SHOPPERS at Gurney Plaza got a taste of the upcoming George Town Festival (GTF) 2019 in Penang through a pre-event Pop-Up Performance.
Two foreign acts — Mesama by Su e Giu Circus and Rainbow Show by Lee Junsang — impressed with their fun and engaging segments.
Mesama explored the strange relationship between two persons played by Spaniard Aitor Esteban Lorenzo and Italian Victoire D’antino.
Onlookers were drawn into a surprise-filled adventure that combined physical theatre and circus-like acrobatics, which elicited both laughter and awe.
Lorenzo said they had performed together for around six years, winning accolades like Best Circus Performance of Aragon 2016, a regional Spanish award.
In 2015, they were also named Youth Circus Winner of Aragon 2015 and got a Special Honours of the Jury mention at the Concurso Off de Calle event in Zaragoza.
This was one of their rare performances in Asia and they were glad it resonated with audiences of all ages, particularly families.
“It is all about the human relationship between two individuals, in its primal form,” D’antino said of the show at the mall’s Extension Wing Atrium recently.
“Our performances have some improvisation based on the location we are in and also the crowd’s reaction,” he added.
South Korean performer Lee was similarly engaging with the crowd whilst exhibiting his many talents, among them juggling fruits and defying gravity with a crystal ball.
But it was his mastery of the diabolo that had the crowd spellbound. At times tossing the prop almost the entire height of the atrium, Lee demonstrated why he is regarded as one of the best diabolo players in his homeland.
A Gold prize-winner of the Taiwan Formosa International Diabolo Competition, he has also made appearances in numerous Korean entertainment shows as well as two previous Chinese New Year street festivals here in Penang.
“The diabolo is my life and it is great that I get to share my life with everyone here,” he told the crowd at the end of his performance.
Urging the public to turn up in numbers for the GTF which runs from July 13 to 28, Lee added, “Please support it so performers like me can come back and entertain you.”
Gurney Plaza centre manager Peter Chan said it was the mall’s sixth year supporting the GTF, a collaboration they hope to continue in years to come.
“In Europe, families often take their children to such shows from a young age. This isn’t the case here, so we wanted to create a platform.
“This gives them a taste of performing arts and hopefully cultivates interest. It is not easy getting all these talents here from across the world,” Chan added.
The GTF is now entering its 10th year. Themed ‘A Festival for Everyone’ this year, its aim is to make the arts accessible to all regardless of age or background.
It features a vast amount of visual art, theatre, music, dance, film, photography and other events. Some are ticketed, but many are free to attend.
For detailed programme and ticketing info, visit georgetown- festival.com, email to email@example.com or call 012-6646251 (10am to 5pm daily).
Otherwise, follow George Town Festival on Facebook, georgetownfestival on Instagram, @GT_Festival on Twitter or GTFpg on YouTube.