Author Archives: Maia LeDoux

Cirque d’Espionnage

Cirrus Circus: Cirque d’Espionnage : Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to join us at the School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts for the SANCA Youth Performance Company’s annual winter show, Cirque d’Espionnage. Have you ever wondered just exactly how spies, sneaks, and secret agents receive their special training? The incredible strength, balance, flexibility, and cunning required to become an agent of espionage will astound you!
Performed in the SANCA Theatre

Between Raindrops (SANCA Staff Show)

The staff of the School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts (SANCA) invite you to join them for a look at city love in their annual show, “Between Raindrops: A Seattle Love Story”.

With gray skies and drizzling rain, where is love to be found in Seattle? The acrobatic vignettes of “Between Raindrops” will explore the depths of affection in our city, from the euphoria of rare sunny days to socially awkward first encounters, from blind dates over steaming cups of coffee, to secret crushes and broken hearts.  This is a story of people trying to find a connection in the Emerald City.

This exciting collaboration showcases an amazing variety of traditional and modern circus arts, including umbrella acrobatics, tight-wire walking, unicycle, Russian Bar, juggling, Chinese pole, hand balancing, aerial acts, and more.

Featuring performances by A Unicycle Built for Two (Wendy Allen & Nick Harden), the Russian Bar Hoppers (Marta Brown, Nick Harden & Erica Rubinstein), Andreas Fetz, Alyssa Hellrung, Nicholas Lowery, Jasmine Manuel, Arne & Carl Bystrom, Nickolai Pirak, and other SANCA Staff.

Director: Alyssa Hellrung
Choreographer: Rachel Randall
Technical Director: Amanda Zwar

Note: Select shows on Thursday, August 23rd and Friday August 31st are invitation-only events and require a special code to view and purchase tickets.

SASS! – SANCA’s Annual Spring Showcase

Celebrate spring at the SCHOOL OF ACROBATICS & NEW CIRCUS ARTS’ (SANCA’s) Annual Spring Showcase–SASS!

Each May SANCA presents a showcase of unique, circus-variety performances with students, alumni, staff, and friends of SANCA. For one weekend only, you can see three super exciting circus shows, each featuring a different line up of spectacular local and internationally renowned circus artists alongside SANCA’s tremendously talented student performers.

With festive musical accompaniment by Doc Sprinsock & the SANCApators, audiences will be treated to daring displays of acrobatics, high-flying aerials, rolling globe ensembles, contortion, juggling, and more!

The Saturday May 19th 3pm show includes: Graeme & Lori- Risley, Katalin – Slackline, Patty – Sling, Hazel – Solo Trapeze, Courtney – Tissu, Audrey – Tightwire, Circus 1-ders – Acro, Circus 1-ders – Beach Balls, Magnificent 7 – Rolling Globe, Aidan & Ian – Juggling, Emma & Sydney – Duo Acro, Nick & Wendy – Unicycle, Alyssa & Ellie – Duo Trap, Russian Bar Hoppers.

The Saturday May 19th 7-m show includes: Megan & Brandon – Duo Acro, Jonathan – Aerial Rope, Jasmine – Tightwire, Dr. Calamari & Acrophelia- Duo Acro, Zora – Handbalancing, Alyssa & Aidan & Steven  – Rolling Globe, Ben – Clown, Alyssa & Ellie – Duo Trapeze, Lyla – Aerial Tissu, Ellie & Ciona & Hannah – Acro Trio, Russian Bar Hoppers, Nick & Wendy – Unicycle, Graeme & Lori – Risley, Aria – Aerial Hoop.

The Sunday May 20th 3pm show includes:
Saffi – Contortion, Saffi & Margaret – Duo Hoop, Magnificent 7 – Mini Tramp, Reed – Chinese Pole, Emma – Tissu, Eloise & Emma – Tightwire, Anna – Juggling, Alyssa – Solo Trapeze, Caroline, Julaine, Ruby, & Rose – Triple Trapeze, Julaine – Globe, Nickolai – Juggling, Ruby & Caroline – Partner Acro, Hannah – Handbalancing, Sophia – All Trades

Living Bridges

Artists in Residence Circus Syzygy present Living Bridges

In an era when technology and information pervade our lives, we are hyper-connected, yet perhaps even our neighbors are utter strangers. Plugged-in, cast out, and searching for connection, Syzygy dives into the heart of this contemporary conundrum.
Six circus artists combine their sensational acrobatic art, uproarious physical humor and idiosyncratic dance-theater, set against a curious backdrop of objects both natural and man-made. The result is a whimsical world in which the domestic and wild spheres meet. In this universe, time is running out, inanimate objects take on life, and acrobats face mortal risk as, together, they bridge the distance between themselves and nature, technology, and of course, each other.
Circus Syzygy (SIZ-uh-jee) is a company of 6 artists who have dedicated themselves to the production of authentic and bold live performance; their goal is to create work that showcases virtuosic talent together with human frailty, folly and inanity. Company members include Mick Holsbeke, Duo Madrona, and Terry Crane.

