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Ride On The Wild Side

Nitro Circus Live - USA Tour 2014

Nitro Circus Live is ready to thrill the capital with amazing stunts and daredevil routines.

Billed as ‘the biggest action sports show in the world’ Nitro Circus Live is coming to the UAE for the very first time.

A team of amazing action sports athletes promise to push the boundaries of what’s possible on a BMX, skateboard, scooter, motorbike and more, in one night of gravity-defying entertainment.

Nitro Circus started as a DVD series created by a group of thrill-seeking friends in the US and in 2009 went on to become one of the most popular series of all time for television channel MTV.

The live show premiered in 2010 and has now toured 60 countries, entertaining over 1,300,000 spectators.

Nitro Circus’ daredevils are currently on an 18-month world tour and will make a stopover in Abu Dhabi on 5th December.

The two and a half hour show features fully choreographed stunts, as well as pyrotechnics and lighting shows, in what some describe as the Cirque Du Soleil of action sports entertainment.

Nitro Circus Live - USA Tour 2014

Among the intrepid performers is 28-year-old freestyle motocross biker Blake ‘Bilko’ Williams. The Australian daredevil first climbed aboard a 50cc mini bike when he was only five years old – and went on to become an award-winning stuntman and athlete.

“It’s awesome to be part of the show,” Bilko tells us.

“I have been touring with Nitro Circus Live since the beginning and doing it is still just as exciting as watching it. I get to ride along some of my best friends, who are some of the best riders in the world, and we get to watch each other progress, and push each other to progress, and it’s great. In four years, the show has pushed action books further than any other show has before.”

After four years of performing, Bilko shows no signs of boredom.

“Some tricks are harder than others. I am quite comfortable with the stuff that I do, but I really like to ride in front of a crowd; it’s exciting, it’s an adrenalin rush, it’s fun. It’s not too nerve-racking, unless we are in a really small venue. When it’s all going down at once in a very tight environment you know that if someone falls off the next people might run them over. But with action sport anything can happen at any time, so you are always on the edge of your seat.”

Nitro Circus Live - European Winter Tour 2013

Every stunt that we see on stage is a potentially death-defying moment, even though the riders get plenty of practice. So how do they learn to perfect their skills?

The secret, says Bilko, is to train with a swimming pool-sized container full of foam blocks. “I wouldn’t say it doesn’t hurt if you fall – but it’s a good way to practise a new trick like doing a flip, jumping off and grabbing on to the back of the bike, because if you happen to slip you know you can minimise the risks. Making one mistake on dirt when you are flying 75 feet through the air can leave you with pretty severe injuries!”

It’s safe to say all this training pays off. In 2005, Bilko Williams successfully mastered the cliff-hanger backflip, a stunt where the rider holds on to the handlebars with their feet while rotating into a backflip.

“It was amazing when it happened,” he says. “Then in 2006 I got a bronze medal at the XGames [an extreme sports championship] which was pretty rewarding.”

Bilko promises that Abu Dhabi audiences are in for a treat.

“You are going to see amazing stunts and you are going to see some stuff that will definitely make you laugh,” he says. “Everyone on the show is a perfectionist. You have the best BMX riders, skateboard riders and dirt bike riders doing all their individual stuff. And then we combine it all together and dozens of different people are in the air upside down at one time.

“We also have a production crew and team second to none. It’s really like a circus but it’s very unique. There is only a very small group of people in the world that can do what we do – you will be completely blown away.”

Nitro Circus Live is on 5th December at Zayed Sports City Stadium. Tickets start from AED 149. To get your tickets, visit: www.tixbox.com

Laura Volpi

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