Tag Archives: contortion

Cirrus Circus presents “Acro-Biographies”

Meet Cirrus Circus at the library as they conduct research, hunt for a good read, and find all the books they can about the physics and mathematics of juggling. Along the way they discover that books are portals to new and different worlds.

When their bumbling professor stops by, he struggles to keep himself rooted in reality rather than follow his imagination. Can they convince their professor that these other worlds are wonderful places to visit, full of amazing adventures and artistic expression?

Acro-Biographies features contortion, Geman wheel, teeterboard, duo trapeze, and more. Join Cirrus Circus as they crawl up, balance on, and flip through the pages, using their imagination and circus skill to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

WHEN
November 10-18th, 2017
Friday 7pm
Saturday 3pm or 7pm

WHERE
Broadway Performance Hall
1625 Broadway
Seattle, WA 98122

MORE INFO
206-652-4433
www.sancaseattle.org

TICKETS
IN ADVANCE: Adults $20, Youth 16 & under $12 https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3091187
1-800-838-3006
AT THE DOOR: Adults $25, Youth 16 & under $15

Brought to you in part with support from Seattle Credit Union and Choice Tea.

In Somnia – Professional Preparatory Program final show

Where do we drift off to when we sleep? Leave the waking world with SANCA’s Professional Preparatory Program graduates as they entwine themselves in a dreamscape of aerials, acrobatics, handbalancing, dance, Chinese pole, and contortion. Fall into our circus dream and lose yourself in what you find there.

Sponsored in part by:
Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
4Culture

SANCA’s Annual Spring Showcase

4 Unique Circus Variety Shows!

Every year SANCA presents a showcase of unique circus performances featuring students, alumni, staff, and friends. For one weekend only, we hold four shows, each featuring a different line up of spectacular local and internationally renowned circus performers alongside SANCA’s tremendously talented student performers. The SASS shows are the capstone performances for students and staff who have workshopped new performances and are ready to take to the stage in displays of pure awesomeness! Among the featured performers are Seattle favorites, the youth circus troupes Cirrus Circus, the Magnificent 7, and the Amazing Circus 1-ders. Audiences will be treated to daring displays of acrobatics, high-flying aerials, juggling, and much more!

Friday Night features Leslie Rosen and Mary Gargett – “Hottie Long Legs.” This stilt walking dynamic duo is comprised of performing powerhouses Leslie Rosen and Mary Gargett. Both having backgrounds in Hula Hoop, Belly Dance, and Fire Manipulation, they are sure to set the seats on fire opening night!

Saturday Matinee features Emma Curtiss – Cyr Wheel Extraordinaire. A swirling, twirling, dizzying blur of beauty and strength, Emma has been captivating audiences up and down the West Coast for over 5 years performing Cyr Wheel, Silks, and Clowning. Try to keep up as she spins around the stage at our Saturday Matinee!

Saturday Night features La Famiglia Gentile – Foot Juggling Family Troupe. We are delighted to have the internationally acclaimed La Famiglia Gentile as SANCA’s current Artists in Residence! This fantastic flipping family will have you on the edge of your seats as they juggling not only objects with their feet but themselves too!

Sunday Matinee features Saffi Watson – Contortion. Cirrus Circus student, Saffi Watson started her performing career at the ripe age of 6, performing with SANCA, Teatro Zinzani, as well as other various venues. Under the careful direction of such elite artists as Vita Radionova and Jacob Skeffington, Saffi has blossomed into the embodiment of grace, style, power, and control.

Hosted by The Amazing Juan! After discovering a natural talent for magic while living under the stairs at his Aunt and Uncle’s house, he decided to share his passion with the world. After making stops in Cairo, Greece, Cleveland and brief run in Tijuana that resulted in some interesting and slightly embarrassing photos, The Amazing Juan will be taking Seattle by SASSy storm, hosting all four shows. Prepare yourselves for a magical display of awesomeness as The Amazing Juan makes his SANCA debut!

