David Spathaky (YG 1972)
29 June 2023
Old Scholars will be saddened to hear of the death of David Spathaky (YG 1972), who died on 7th February 2023. David was born on 25th February 1954 in Portadown, County Armagh, Ireland.

Here are a few words written by the Irish Street Arts, Circus & Spectacle Network (ISACS):

"David was born in portadown, Northern lreland of Greek origins. He chose one of lreland's most rugged peninsulas, Beara, as his home. Here, between the rocks, the ocean, the earth, the sky and the bracken David found a place of recovery, of meditation, of space and of creativity. This is when we in the ISACS got to know him, and he became a part of the lrish Circus community.

Dave was an innovator, a maverick, an agitator and a subversive; all these traits made him a pioneer in circus. Without his passion and eccentricity - circus in the western world would undoubtedly be in a different place than it is now.

ln 1984, while working at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Ra Ra Zoo was born and Dave was integral. Ra Ra Zoo was motivated by a desire for change - political and social. They called this version of circus 'Neo-Circus'; now referred to as 'Contemporary Circus'.

ln 1991 David Spathaky and Sue Broadway set themselves a new challenge...to become Guinness Record Breakers....of the obscure variety of course...spinning plates in Tokyo on television. They spun 91 plates. This record has since been beaten, in 1996, by David, when he spun 106 plates. The record remains unbeaten.

This year the members of ISACS will be working on a project inspired by the art of plate-spinning with Creative lreland for Cruinniu na nOg. Dave's legacy and skill will be inspiring the circus artists of the future onwards and we aim to honour that.

We take this opportunity to send all our love to his wonderful daughter Stevie, who herself is moving through the circus world, shaping and evolving.

Dave you were a LEGEND! A grumpy, contrary, awkward legend and one whose knowledge, wit, talent and avant-garde behaviour will be sorely missed.

Thank you for being part of the lrish circus story and life."
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