Rone & Gigi – World Class Clowns from Japan
Roni & Gigi are two of the funniest performers on the planet. As they take the stage they immediately take our hearts. Their act is a fast paced roller coaster of side splitting slapstick, comedy and mayhem. Conflict is the core of comedy and almost instantaneously they grab our attention as they discover small things to struggle over. This leads to more troubles for these two as they try to resolve their problems in the most clown logical way possible.
This dynamic team of entertainers is from Japan and have toured, performed and taught all over the world including Clown Camp in LaCrosse and Singapore, the Hong Kong Clown Fun Convention and many appearances at our World Clown Association conventions. They have a style reminiscent of Laurel and Hardy – yet on steroids and with so much of their own comic styling that make them unique and hilarious. Clowns often see themselves as living cartoons. Rone and Gigi studied classic cartoons such as Tom and Jerry to learn the basics of comic timing and movement.
Gigi’s first clowning experience came with the Ringling Brothers Clown College in Japan in 1989. the second year of the Japanese Ringling Clown College Gigi was invited to teach juggling along with Tuba Heatherton. One of the new second year students Kumi Somayama who would become Gigi’s partner Rone. the two work together in a marvelous way. It is a perfect comic team.
Rone came from a theatrical family and her father was a Kabuki actor. Before teaming with Gigi, Rone made many appearances as an actress. She had roles in many straight plays, musicals, movies and TV before she participated in the Ringling Brothers Clown College.
Their Clown troupe is called “Open Sesame” a phrase that people in Japan see as a magical way to open doors. They have a special training program that is open to those who want to work hard and study the art of clowning.
Enjoy this montage video of their work and also the live show video that follows…
Watch part of the Roni & Gigi Show live at Clown Camp 2008 Click here
Richard Snowberg assisted Roni & Gigi in preparing the following about their clown school in Japan.
The 2016 program, like others they have directed, was held over seven days (June 29 through to July 6th). Attendees have the option of registering for the entire seven days or a compressed four-day program. This latter option is needed by some of the Japanese enrollees because their personal work schedules will not allow them to be away from their usual employment for more than four days. Assuming the WCA accepts this program for scholarship applicants, the scholarship committee could stipulate that Japanese program applicants would be required to attend the program for seven days. Another option would be to provide a half value scholarship for a Japanese applicant who can only attend for four days.
This program is currently small in enrollment. Therefore the staff for 2016 was composed of three full time professional clown instructors. They were RONE, Gigi and Gossy. (It is the Japanese custom not to show artist’s real names when they are working as clown arts professionals.) Here then is background information on the staff:
RONE started performing at the age of six. In 1990 she graduated from Ringling Bros. Clown College Japan where she first met Gigi and together they formed the clown company Open Sesame. To broaden their talents they went to Kiev, Russia to study the Russian style of clowning. And later they went to London where they studied clowning and mine with Nola Rae. What developed was a semi-western style of clowning that made her very unique. RONE has now been a clown arts teacher/lecturer for the past 14 years and together with Gigi were Clown Camp’s prized staff members for over ten years running. They continue to teach as well as improve their own performance talents. A few years ago they entered the prestigious Monte Carlo International Clown Festival where they were awarded the silver medal. Finally, RONE is the author of “An Angel Clown Lecture of Laughter”.
Gigi, like RONE, graduated from Ringling Bros. Clown College Japan, and immediately team with RONE to broaden her horizons by going to both Kiev and London for more intensive training. Gigi has been a lecturer at Clown Camp La Crosse for 14 years. Her talents most don’t know about are her management skills in writing scripts and direction. She is the chief administrator for Open Sesame, their clown school.
Together RONE and Gigi produce several stage shows each year that charm Tokyo audiences with their with, sensitivity and laugh our loud humor. Every year they develop a brand new show to share with their audiences.
(Although RONE did not share one piece of information in her draft copy that I’m editing, I’d like to let you know something that is indicative of how talented this duo.) – Richard Snowberg
Here is Roni and Gigi in Singapore with the Amazing Normondo a comic magician.
The first part of this article was by Norman the Clown – http://aces-show.biz/normantheclown