Tait McGuire and his Cyr Wheel
Hoola hoops grew up and became this muscle-bound version of sheer and utter coolness. At around 23 lbs it's absolutely no joke. The one who wields this crowd-pleaser is sure to be a strong and determined athlete. It's deceiving, the way that the Olympians are... because of the body's ability to fine tune and train to quasi-perfection, that feats of phenomenal brilliance and expertise, look as effortless as walking. So to me, this looks pretty easy to pick up.... cough cough!
This is Tait McGuire, a modern Renaissance man and multitalented artisan. He reminds me of a main character of a book, set back in the industrial revolution; perhaps an artisan and entertainer I might have bumped into if I lived during the era of large world fairs and exhibitions.
Even as we met in Stuart Park for this shoot, people are gathering to watch. It's fascinating to observe, as a human becomes part of the centrifugal force of a rotating wheel, wielding the large metal circle with his own mastery and understanding of the physics and rotation of the apparatus. It is science and art converging magnificently.
Tait puts most of his artistic energy into his group Kinshira, an entertainment troupe located in Kelowna, where he is the owner, director and visionary. He shares the choreography with the rest of his crew and they put together something that will fascinate crowds. You can check out their website here. The troup has acts like aerial acrobatics, cyr wheel, fire dancers, stilt walkers and choreographed shows on their roster. Tait is a showman at heart and that is only the beginning: working with leather is another of his loves and he makes masks and accessories out of this material, some of which are used for his productions. He also works a full time job at a print shop in town.
I admire Tait's ability to convert his love of the arts into something tangible, something entrepreneurial, something reproducible, something experienceable.
Through it all, the love of being part of the show, part of the action, in the centre of the wheel, is evident in the light of his eyes as he steps out of the hoop.