The four of us, (Asba, Srishti, Suhaan and Usha) accompanied by Roohi aunty went to Auroville, Pondicherry for a dance/circus workshop. The workshop was held in our teacher, Calou’s circus dome. The dome was white and made of metal, with a blue and green fibreglass circle on the very top, to let the light in.
The circular floor was red-oxide on the outside, cement inside, with tiles decoratively placed everywhere. There was a wooden seating along the edge of the floor. Around the fibreglass, there were metal rods, from which there hung pink and green aerial silks, and trapezes.
At one end of the dome, there were two sliding doors with mirrors, that out to a small storage room. It had a spongy mattress, yoga mats, magic chairs, juggling balls, hula hoops and unicycles.
We started off with simple yoga stretches. This was followed by Calou demonstrating simple moves on the looped aerial silk. She also showed us some acro yoga. We then moved onto the aerial silks, where we learned to climb up in two different ways and come down gracefully. She taught us to do splits, flips and how to hold ourselves up without our hands.
By the second day, our arms were sore, and we couldn’t lift our own bodies. We could barely climb up 10 ft and wrap our feet around the silks; Calou had to help us with that. We also spent a lot of time on the trapeze, which was seven feet off the floor.
We stood on it, hung from it, and wrapped ourselves around it and let go of our hands! We used ‘magic’ chairs to do shoulder stands and flips. We also juggled. It required a lot of concentration and was quite difficult. Finally, Calou showed us a few tricks with hula-hoop and we were done. Calou was friendly, and a very good teacher. She spoke with a thick French accent.