Acrobuffos comedic duo of Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone have performed in 18
countries, and teach social circus in post-conflict zones. They incorporate
acrobatics, clowning, juggling, mask theatre, and Seth’s special skill of
shooting five streams of water through his teeth. When they married in
Hangzhou, China, in 2007, Christina wore a dress of white balloons. Here they
talk about bringing their show Air Play
How did you both get started in acrobatics?
Seth started off as
a juggler and Christina as a ballerina. We both wanted to make
people laugh so we each trained in clowning and physical theatre schools.
Seth went to three clown schools, and Christina went to Princeton.
How did you then meet and team up?
We met in Kabul,
Afghanistan, in 2003. Christina was performing in refugee camps and
Seth was creating a circus for adults and kids.
Later, we starting performing together and fell in love along the
way. We were engaged while working in Edinburgh, Scotland, and married during
a comedy festival in Hangzhou, China. We’ve performed in China nine different
times and are excited to bring our new show Air
What was the inspiration for Air Play?
We wanted to create
a show that was both beautiful and funny, and could be enjoyed
everywhere in the world. We collaborated with an artist (Daniel Wurtzel) who
makes gorgeous, moving sculptures with air. We put our
comedy and his art together in a show to make a
breathtaking new theatrical style.
Can you give us a rundown of the story of Air Play? Two children enter a fantasy
world—are there any more details you can share?
For us, Air Play is a beautiful visual poem
(without words!) about childhood and friendship. The
story you see depends on your own imagination. We love talking
to people after the show and hearing about what they experience. The characters
float giant fabrics over the audience, climb into huge balloons, battle
with umbrellas that fly fifty feet in the air, and play inside an enormous snow
What is the hardest thing about putting on a
show like Air Play? The easiest
We work with air,
and every theater has its own air currents that affect the show,
so we never know what’s going to happen. At every moment something could
go wrong and we have to improvise to save the show. We don’t know if there
is an easiest thing, but the best thing is hearing the laughter from audiences
around the world. Sometimes, too, they cry because we touch their hearts.