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We are used to musical shows brought to us by cultural institutes, or film festivals introducing us to different cultures. But on Thursday May 14th, the Alliance Ethio-Francaise brought us a more hands-on entertainment with Group Thomas Guerineau and the jugglers of Mozambique.
The group uses balls and plastic bags to perform juggling and to make it performance even more mesmerizing, the juggling is accompanied by rhythmical percussion, chanting and dancing.
Born in 1972, Thomas Guerineau started juggling when he was 15 years old. Later on, he was trained in acrobatics, mime, dancing and music at the Annie Fratellini School, the first circus school in France named after its founder, Annie Violette Fratellini.
Then, the opportunity came for the artist to travel to Manila, Philippines as well as to work in research workshops with the likes of Dominique Boivin, Francesca Lattuada and Sophie Meyer, well known names in the industry.
During his school years, Thomas created a short play called Tango, juggling with Bruno Lanteri. His attraction for dance made him participate in opera ballets in which he worked with choreographers Alban Richard and Tessa Beaumont.
In his performances on stage, his entire body is engaged in the movement and object handling. Guerineau gave his juggling a theatrical and musical look. Each rebound of the ball on the percussions makes a sound, a rhythm and serve as a rhythmic base for the voice.
Thomas has created several contemporary inspirational shows such as “Hush” and “Touch a Burning City” in which the job of juggling, dance and music are intertwined.
In 2007, Thomas founded and directed the House of Juggling which has now become one of the largest international juggling festivals.