Bathed in ethereal stage lighting, Yamoussa Bangoura combines strength with grace as he pirouettes like a ballet dancer, suspended by ropes above a captivated audience. A single female voice over a haunting drone provides musical accompaniment, while a giant glowing moon forms the eerie backdrop. The moment is suspenseful, a piece of stage magic. The young star is a natural-born performer.
“When I do circus, all the bad things go away”, says Yamoussa, who grew up in poverty-stricken Guinea. Now, his dream is to form an all-African troupe from Guinea’s best homegrown talent, to give others from his community the chance to travel the world performing. In this, he has much in common with Guillaume Saladin, a circus veteran with whom he has shared a stage. Guillaume also grew up a world away from the international circus scene and, like Yamoussa, wants to take circus back to his local community; a remote Inuit village plagued by an alarming rate of suicide amongst its youth.