High-flying New Zealand circus artist Rosita Hendry (27) is about to descend on Dunedin – literally.
An aerial gymnast and specialist on the cyr wheel, Hendry is one of 12 circus arts performers in spectacular touring show Cirkopolis, which comes to the Regent Theatre next week.
Speaking from Christchurch, where the show opened yesterday for a run of eight performances, Hendry reflected on her extraordinary year.
Graduating after three years studying at Canada’s Ecole nationale de cirque (National Circus School), in Montreal, Hendry was hired by Cirque du Soleil to perform in the Pan Am games in Toronto and then to take on the lead role in its new show, Stone.
Three months ago, Hendry joined French-Canadian troupe Cirque Eloize and became part of the cast of multidisciplined international acrobatic artists who perform in Cirkopolis.
So far, she has performed with Cirkopolis for a month in Brazil, then Paris for a month, and now is home in New Zealand.
“I have been so incredibly fortunate that these opportunities have opened up for me, one after the other,” Hendry said.
“I’ve been living out of New Zealand for almost six years now so I’m super excited to be home,” she said.
Cirkopolis follows an office worker as they try to break away from the routine of life, and combines humour with mind-blowing acrobatics, theatre and dance.
Along with testing the limits of gravity, Hendry and her fellow performers showcase a range of circus arts disciplines, including the cyr wheel.
Resembling a giant, metal hoop, the cyr wheel is used to create spinning and rolling tricks and, as is often the case, is definitely harder to master than it looks.
“It doesn’t spin on its own, even though it looks like that, and if you do make mistakes – such as hitting yourself with the metal hoop, or rolling over your fingers or toes – it really does hurt,” Hendry said.
She also performs as an aerialist in the show, a discipline requiring a lot of upper body strength and flexibility.
Hendry finds performing hugely rewarding.
“I am deeply aware of the immense privilege to be given the opportunities to do what I love,” she said.
Cirkopolis has been performed in more than 30 countries to international acclaim.
The show is on at Dunedin’s Regent Theatre from Thursday, November 23, to Sunday, November 26.
The Star has a double pass to the November 24 performance of Cirkopolis at the Regent Theatre to give away.
To enter the draw, answer the following question: What is the correct name of the giant hoop used by Rosita Hendry in the show?
Write your answer on the back of an envelope, along with your name and daytime phone number, and post to: Cirkopolis competition, The Star, PO Box 517, Dunedin.
Or send your answer and phone number by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the words “Cirkopolis Competition” in the subject line.
Entries close at 5pm on Tuesday, November 21.