How Like An Angel

How Like An Angel is a show for six acrobats of Australian contemporary circus group Circa and nine singers of I Fagiolini.


The idea of putting the two groups together came from Jonathan Holloway, former director of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Perth International Arts Festival (where the show was premiered in 2012). The show was created by Yaron Lifschitz and Robert Hollingworth, Circa and I Fagiolini’s respective directors.

Acrobat in frong of a stained glass window

Photo by Andrew Wilkinson

“The starting point of How Like An Angel was to make a show which was as much about the  cathedrals where we would go on to perform it as about the performers who would make the show,” says Robert Hollingworth. “I could see how the beautiful work of Circa could forge a human relationship with the cathedrals and challenge everyone’s relationship to these buildings – connected with formal worship and conceived in very different times. And the music (even the variety we present in the show: Renaissance motets,  a medieval monody, South African church music and a commission from Adrian Williams) would have an intrinsic relation to such spaces.  But circus and a capella vocal music function in such fundamentally different ways that making something more than a soundtrack to the physical action initially foxed us.

I Fagiolini in Norwich: three singers next to a stained-glass window.

Photo by Danny Higgins

“What made the show and became apparent over the rehearsal and performance process was both groups’ commitment to each other and to the spaces they performed in. Rudi Mineur (acrobat) talks about this in the film, referring not to the amazing ‘tricks’ but to the expressive language through which Circa communicates and which became heavily affected by the extraordinary spaces they found themselves in.

The film of the show

Polyphonic Films presents a response to the show in film, capturing the essence of this ground-breaking collaboration.  It was released on DVD in May 2013.  Buy the DVD here   Click here for more details.

Live show toured in 2012-16

In the summer of 2013, the show returned to tour to Brighton, Norwich, Salisbury and London with sold-out audiences and great reviews. In 2014 there were performances in New York at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival and in 2016 the show premieres in Norway.

Follow I Fagiolini on Twitter