Stories from the event (part 1 - May 2004)

Dear Friends,

The ICC 2003 is over and what an event it was!!  It took some time to let it settle and it took time to understand again –as in the past-: the ICC is not only about the wonderful performers we see on stage and have around us; it is also the wonderful feeling of people getting together celebrating and sharing the same fascination and love for the art of contortion and through this becoming friends and members of one big family under the roof of this beautiful art.

Irina Vashchenko (Ucraine)

And now, that the first  waves of excitement and first memories settled  down a bit after our great event,  we decided to keep the official ICC page going, hopefully until the next ICC …….

And this is the idea:

Since so many of our friends couldn’t attend the event, we thought we should make all the lovely events and happenings available to everybody, who is interested, but mainly also for those who couldn’t come to Germany last time.

Therefore we will now report and provide material of the ICC 2003 in regular intervals. We will provide you with documentation, information and stories around the ICC, including photos and clips of the artists who performed at our 2 gala show events. You may also ask questions to our experts on any subject we brought up at the event.  We will put up a question and answer board, which will be made available to all, who register for it. We will encourage our specialists like David Fox, Jim Pickles, Phil Lancaster, Ken Thompson, Lisetta Landoni etc… to join  and watch this board on a regular basis, so they can answer your question if and when they have time to do so.

I will start now with a few little information and background stories around the event. The hyper busy time around each of such convention starts approximately two months before the actual date. Although the total planning and organization takes at least one year, the last two months are the most worrying and exciting ones. And it gets worst the closer the event comes. ….

This time, one of our biggest problems was to fight burocracy.  As you all know, we had invited a lot of artists, speakers and trainers from East European countries. Until the very last minute before the ICC 2003 we were confident to get them all into our country, but then literally in the last moment Nora (the famous Mongolian trainer) and Manushage and her trainer from Albania i.e. were denied entry and there was nothing we could do anymore.  We had struggled hard to comply with all conditions and fill in thousands of papers to get this going, so it was very upsetting to see this happening.

This time many of our friends came a few days earlier from the States and many other countries. This was very nice and gave us all a bit of extra time to be together.  The last three days before the convention Klaus and I (but specifically poor Klaus) were rushing to and from airports, train stations, the hotel and our location to pick friends up who came from abroad: with lots of funny little incidents happening.

Casselly Sisters (Stefani and Karola) (Germany)

One story I still laugh about in my heart was, when Jasmine (George) and I went to pick our friend Norm up from the airport. To that date I had only seen a photo of Norm, although we already were like friends from many years of chatting with one another. I was very happy to finally meet him in person. Little Jasmine and I were waiting impatiently at the airport and we were at least approaching four or five men with “Helloooo are you Norm?” before we finally got to the right one…… We had some very funny and cute reactions by the ‘wrong Norms’ and felt more and more embarrassed with other people watching our activities…….

The day of our first gala show, -I was still in the convention room,- when I got a quite desperate call from poor Klaus. He told me, that the electricity for the chapiteau , which we had hired for the shows -  did not work! It was freezing cold outside and two hours before rehearsals should  start!! This was the one moment during the event, when I feared to have a nervous breakdown at any moment…..  But -as always- Klaus stayed calm (well maybe not as calm as usual) and after some hours we got some electrician from some town close to Cologne, who felt sorry for us and came to fix the problem, despite the fact that it was Friday afternoon and he wanted to start his weekend.

But despite of the little time the performers then had to rehearse (in still quite a cold chapiteau), the first show went very well. This only proves how flexible our performers were, not only in their bodies ….

The first artists we want to present to you in this edition are:

 The artists of Gerd Rasquin from

“Die Hamburger Showsternchen”

Originally Gerd Rasquin and the “Hamburger Showsternchen” were not on our schedule. It was very uncertain to the last moment, whether Gerd could come or make it at all to the ICC. 

When however –since we also focused on young talents at this event- little Manushage was not permitted entry into Germany, Klaus and I called Gerd the NIGHT before the first Gala Show, asking him to –afterall and despite his other obligations- give us the pleasure to present his wonderful girls at this  convention.

Gerd , being a close friend for more than 10 years to Klaus and me, plus being a producer & trainer of contortion acts for more than 20 years, was so kind to support us. He also then came last minute, with hardly any time to rehearse. And see, what a wonderful addition to the ICC we got! 

(Windows Media File, 3.3 MB, 3:30 min)

(Windows Media File, 4.6 MB, 4:20 min)

That’s all for now. We hope you enjoy our idea of keeping things rolling on this site and we would be happy to get your feedbacks and ideas for this and further updates.

Best regards to you all

Ska von Schöning

P.S. The DVD set (2 DVDs) is now available. Please contact us by eMail for details

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some of the pictures copyright by Jim Pickles or Simon Crisp

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