Cirque Noir takes their Texas based circus on the road and on to FRISKY DEEP
Concrete and metal surrounds you as beautiful people dressed in elaborate costumes perform hypnotic moves with colorful flames, the steady rhythm of electronic beats permeating your body and soul as you become one with those around you and lost in this moment in time. You are everywhere and nowhere. You are grounded yet transported. You are at Cirque Noir.
Cirque Noir has been taking the Houston scene by storm with their stylish events that push boundaries and embrace duality, transforming unique spaces into deep experiences through music, art, performance, and creativity. With their strong identity and dedicated following, Cirque Noir is getting ready to take their show on the road, becoming the true traveling circus they have always meant to be. They will also be bringing the Cirque Noir aesthetic to listeners around the world with a FRISKY DEEP show, premiering on June 7th and bringing 2 hours of dark, sensual, and stylish sounds every month.
We caught up with the Cirque Noir Team: Kamyar Ansari (Founder & Creative), Joy Kennedy (PR, Marketing, Branding), Femke Huijsmans (Production Manager) and Jimmy Hackett (Music & Creative) to dive even deeper into their world:
How did Cirque Noir begin? Did you have an established goal and aesthetic from the beginning or has it evolved through the years?
Cirque Noir began as Kamyar’s answer to the void of underground music and venues in Houston. Having grown up between the US, Iran, and the island of Cypress, he felt the lack of electronic music culture when he moved to Houston to join his extended family’s business. After producing several events with local DJs and learning more about the local scene, Kamyar began to explain to me (Joy) his vision for the dark musical circus he saw in his head. It’s been two years now since the idea’s inception, and we’ve been able to see that vision come to life in really exciting ways.
What are the most defining factors of the Cirque Noir experience?
Cirque Noir rests upon both music and art, and it lives in between the contrast of beauty and grunge. You could say this is the result of both male and female inspiration. Kamyar has a tendency to want everything very dark and avant-garde, while I see things through a very sensual and vintage lens. Balancing both of these perspectives is the magic of Cirque Noir’s identity, and it’s an ever evolving process.
What underlying qualities do you think distinguish your events from the rest, and keep people coming back for more?
Firstly, despite the pop-up nature of a traveling circus being an ancient concept, it’s been so removed from modern urban culture that I think it’s exciting for people to have access to it again. We try to use venues that transport you to another place. We’ve occupied buildings of historic value, open-air grain silos filled with vintage art cars, and Cold War era post offices, to name a few. Secondly, despite being named the most diverse city in the U.S., Houston is still years behind in the music and nightlife scene. People are hungry for events that are readily available in large cities like New York, Mexico City, Chicago, and LA.
The May 20th Monkey Safari show at your “Urban Oasis” sounds like a fantastic combination of artist & venue, what can you tell us about the space and why you wanted to throw this particular event?
We’ve been lucky enough to gain exclusive access to the largest Post Office in Houston, a space built in the 40’s and now abandoned. It’s over six stories and is a vast jungle of concrete, metal, bomb shelters, and roof top views of downtown. We’ve only begun exploring all the different spaces inside this gem. It truly is the very essence of Urban Oasis, so who better to fill its shoes than Monkey Safari? Not to mention, it harbors a particular “Berlin” vibe to it, and our Ringleaders of Sound hail from Germany themselves.
What inspired the idea of taking Cirque Noir on the road? Do you have any “dream destinations” you’d like to bring an event to?
We don’t necessarily say anything inspired the idea of taking the show on the road since that is the true meaning of a circus. The whole team represents a handful of different cultural backgrounds — American, Iranian, Dutch, Mexican, Venezuelan, Chinese, and more.
Traveling is in the very DNA of Cirque Noir.
There are so many exciting things happening in the music scene right now and we are simply excited to see where the next few years take us as a family.
How do you think the Cirque Noir atmosphere will transfer over to your FRISKY radio show, and what do you hope listeners take away from the experience?
Because Frisky is committed to staying true to an authentic and organic music experience, we think the Cirque Noir atmosphere will translate seamlessly across their airwaves. If we could hope for one thing for our listeners it would be for them to have an otherworldly experience, as though the mind has traveled through both time and space, both relaxed and inspired.
A feeling of enjoyment and bliss, the circus tent will welcome anyone, with open arms.
In what other ways do you see Cirque Noir expanding in the future?
We definitely want to see our Musical Circus travel the world with the whole team — and our lucky elephant in tow. We have a crazy talented tribe of live painters, aerialists, dancers, fire performers, contortionists, photographers, videographers, hospitality, and last but not least our production manager who works to bring each event theme to life. Our resident artists, or “Ringleaders of Sound” as we say, are also a really talented bunch. One of our residents, Of the Moon, released his first track “Of The Moon Ft. Bartlee” and it was remixed by a group favorite, H.O.S.H. of the Diynamic family. The group keeps expanding to include DJ’s, producers, vocalists, and guitarists, so it’s safe to say we’d like to do something with all the talent we have.
Everyone is so excited to be a part of Frisky Radio!
It is so exciting to see what comes next for Cirque Noir, their hypnotic energy will surely change those who cross their paths as they travel with the circus and share their experiences through the FRISKY DEEP channel. Visit www.cirque-noir.com & get your tickets to the Urban Oasis with Monkey Safari show on May 20th @ 10PM CDT.
Photography by Julian Bajsel