Vicki Dela Awarded MBE

Upswing’s Artistic Director Vicki Dela Amedume has been recognised for her services to circus with an MBE in the Jubilee Honours List 2022.

”This award feels more like a recognition of the circus sector and its value to society than of my work alone. Circus is able to connect and empower people in extraordinary ways, and we’ve seen through our work in care homes and libraries that it positively impacts people who are often marginalised or underrepresented in public life. I’m pleased that the importance of that is recognised. I’m grateful to the Upswing team and all those individuals and organisations that have, and continue to, support our work.” Vicki Dela Amedume

Upswing was founded by Vicki Dela in 2006, as a contemporary circus company that is committed to exploring relevant and thought-provoking themes across all of our work.

Recent touring shows include Catch Me, Seasons, and Bedtime Stories. We have produced digital experiences and films such as Seasons Digital – connecting young people to nature, Circus Flavours on Screen – highlighting work from Global Majority artists and Falling/Flying – a journey into zero gravity with older people. Our recent collaborative project resulted in us building a manifesto for action that supports Global Majority artists working in circus and live performance. In 2022 we are developing Common Ground – a brand new project that explores the complexity of identity and the difficulty we have talking about race.

Our productions and creative engagement programmes – including Circus in Libraries and Circus with Older People – aim to unite people from different backgrounds through new narratives. We have also provided classes and consultancy for some of the UK’s biggest names in performing arts, and our work has been commissioned for spectacles and festivals across England.

Having changed careers from research scientist to circus artist, Vicki Dela entered the circus world in 1997. She performed and created aerial and circus-based work in the UK and worldwide, and has worked across all spheres of circus, from traditional touring tented circuses to large-scale outdoor spaces and intimate touring indoor theatre.

She founded Upswing to bring new artists and experiences to the stage and beyond that reflect a dynamic, diverse world. Always looking for innovative ways to stretch the art form, Vicki Dela is a dedicated leader in the sector working widely to develop established and emerging artists.

Learn more about Upswing’s work:

Header image by Jemima Yong