It seems like it’s the Week of the Gymnast on my blog, debuting with a feature on Iberian Saulo Sarmiento. This feature shifts to a homegrown talent. Aerial performer, ex-competitive SA national tumbling gymnast, qualified physiotherapist and entrepreneur, Eon van Zyl, has a story worth hearing. He’s speciality acts include aerial silk, aerial lyra (hoop), duo aerial straps and duo strength adage. Eon brings a quintessential agility and unflinching courage to life and business. As Founder and Creative Director for Hercules Dynamix (HDX), Captonians will see more of Eon. The website describes the venture as “a leading provider in premiere entertainment for the city of Cape Town. HDX is raising the standards in entertainment, aligning with the organized, the cutting edge, and most innovative of businesses to bring you international performers as well as the best in home-grown DJs, venues, and spectacles”. Their next extravaganza is titled Enter the Winter Palace, set for Mandela Day (18 July 2015), which promises to be ‘a transformative event’. They intend to transmogrify The Centre for the Book into a timeless winter wonderland for a one-night-only experience.
1980: Born in Cape Town
1996: Joined the South African National Tumbling Team (1996 – 2001)
1998: Matriculated from DF Malan High School, Cape Town
1999: Won silver medal at World Age Group Games in tumbling, Sun City, South Africa
2001: Won silver medal at World Championships, Odense, Denmark
2002: Performed at various corporate events and shows from 2002-2013
2005: Graduated with a BSc in Physiotherapy from UCT
2005: Performed at Sports Illustrated Swimwear Fashion Show
2005: Served as FIG international tumbling judge at World Games, Duisburg, Germany
2006: Practiced as a physiotherapist at Big White Ski Resort, Canada (2006 – 2013)
2010: Won 1st place in Mr Fitness South Africa
2010: Performed at Vaudeville Dinner Theater, Cape Town (2010 – 2012)
2012: Won prize for 3rd in class and class prize for OSPE (Orthopaedic Manipulative Physiotherapy)
2013: Performed at Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) 10th Anniversary
2014: Founded Hercules Dynamix along with key collaborators
What inspired the foundation of Hercules Dynamix?
It started with a conversation with my friend Jandré during Circuit Festival in Barcelona. We had such an amazing time and felt like we were part of something truly global. It was fantastic to see how the entire city completely embraced the festival. Several years ago the gay scene in Cape Town was a lot more vibrant than it is now and we have seen the closure of several clubs where we used to have a fun night out on the town. I was yearning for a creative outlet and we became very excited at the idea of introducing some of what we experienced in Barcelona to Cape Town. It also so happened that some of our friends had the know-how and experience in producing parties. It quickly became more of a movement, a community effort to bring international standards to our party scene in order to increase and sustain LGBT tourism in Cape Town.
When I think of the kind of “spectacle” HDX would like to create my mind immediately turns to brands like Magazzini Generali, Papa Party and the Barcelona Circuit Festival. What is the value proposition for HDX (what makes it unique)?
We are quite well connected internationally and our structure is done in coordination with several established global entertainment brands. We are in communication with performers and managers at Cirque du Soleil, Atlantis Cruises, and the Matinee Group. Once our numbers get large enough we’ll have the ability to bring international touring artists in addition to supporting local talent. Cape Town is such a wonderful and attractive tourist destination and a longer term goal is to establish a festival, which could have a very positive influence on tourism and the local economy.
Firemen Hosedown 2014
You exude a confidence that I suspect comes from a lifestyle steeped in la dolce vita and a kind of wholesome goodness. Is this ethos a feature that will mark HDX?
There’s a duality of what we’d like to be known for. First and foremost is to be the affordable luxury for a Capetonian to see and enjoy the best entertainment the city can provide. And perhaps more personally we want to be regarded as the leader in bringing Cape Town’s LGBT community into a new era of understanding that it is still important to celebrate in order to preserve our culture. Perhaps some have never felt the power and liberation when you’re with thousands celebrating their pride, their creativity, their joy in simply being just a little different than the mainstream. This is the value of the circuit and its meaning often gets lost in the logistics. We want to be known for bringing this back and sharing it with the world.
Behind Bars: Prison Fetish 2014
What skills have you developed in your gymnastics career that you think are keys to business success?
By nature I would say that I am not a typical hardcore business person and I have learnt the value of surrounding myself with individuals that are more experienced and talented than me in their respective fields. What I have learnt from my competition days, though, is that success is hardly ever swift but very sweet and that the blood, sweat and tears are totally worth it and I have learnt that tenacity is necessary to achieve personal goals. I find that the ebb and flow of organising events is in many ways like that of competitive sports in that there is a period of preparation and build up to the big day. It can be a stressful experience and years of competition have groomed me well for this. I love the adrenaline rush and I think I am in a way addicted to it. Through my involvement in the performing arts since I retired from gymnastics I have learnt much about the flow of a performance or show from an entertainment-value viewpoint, in creating visual stimulation and an emotional journey for the viewer. This is where my strengths lie and I’m excited about pursuing this more in the future.
People are prone to base assumptions and often judge the party scene and its promoters as vapid. What is the biggest misconception about you that you would like to challenge?
You know it’s a bit of a paradox. We, the performers and creative team that produce the events are sometimes actually a bit shy and not typical social butterflies. You won’t run into me in the party scene every weekend! What you see at these parties is us baring our hearts. The real reason that we do this is to come together with like-minded individuals to create something special that we are proud of and to see others enjoying what we have created. I like to think that we create opportunities for the LGBT community to celebrate together, simply have fun and enjoy life. I hope that people will see the true meaning behind what we do.
Get your tickets today to Enter the Winter Palace via Quicket.