02 August 2008

Back to Circus Smirkus

Yesterday I paid my annual visit to Circus Smirkus, the summer youth circus based in Vermont. It might even have been this performance.

After coming home from last year's show, I asked why Book Kennison hadn't done his juggling/contortion act for a couple of productions. This year I didn't even see him during the opening act, but eventually he popped up and had a big solo.

Circus acrobatics have always been a mix of athleticism, danger, and art. In the late twentieth century, the North American circus was rejuvenated by more emphasis on art, and less on death-defying thrills and "watch what I can do next" physical feats.

This year Smirkus had an act with four teens swinging on hoops that was one of the best that I can recall in terms of creating an artistic whole. It was far more than a series of gymnastic moves, but rather an integrated dance that just happened to take place about eight feet off the ground. This is just a sample from the Smirkus dad who took the other Flickr photos I've linked to.

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