Ilford trapeze artist returns to London to inspire young circus performers

PUBLISHED: 10:47 28 July 2016 | UPDATED: 10:47 28 July 2016

Korri Aulakh, from Ilford, is now a professional circus performer.

Korri Aulakh, from Ilford, is now a professional circus performer.


As career aspirations go, wanting to become a professional performance gymnast is far from typical.

But that’s what Ilford schoolboy Korri Aulakh set his heart on after a family trip to Jamaica 12 years ago.

Now, the former Loxford School pupil is returning to the London Youth Circus (LYC), where he became an expert in the flying trapeze, to take part in its newest show and mentor the next generation of talented gymnasts.

He said: “It’s a weird experience coming back, but it’s great to work with the director, who taught me back when I was here.

“To have the chance to tell some of the young kids coming through, ‘don’t do that’, or ‘take this more seriously if you want to be a professional’ is great. I wish I’d had someone doing that for me.”

Held at the National Centre for Circus Arts, this year’s LYC end of term show is Outfoxed, and sees trapeze artist Korri play the mother hen, flying through the rafters of a giant barn to protect his young, only to see them stolen by foxes.

The 24-year-old, who started at the LYC in 2004, also revealed that from an early age he was drawn more to the freedom of expression that performance gymnastics gave him.

“I did trampolining at school as well, but I used to hate being scored, or feeling like the world had ended because you did something slightly wrong.

“When you’re performing it’s OK to get something a bit wrong, you can roll with it and no one in the audience is any the wiser.”

After leaving the LYC, Korri went on to study at the Montreal National Circus School, and after three years’ training now works all over the world.

“But I still have family in Ilford and it’s where I grew up,” he said.

“I’m back an awful lot.”

Outfoxed will be at the National Centre for Circus Arts, Coronet Street, Shoreditch on Saturday and Sunday at 1pm and 5pm. For tickets visit

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