Tickets at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2886600

Moisture Festival Benefit Show

Cirrus_Hotel2015_triounicycle_cornicello_sq_sm

TRIcycle

April 3rd, 3pm

“This show will be a special benefit show for SANCA, featuring guest appearances from SANCA artists and staff.  Net proceeds from this show will go towards SANCA’s programs recognized nationally as a leader in youth circus arts education, safety, and instructor training.

The Moisture Festival presents its 13th year of high energy comedy/varietè shows featuring a rapid succession of acts showcasing comedy alongside awe-inspiring physical and mental dexterity, with poignant moments of strength and delicate beauty to make audiences laugh, wonder, shake their heads in disbelief and truly appreciate how live entertainment can exhilarate and bring real joy. A live show band propels each performance. Varietè has its roots in the Music Halls of 19th century England, cabaret in Europe and vaudeville in America. Because of the talented artists currently working in this genre, it is still fresh, exciting and tremendous fun for the audience.”

Jasmine on the wire

Jasmine on the wire

Buy tickets today!

Performers include:
Cirrus Circus
Jasmine Manuel
The Amazing Circus 1-dersTRIcycle
Duncan Davenport
Magnificent 7
Brighter Than Diamonds
Mary Gargett
with Special Guests Splinter Dance & The Georgetown Orbits!

Meet SANCA’s P3s! (Part 2)

SANCA is very excited to welcome the latest group of young circus artists to the third year of our Professional Preparatory Program (P3)!

The P3 program, now in its third year, offers training for young adults seeking professional careers in the circus arts. The 9-month program provides 30 hours per week of coursework designed to prepare artists for auditions and entry into multi-year circus programs. Training includes four areas of focus:

  • Acrobatics (handstands, tumbling, trampoline, partner acrobatics)
  • Aerial (static trapeze, rope, fabric, hoop, Chinese pole)
  • Dance (ballet, modern, choreography)
  • Theater and Act Creation (improvisation, physical storytelling, acting, mask and clown)

The 9-month academic year is divided into five sessions, during which students first learn a baseline of skills, and then create two acts in the specialties of their choice. In the final session, the students create and perform an ensemble show. Throughout the year, students have the opportunity to assist in the production aspects of other SANCA productions and present works in progress in informal settings for development and constructive feedback.

P3 Group Acro

SANCA’s 2015-16 P3 students get to work on their first day at SANCA!

Coming Blog Posts will introduce SANCA’s P3 students. Today, please welcome Chris Bess and Aleasha Lynn Rosette Holtby to SANCA and the P3 Program!


Chris Bess HSChris Bess hails from Raleigh, North Carolina. He began his is career in physical arts as gymnast, later branching out into parkour, free-running, dance, and tricking. Tricking is a multi-disciplinary art that combines tumbling, martial arts, breakdancing, and strong sense of aesthetics.

Chris says that in Circus Arts, he’s found a way to put all these disciplines and skills together as a performance art that has diversity and creativity that’s not always available in other disciples.

He wants to communicate with movement, and feels most expressive through circus as a medium for making art and putting it into the world. Chris is interested in pushing boundaries, innovating, and creating things that people have never seen before.

Chris discovered SANCA when a physical theater teacher at UNC Charolette, Carlos Cruz, told him about circus and SANCA. Carlos is a circus and aerial straps artist originally from Do Jump! Dance Theatre and Imago Theatre in Portland, Oregon.

Of SANCA, Chris says the first few weeks have been really good and that it’s great to be in a regular training schedule. He wants to focus on Circus Arts at SANCA, with a vision of performing circus and making a living performing. He’s been primarily a soloist, but is interested in doing more partner and ensemble work.

He plans to take what he learns at SANCA back to Raleigh, where he’s involved with Raleigh Culture Project – a group dedicated to bringing all the movement disciplines together and fostering connections with musicians, visual artists, media, video, and the Internet.

Aleasha Holtby HSAleasha Lynn Rosette Holtby is 26. She was looking for new challenges after practicing yoga for five years, and discovered contortion. Shortly after that she started taking aerial classes and fell in love with all of it. She is specializing in Lyra (aerial hoop).

