Trampolining at a professional level is no small feat. Trampolining while moving seems difficult. Trampolining on a moving truck with Queen Elizabeth II’s eyes on you is nearly impossible.
But Bristol-based Cirque Bijou did that and more during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant yesterday (June 5). Over 10,000 people took part in the grand finale of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations on the Mall in London.
The event was divided into four acts: For Queen and Country, The Time of Our Lives, Let’s Celebrate and Happy and Glorious. For Queen and Country presented a military parade with 1,750 people and 200 horses – one of the greatest military spectacles in modern history, organizers say.
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The Time of Our Lives celebrated seven decades of culture, music and fashion. The third act, Let’s Celebrate, chronicled the Queen’s life in 12 chapters, with a nod to her beloved corgis and horses.
Bristol-based Cirque Bijou organized the Unity chapter with disabled and able-bodied performers as well as the Paralympic rugby and basketball teams. Elite BMX stuntmen jumped on moving Land Rovers, while a Queen’s helium balloon with an aerial performer was the centerpiece. Six trampolinists and 90 hip hop dancers were also part of the cast.
And they didn’t even practice their final moment in situ – the first time was during the Pageant, in front of Buckingham Palace.
One of the performers, Geraldine Giddings, spoke to BBC Radio Bristol about the rather surreal experience of performing for the Queen. “We had never run our final until we got there, as we circled the Palace at our final moment, taking a turn, it was the first time on real tarmac. “
A rather complex affair, Geraldine shed light on how they managed to pull off such a spectacle. “There were a lot of rehearsals. Parts of the road had archways and street furniture, so we spent a week on an airfield training,” she added.
On the same day, Bristol-based Cirque Bijou found themselves parked on Embankment in London for an hour early. Their scene, a large tank on an articulated lorry bed, was to enter the City of London in parts.
“We had a masterpoint on Embankment for an hour in advance. The float had been there for about a day as we couldn’t drive it to London as it was. There were pieces that we had to remove and put back the day before the contest.
Asked if she’d been able to process the once-in-a-lifetime experience, Geraldine said: “We’ve been planning this for a year – to do this felt quite unreal. It’s going to take a little while to treat.
Find out more about Bristol-based Cirque Bijou here.