
Performing duo Kai Leclerc, 45, who was born in Italy, and Ms Katrina Graholska, 26, from Latvia, will be performing The Upside Down Act at Parkway Parade shopping centre this whole week.
Their act is part of the mall's Great Singapore Sale festivities.
They will be performing three times daily until Sunday.
The Upside Down Act has been performed in Germany, the US and Switzerland.
Ms Graholska will be performing contortionist and aerial acts accompanied by Mr Leclerc, who will be walking, juggling and singing upside down.
The unique act takes place from a height of almost 10m above ground and will feature a short theatre and comedy skit.
The New Paper got to hang out with the duo from Kaiopoli Productions, a performing circus based in Switzerland, as they clowned around before their first performance last Friday.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO COME UP WITH THE UPSIDE DOWN ACT?
Mr Leclerc: I had a dream; that dream was to walk upside down. The very first upside down act took place about 100 years ago. The Ringling Brothers had a piece of metal on the roof and they stuck suction cups to their feet to walk upside down.
Ms Graholska: Of course, this was very dangerous, so they had a safety net below.
Mr Leclerc: They fell down very often, too.
My father was an architect, so whenever we wanted toys, we had to build them from scratch. So I decided to develop the act and make it my own. I experimented with paraplegic technology and special titanium.
WHAT'S YOUR SECRET TO HANGING UPSIDE DOWN?
Mr Leclerc: Aircraft technology, lift technology, and... something I cannot tell you.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR THE SHOW?
Ms Graholska: I run every day to keep in shape. I also do exercises to strengthen my muscles, but not too much because I'm afraid that my arms might become too big or muscular.
Mr Leclerc: I eat, drink coffee and pray. (Laughs) But I don't drink alcohol. Alcohol takes energy away from the muscles. Sometimes I go jogging. She (Katrina) makes me.
HOW DO YOU STAY UPSIDE DOWN FOR SO LONG?
Mr Leclerc: People think the hardest part (of staying upside down) is the blood going to your head, but the real problem is in the legs.
When there is less blood in your legs, your muscles become like stone.
I also have to be disciplined about my weight. I can't be heavier than 90kg.
Usually, I stay upside down for six to seven minutes, but the longest I've gone is 25 minutes.
Ms Graholska: His head will swell up like a balloon and become red whenever he hangs upside down for too long.
Mr Leclerc: To counter that, I usually put on a lot of white make-up on my face. But my doctor says that being upside down is actually good for blood circulation. It's complicated, but it supposedly "cleans" your veins.
WHAT'S THE HARDEST PART ABOUT YOUR ACT?
Mr Leclerc: I had to learn how to drink water upside down. You have to make sure it doesn't go down the wrong tube. If it does, it's terrible.
People think the hardest part (of staying upside down) is the blood going to your head, but the real problem is in the legs.
- Mr Kai Leclerc
Ms Graholska: Entertaining people. An artist has to have good humour and tell interesting stories. You can't just walk upside down or do your aerial act and expect people to be entertained.