Meet the Wonderful Paul & Katie

Have you ever asked yourself, “Who are those people in the tent?! Where did they come from? How did they learn to fly and can they teach me?”

Meet Paul and Katie,
the powerhouse circus couple that run our amazing program for FLYING TRAPEZE!!!!!

Paul grew up in Davenport, Iowa. He has an athletic background but was never exposed to circus arts until he was in his early 30’s. He tried flying trapeze at Club Med in 1998 and was unexpectedly hooked. He went on to train as a catcher at the Club Med in the Dominican Republic. 

Katie was born in San Francisco and raised in L.A. As a child she was a participant in the circus program at a Club Med. Even though she wasn’t especially athletic her coach made her feel like a superhero. She never forgot how good that made her feel.
People will forget what you said
People will forget what you did
But people will never forget how you made them feel.

~Maya Angelo

Paul and Katie met in 2007 at the Club Med Sandpiper Resort (about 45 min North of West Palm Beach). Katie started in child care then transferred to the circus program. Paul was the person that did most of Katie‘s early training. Romance blossomed in 2008 and they have been traveling the world flying together ever since. They have flown over 30 rigs worldwide, including a year-long stint on the Caribbean Islands of Turks and Caicos. Seattle is the last stop in this great journey—Paul and Katie have a signed a lease and they are here to stay.
Here is their master plan for the SANCA Flying Trapeze Program:
~ Make the fly tent warm and welcoming
~ Provide classes that make people excited and successful
~ Inspire students to continue



“I have an easy job. I share something I love and I want to spread that around. Every person walks away doing something they didn’t know they could do. It’s magical.” –Paul

If you are reading this and you’ve never done flying trapeze…why not? Every Friday from 5:30-7:30 the SANCA School of Flight has Pay-Per-Flight Fridays, a chance to get a taste of the flying trapeze without any commitment.

Arne Bystrom: The Whole Enchilada

If you can do it at SANCA, Arne has done it. He started as a student back in 2006. His father, Carl Bystrom, had already taught him to juggle three balls and after being tipped-off about SANCA by Tara Jensen, Carl convinced Arne to try his first class: Wednesday night Circus Arts with Chuck and Jo. Arne started off being an acrobatic flyer with his father as the base.

Having never really found his place in team sports, Arne was excited about the physical outlet in Circus. It was fun enough to keep practicing; so he kept on doing it. He practiced handstands in the backyard and worked on his skills, and before you knew it he started to get better and circus started to get really fun. Nickolai Pirak joined the SANCA team in 2006 and became Arne’s first juggling teacher. Nickolai says he remembers encouraging Arne to start juggling 5 balls; now Arne is doing 7 balls with pirouettes.

SANCA needed summer coaches and Arne was recruited. It was a slippery slope from there. After that summer he started coaching regular classes.
He teamed up for hand to hand with Zora and joined the Youth Company. The next summer he and Zora toured with Circus Smirkus. That’s when he knew that circus was what he really wanted to do. Arne decided instead of attending a traditional college he would go to circus school. On a college scouting trip he went to Turbo Fest at Quebec City Circus School, hung out with Nickolai in Germany and got to crash in the Circus Dorm at Rosny in France.

In the end it was the Quebec City Circus School that called to him with its small, warm and supportive environment. So after three years in Quebec, Arne has graduated and is the flyer in an acro/juggling duet. He stands in a two high and juggles (7) balls with a partner by dropping them down from above. All ’cause it was fun enough to want to practice.

He is back in town for now and dreaming of working for Teatro Zinzanni.Friday November 30th was the very last day that he will be sporting his mustache that he grew out for “Movember” http://us.movember.com/about : changing the face of men’s health by raising awareness of testicular and prostate cancer with a month of facial hair growth.

VIdeo of Arne:

Arne and Jérémy from Arne Bystrom on Vimeo.

 

Arne and Jérémy from Arne Bystrom on Vimeo.

Once Upon a Circus

Cirrus Circus Once Upon a Circus
Fall 2011
Once upon a time in the far-away land of Georgetown, a magical place called the School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts was built. The SANCA Youth Performance Company invites you to this wonderland to enjoy their annual winter show, Once Upon a Circus. Everybody loves Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson, but how well do we really remember these tales from our youth? In this show, the company reenacts their favorite bedtime stories, but they’re having a bit of difficulty remembering the details. Somehow, we have two Ugly Ducklings. Little Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood are siblings. A witch is faced with the challenge of luring a more sophisticated Hansel and Gretel into her candy cottage–they prefer organic, chemical-free, non-dairy, gluten-free, non-genetically modified apricot thumbprints.

