TK Circus, or: Tarek and Kami-Lynne

I feel so much love, writing about these two artists. Love for getting to work with them because they are ridiculously talented and driven. But also for their friendship and blessed to have them be a part of my life.

I was graduating art school. I needed a topic to photograph, and Soesja told me about Tarek, who apparently needed photos too. He invited me to come see his training. I did. Clueless about modern circus, I had NO idea what I was in for. Boy was I about to have my mind blown.

Tarek is an aerial acrobat. He’s also an amazing dancer.

SIDENOTE: my memory is terrible, there shall be mistakes in time, places or both. Also 9 years of shoots. In just one blogpost. Let’s just say I did my best to choose a good representation.

This is the first portrait (2011!), part of the first shoot we ever did together. Long story short, I graduated ;) This shoot kinda catapulted me into modern circus. -So- much more than just performing a trick, but using the body to tell a story. Fun memory: we had to work out how to communicate; my awareness of space is very different to his.

Just one other photo of my graduation series. Even though at that point I had photographed a TON of concerts, and this was also a stage right? It was fascinating to see the differences (and similarities) in the way Tarek (and his fellow artists) prepare for a show. Rituals are more physical, more introverted.

Meet Kami-Lynne. Aerial acrobat and so much more. Soon they would leave together to tour the world (don’t you just love this?). Remember that communication situation? She added a whole new layer to it with her flexibility.

It took a while before they returned, I missed them a bunch. But they came back! Hurray. Not only did they travel and work, of course they also picked up some new skills. Enter the hoop. In case you think this is a comfortable thing to hang around in, it weighs a TON and is made of STEEL.

Then their first duo straps act happened. MY GOODNESS. I loved it. Still do. There are so many moments in it I immediately wanted to capture. The intricacies are just something else entirely.

They performed it live, of course, and I got to come along. Can we also just talk about how not only flexible but also kickass strong Kami-Lynne is?

We managed a ‘goalfree’ shoot. It might be my fav til this day. We just walked around, had some coffee, found interesting angles and buildings and made photos! It’s so much fun to combine skills, and get a 1+1=3 type situation.

They created an even bigger performance, Ephemera, with live music by the Lingua Franca Ensemble. What a feat. What a gorgeous work of art. Did I mention I’m a fan? I’m a fan.

This shoot became two shoots really fast. I figured it would be great to photograph them over water. But the location (Delta Safety) was too gorgeous to do just that. The epic people from Ascent helped us make sure Tarek and Kami-Lynne were safe (and climbed up to the actual beams supporting to roof to attach their anchor point). This is a shot from their act Lahtara. Dit I mention Kami-Lynne makes ALL their outfits? SHE DOES.

I feel this specific outfit deserved some solo attention. It works SO WELL with his movements. What an epic garment.

YES IT HAPPENED! So cool. Also literally quite cold, the pool is for safety training, not for fun and family. So glad we did this. It was every bit as fun and amazing as I had hoped. The water made a whole new component for the duo to play around with and it was great. On top of that, the pool meant that they could -drop- each other or themselves. Something unthinkable. These two DO NOT LET GO. I still remember distinctly how weird it was for me to witness this!

Totally cheating in the timeline here (if you’re wondering you can tell by the length of their hair ha). But a fun shoot again where we threw a ton of holi powder around with a lot of people and basically went ‘let’s see what we can all make here’.

As we are in 2020 now, I’ve been photographing Tarek and Kami-Lynne for almost ten years (I feel we can and should celebrate any type of anniversary you possibly can). I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Thank you both, for being such an amazing inspiration, artistically and as friends.

Much love.

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