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Jesús Soria during one of his shows in Leicester Square, London. R. I.
Meet the Granada acrobat conquering the world in leaps and bounds
Street performer

Meet the Granada acrobat conquering the world in leaps and bounds

Jesús Soria has been performing for six years on the streets of London, New York, Montreal, Paris and Seville. "I started out doing shows on the Costa del Sol and I didn't realise at the time you could make a living out of it"

José E. Cabrero

Granada

Monday, 15 April 2024, 18:36

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Jesús Soria has only been performing in London's Leicester Square for two minutes and he has already had several loud cheers. "Are any children volunteering?" he asks the crowd. From among all the raised hands, he picks out an eight-year-old boy who smiles nervously. "Relax" Jesús whispers to the child, although he says it loud enough so that everyone can hear him. "I can jump very well," he adds.

Then, with the little boy's back turned, Jesús looks for his mother in the audience. "Mummy, is that the only child you've got or is there another one?" More laughter. The crowd and the expectation grows until it fills Leicester Square. "I'm Jesús and I'm from Granada," he introduces himself. "Shall we start the show?"

Jesús Soria (Granada, 1993) appears smiling in the Puerta Bernina cafeteria in Recogidas. He has been at home for a few weeks ahead of leaving for his next destination. He is an acrobat and combines his work in international companies with his own street show. "People don't understand, but the street is cool. I spent six years working exclusively for theatres, hotels, theme parks, advertising and I've spent another six years prioritising the street. And I prefer it.

London, New York, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Seville, Valencia. One of the most visible of Soria's tattoos is the one that says 'Proud' on his neck and a curious letter 'K' on his right arm. "The 'K'? It was in Montreal. Let me tell you about it," he laughs.

The Italian square, packed to capacity, during one of Jesús Soria's performances, before the finale.
The Italian square, packed to capacity, during one of Jesús Soria's performances, before the finale. R. I.

At the age of 14, in the middle of a football match, his cousin Carlos Salmerón celebrated a goal by doing a somersault. "He had taught himself and I asked him to teach me. We both started to give it a go.... Now we are both working in this area. He works in the circus in Dubai," Jesús explains.

Just three years later Jesús was already performing in nightclubs in Granada. "And at 18, my first contract in Marina d'Or, all summer. Then I started to move around hotels and theatres in Tenerife, Barcelona until I arrived in London, where I spend the most time each year."

There he is part of the company of Magic Mike, a travelling acrobatics and dance show of that performs in Liverpool, Scotland, Manchester and Glasgow, among others; and he was part of the cast of the film Street Dance 3. "It's something I really enjoy," Jesús admits.

Malaga and Arcopom

After six years of moving from one theatre to another, everything changed when he discovered what it was like to perform on the street. "I started doing shows on the Costa del Sol. I didn't know you could make a living out of it. I had just come from doing a pirate show in a marine zoo in Portugal and my friends from Arcopom, winners of the world break dance championships, who are from Granada, called me. Are you coming to do the final jump? And I went".

That day they earned 70 euros each and Jesús began to do the maths. "If I organised myself, I could charge the same as the pirate show. After a while I went to London and saw an artist with three hundred people around him. That's when I thought I wanted to try and, to this day, I haven't had a contract that has paid me more than the audience on the street," Jesús reveals.

He started performing four shows a day from Thursday to Sunday. "It's about 400 euros a day on average. But there are very good days, that's where the 'K' tattoo comes from," he says.

"When I started on the street with my friends from Arcopom I told them that if one day I got 1,000 euros on my own, I would tattoo the 'K', which was the salary I had per month when I started doing acrobatics," Jesús explains.

Jesús Soria.
Jesús Soria.

"It was in Motreal. People there are used to tipping and when I got home I didn't count coins, they were all notes! I had been doing days of 800, 900 euros... until the last one, before I went back, I reached 1,100 euros." And that is when he got the K tattoo.

"They go away happy"

"The best thing is the people," he says. "You don't know how nice it is when I finish the show and they come up to take photos with me and tell me they've stood there for 25 minutes and had a great time. That's really beautiful. They go away happy."

Although London is a starting point, Jesús Soria can be found all over the world. In recent years Jesús has been touring the United States and Canada. "I spent almost half a year in hotels or AirBnb: Miami, Orlando, Boston, New York, Germany, Poland, Italy... this summer I'll be at several street festivals in Spain and then I'll spend a month in Egypt." And in Granada? "Well no, I tried once and it didn't work out... but I'll do it," he says.

A few days in Granada have provided a much-needed break from all the travelling. "I didn't even know where my head was," he jokes just before telling us that he is going to the Congo. "Yes, to the Congo," he laughs. "But not for work. I'm going to get to know it, I have an aunt who is a missionary and I'm going with her. I'll spend a month there and, I don't know, maybe we can do acrobatics with the kids there. I'll let you know," he says before taking off and leaping again. Soria's show is a perfect combination of comedy and acrobatics.

His Instagram videos give a good idea of what his street performances are like (@jesussoria1).

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