Performed in the SANCA Theatre

Again, from the Top! (SANCA Staff Show)

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at a circus show? Again, from the Top! is an insider’s look at the backstage shenanigans of a troupe on the edge as the cast and crew frantically prepare for the final dress rehearsal of Cirque N’importe Quoi. Artistic temperaments pique as the tyrannical director places impossible demands on the long-suffering stage manager and anyone else in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This exciting collaboration of circus artists includes performances by A Unicycle Built for Two (Wendy Allen & Nick Harden), the Russian Bar Hoppers (Marta Brown, Nick Harden & Erica Rubinstein), Zora Blade, Joselynn Engstrom (Dream Science Circus, Luni Bin Productions). Andreas Fetz, Alyssa Hellrung (AerLift, Moisture Festival, Circus of Dreams), Tara Jensen, Elizabeth Landsman, Nicholas Lowery (O!Circus), Jasmine Manuel, Nickolai Pirak, Kari Podgorski (Circus Contraption, Seattle Opera’s Pagliacci, Teatro ZinZanni), Rachel Randall, and Megan Strawn.

The show includes an amazing variety of traditional and modern circus arts, including tightwire, unicycle, Russian Bar, aerial arts, juggling, crazy office-chair acrobatics, and more.

Office-chair Ensemble Acrobatics choreographed by Rachel Randall (RandALL Dance Company). Live music and arrangements by Nicholas Lowery and Elizabeth Landsman.

SASS! – SANCA’s Annual Spring Showcase

Chase those wet winter blues away at the SCHOOL OF ACROBATICS & NEW CIRCUS ARTS’ (SANCA’s) Annual Spring Showcase–SASS!

Each May SANCA presents a showcase of unique, circus-variety performances with students, alumni, staff, and friends of SANCA. For one weekend only, you can see three super exciting circus shows, each featuring a different line up of spectacular local and internationally renowned circus artists alongside SANCA’s tremendously talented student performers.

With festive musical accompaniment by Doc Sprinsock & the SANCApators, audiences will be treated to daring displays of acrobatics, high-flying aerials, rolling globe ensembles, contortion, juggling, and more!

Can’t decide which show to see? Buy a SASS Pass and see all three! It’s a great deal!
To purchase a SASS Pass, select the May 21st, 12:00 PM performance–just remember, there is no show at high noon!

*Saturday Matinee* – 3pm

> SANCA founders Chuck & Jo
> Nickolai Pirak
> Sage Cushman
> Jacki Ward
> Sydney Petersen
> Emma Page & Emma Cady
> Jasmine Manuel
> Magnificent 7
> Youth Company
> Circus 1-ders

*Saturday Evening* – 7pm

> Jason Williams & Evelyn Bitner
> Emma Curtiss
> Paul Hawxhurst
> Alyssa Hellrung
> Charlie Castor
> Youth Company
> Magnificent 7
> Saffi Watson
> Circus 1-ders

*Sunday Matinee* – 3pm

> Orville Zharoff & Megan Strawn
> Alyssa Hellrung & Joselynn Engstrom
> Jacki Ward
> Katalin Hausback
> Nick Harden & Wendy Allen
> Youth Company
> Saffi Watson
> Magnificent 7
> Circus 1-ders

Kari Hunter

Kari Jay Hunter has been part of the SANCA coaching team since the school opened its doors in 2004, but her life in the movement arts began much earlier.

 Kari studied dance and gymnastics  from  age three through college, and shortly after  moving to Seattle in 2001 began performing  with Circus Contraption. Through Contraption  she was introduced to SANCA co-founders Jo  Montgomery and Chuck Johnson, whose combined wealth of circus arts knowledge, generosity of spirit, and enthusiasm for the local circus community led Kari to seek a coaching position at the fledgling school.

Kari is currently the Assistant Director of the Youth Performance Company and the aerial lead for SANCA’s Professional Preparatory Program. Her supportive approach to coaching puts safety first and allows for a broad movement vocabulary and room for creativity. Along with general skill development coaching, Kari specializes in act creation and refinement and has assisted with successful audition pieces for ENC, the De L’Arte school in Blue Lake, California, and Teatro ZinZanni. In addition to coaching at SANCAKari has taught workshops and private lessons at Versatile Arts and Emerald City Trapeze in Seattle, around the Puget Sound in Bellingham, Tacoma, and Olympia, at Le Cirque Centre in Ashland, Oregon, and the Circus Center in San Francisco.

Deemed an “aerialist par excellence” by the Seattle Times, Kari has performed in over 30 major U.S. cities and internationally with:

  • Circus Contraption
  • Acrobatic Conundrum
  • Animate Objects Physical Theater
  • ticktock dance
  • Seattle Opera
  • Moisture Festival 2003-2013
  • EnJoy Productions
  • The Aerialistas
  • Can-Can Presents
  • UMO
  • Edge Theater Ensemble
  • Teatro ZinZanni,
    Seattle and San Francisco
  • Palazzo Variety and Dinner cabaret circuit, Germany
  • Friedrichsbau Variety, Germany
  • Dog and Pony Show Productions
  • Night Flight Aerial, Portland, OR
  • Festival Burlesco, Portugal

Kari has previously coached and performed as Kari Podgorski and Sally Pepper.