25 Live
August 1, 2017
Zip Zap Academy Grand Opening
September 2, 2017

Zip Zap Academy

Zip Zap expands with a custom-built circus academy

After a quarter-century of promoting circus and performance arts in structurally challenging environments, Zip Zap Circus is excited to announce their expansion into their first permanent home in Salt River.

Over the last 25 years, co-founders, Brent van Rensburg and Laurence Estève have raised and lead their Zip Zap Circus troupe from strength to strength. They have worked through and overcome many challenges over the years; the greatest of these has been the endless search for adequate venues to teach circus skills to young, eager South African children and youths. From underequipped schools in Langa, to abandoned warehouses, no challenge has been too great to thwart the passion firmly lodged in the co-founders hearts – to use circus arts and performance as tools for social transformation, youth empowerment, and community upliftment.

“The new, vibrantly painted academy captures circus magic in its structure, the centrally-located performance stage projects a theatrical atmosphere, and the variety of rooms and spaces create the possibility for different learning experiences” says Y Tsai of Tsai Design Studio, who tailor designed the building specifically for Zip Zap. “We have quite literally been breaking down barriers and walls to create a more permanent space for our growing circus family,” adds Estève.

Zip Zap’s current accommodation, the Dome in Founders Garden, situated in the foreshore behind the Artscape Theatre has functioned as a multipurpose facility for the past nine years. With the expansion to the Academy in Salt River there will be greater capacity to cater for growing outreach and youth programmes. The Dome will continue to be used for performances, to conduct workshops, and to train its growing and sought-after wing of professional performers. It is also available for hire for corporate functions.

The generous support of its sponsors enables the organization to lease the building at a nominal fee for the next 10 years with the option to purchase when funds are available.

To kick-start this, the Artscape is kindly supporting Zip Zap’s efforts by providing the Opera Stage for the second collaboration between Zip Zap and homegrown talent The Parlotones ‘25 LIVE’ which is taking place on the nights of 30 and 31 August and 01 September 2017. Tickets are available via Computicket for general admission, or via Jillian on 021 421 86 23/ jillian@zip-zap.co.zajillian@zip-zap.co.za for VIP tickets.

All funds generated throughout Zip Zap’s 25th birthday this year will be used towards setting up the Zip Zap Academy in order to provide more space for greater numbers of little hearts to experience the magic of circus.

“We have long dreamed of having a permanent home and our dream is finally becoming a reality. This is a great message for our young performers as we always tell them, ‘dare to dream’ and now they will see how our dream is coming true,” says van Rensburg.