Posted by Matt Wilson
31. Mar, 2015
Like Totem recently did, Absinthe is another live show that has gone international and started in Las Vegas. Its performers hail from all different corners of the world, and I was lucky enough to speak to the two beautiful German aerial hoop performers Laura von Bongard and Luka Clayburn on their act Cavea Aurea, their schoolgirl uniforms and what they think of Melbourne.
How did you two get your start in performance art?
Luka: We’ve known each other for a really long time because we have really good preparation for working together because we know each other so well. We decided to work together a couple of years ago.
That was around 2013 or so I believe?
Luka: That must be right, around December 2013 or January 2014.
How did you get involved with Absinthe?
Laura: I don’t really remember anymore. Our first contract was one or two years ago, and then suddenly they ask us to fill out the contact details. They asked us to work on this season, and we were free and we were so excited and we said we wanted to do this contract, as there was no clash with anything else.
Have you guys performed in other shows besides Absinthe?
Laura: No, we don’t have something similar in Germany.
So this type of show’s not popular in Germany?
Luka: We have shows in spiegeltents and also sexy shows, but not that strong or intense and I think they are mostly dinner shows.
Whereabouts in Germany are you two from?
Luka: Right now, we’re based in Berlin. We grew up around the North Sea, near Denmark.
Did you guys go away on weekend trips to Denmark as kids?
Luka and Laura: [laugh] Yeah!
What countries have you been able to perform in thanks to Absinthe?
Laura: The most of our work has been in Germany, and in the years before Luka and I worked together I worked in Israel and Italy and France, and everywhere actually, all over the place.
Luka: And then Denmark again. [Laughs]
How would you describe Absinthe in your own words?
Laura: It’s about sexiness and strength. Unique acts from all over the world, especially the comedy. [The Gazillionaire and Penny] are amazing.
Luka: It’s about fun and letting things go for one night, and not think about any rules or limits you have.
So is it all laughs behind the scenes. The Gazillionaire is funny, but is he funny all the time, or much more serious behind the curtain?
Luka: He’s funny, but there’s a difference between him in the show and his private life.
Laura: Actually, he is still funny and tells jokes here and there. He’s just more quiet, but he’s a really nice person.
Luka: Everybody is actually, the cast all get along really well, like a little family. Everybody speaks really good English, so there’s no communication problems.
How have you found Melbourne so far?
Luka: Really cool town.
Have you been to Melbourne before?
Laura: We have never been to Australia before, and for me now, I can’t really imagine Sydney is better than Melbourne. Everybody says that, but I love Melbourne so much. The first days we were here, we just walked around and were like “Oh my God, I love this city”. And when I tell this to someone, they say Sydney is even better. I cannot believe that, because this city is so big, you have everything, but it’s still so clean.
Luka: We also love Newcastle.
Do you feel the Australian beaches are what they’re cracked up to be?
Luka: In Newcastle we went to the beach, but not here. We’ve only been here for one week, but we want to go.
Where are you guys off to after your tour of Australia?
Laura: We still don’t know. We have many options in Europe, but we still haven’t signed anything, because we just want to wait for the summer time in August.
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