Artists in Residence

SANCA Resident Companies

Since 2010 SANCA has hosted several Circus Artist Residencies with young circus companies that have produced groundbreaking new work on the cutting edge of circus and performing arts. In 2014, two of these companies continued to work at SANCA as Resident Companies, creating new works for SANCA’s 10th Anniversary Summer Circus Festival.

“There aren’t a lot of places where you can take artistic risk, get your hands dirty, have the time of your life, and do it all on a stage with a live audience. It’s kind of perfect. We talked so much about our show, Bonkers, about bringing to a stage the ruckus of fun we’d found working together. This festival was the opportunity to breathe life into the madness and bring a heartbeat to the dream. Now we know we can do it.” –Emma Curtiss, IMPulse


“At the SANCA Summer Circus Festival, I particularly enjoyed the works created by the new, local circus collectives, IMPulse and The Acrobatic Conundrum. As a professional circus artist at Teatro ZinZanni, I was impressed with the talent and creativity of the performers. And I had a good time, too.” – Ben Wendel, Duo Madrona Trapeze

2010 — Circus Syzygy — Just Add Water
2012 — Circus Syzygy — Living Bridges
2012-13 — The Acrobatic Conundrum — The Acrobatic Conundrum, Vols. I &II and The Way Out
2013 — IMPulse Circus Collective — IMPulse
2014 — The Acrobatic Conundrum— A Book Is Not a Ladder
2014 — IMPulse Circus Collective — Bonkers

2019 — The Acrobatic Conundrum — Unraveling

Circus Syzygy was a company of six artists who dedicated themselves to the production of authentic and bold live performance. Their goal was to create work that showcases virtuosic talent together with human frailty, folly and inanity. Using dance, theater, comedy and of course circus arts, the company creates unique transformational performances. Company members included SANCA staff Mick Holsbeke, Duo Madrona (Ben Wendell & Rachel Nehmer), and Terry Crane, joined by Marie Eve Dicaire and Giulio Lanzafame. Syzygy has appeared at SANCA, Moisture Festival, and was awarded a prestigious 3-month residency in France based on the work they created at SANCA.

The Acrobatic Conundrum was founded in 2012, by Terry Crane and Joselynn Engstrom. Current members include SANCA staff Terry Crane, Carey Cramer, Erica Rubenstein, and Ty Vennewitz, as well as Jacki Ward, Nicolo Kehrwald. The company is dedicated to creating performance experiences that engage and amaze audiences. Conundrum shows feature moments of absurd and intimate humanity. The artists of the Acrobatic Conundrum tell their stories as individuals and take physical risks live onstage. As a company, they are dedicated to a vision of human courage, connection, and collaboration. The company has produced four shows to date: Volumes I & II, The Way Out, and A Book Is Not a Ladder. The Way Out was selected as a headline act at the debut of the Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival in January 2014. Their new work, A Book Is Not a Ladder, was accepted to the International Contemporary Circus Festival in New York, as well as to CircusFest – a new circus festival in Vancouver, BC, and to Echo Theatre in Portland, Oregon.

IMPulse Circus Collective is a fledgling company comprised of SANCA staff including Wendy Allen, Zora Blade, Marta Brown, Arne Bystrom, Emma Curtiss, Nick Harden, and Jasmine Manuel, joined by Gabe Corey, Tyler Ferraro, and Reed Nakayama. The company desires to stir and inspire the psyche, challenge societal constructs, and redefine modern Circus. Their work combines group skills, high-level acrobatics, and a myriad of quirky characters who explore themes of connection, isolation, safety, and risk.