Aleasha wants to master the Lyra and learn intense tricks like elbow rolls and the one-foot toe hang. She’s very excited to expand her acrobatic and dance skills to create a captivating acro-dance. She also is excited to develop more skills all aspects of circus arts so that she can bring her knowledge home to teach it to others. One of her professional goals is to open her own aerials/yoga studio.

She chose to study at SANCA because it offered a full time program, and she wants to spend a full year immersed in circus! Aleasha looks forward to becoming proficient in each discipline, mastering the Lyra, and discovering passions in the circus arts.

AleashaHoltby

Aleasha performing a Lyra and contortion act.

Cirrus Circus presents “Hotel”

Hotel poster FINALsmHOTEL is the tale of a once-grand institution that has fallen on hard times. A thick layer of dust covers the concierge desk and the rooms sit unoccupied. When two unsuspecting guests arrive to stay the night, little do they know, they are in for a wild ride. With portraits that swing out of their frames, a fountain that comes to life, acrobatic bellhops and juggling ghosts, it’s clear…this is no ordinary hotel!

Cirrus Circus is known throughout Seattle as one of the most accomplished youth circus groups in the region. The troupe is in demand locally, performing at many of Seattle’s popular festivals and events, including Moisture Festival, Seattle Center’s Winterfest, the Georgetown Carnival, and more. In July 2014, Cirrus Circus had the honor of performing internationally at the London International Youth Circus Festival in England, at No Fit State in Cardiff, Wales and Island Circus in Sylt, Germany.

HOTEL will feature all-new original numbers on trapeze, aerial fabric, aerial hoop, and Chinese pole, as well as contortion, club juggling, unicycle, partner acrobatics, clowning, and more.

HOTEL is a collaboration between the Directors and members of Cirrus Circus, with costume design by Milla Voellinger, set by Morgan Sobel, acrobatics consulting from Jacob Skeffington and Erica Rubenstein, and select originally composed music by Tristan Moore.

Rachel Nehmer, Interim Cirrus Circus Managing Director
Arne Bystrom, Cirrus Circus Assistant Director

Meet Amber, The Fatcrobat, SANCA’s hardest-working student

tumblr_inline_ni5hhgFxHT1r600ylWhen Amber Parker, a case manager with the UW Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute, first came to SANCA she expected to learn new things and get some exercise, but she never expected how rewarding it would be to join a community of supportive, enthusiastic people who would encourage her and help her discover abilities and interests she didn’t even know she had.

Amber was inspired to give adult circus classes a try because a friend in Colorado was learning aerial silks. From watching online videos, she thought it seemed like accessible activity for a heavier person. In her Aerial Fundamentals class, she realized that aerial silks were more difficult than she anticipated, but she found many other things that she could do that she hadn’t expected to be able to do. She discovered strength and flexibility that she didn’t know she had, and she fell in love with the Static Trapeze.

Many of the benefits of circus are measurable – she lost forty pounds, reduced her high blood pressure, and reduced her daily stress – but Amber says it’s the intangible benefits that really make the difference. She feels powerful and in control of her own body for the first time in her life. Her past eight months of taking circus classes has increased her self-efficacy and boosted her self-esteem.

tumblr_inline_ngyveb7U6h1r600ylAmber points out that her progress is measured and appreciated on its own merit, and at SANCA, she doesn’t feel compared to others. Every day she trains, she feels supported, encouraged, and acknowledged for her efforts. She credits her aerial coach, Leslie Rosen, and other SANCA instructors with making circus accessible by modifying exercises to accommodate the individual. Smaller, step-by-step progressions have made it possible for her to achieve more and build up to more advanced circus skills.

Amber wants others to know that “Circus is a great way to discover the full range of your own physical abilities. You are always put in a position to achieve success.”

You can follow Amber’s circus success on Tumblr – The Fatcrobat

Bellevue Girl Finds Success in Circus Skills

http://www.bellevuereporter.com/entertainment/225657571.html

Saffi Watson brings oohs and ahs from the audience
— Image Credit: Courtesy Photo, Teatro ZinZanni
posted Sep 28, 2013 at 2:20 PM

By Gabrielle Nomura
Special to the Bellevue Reporter
For the majority of 12-year olds, extracurricular activities are all about self-improvement: mastering the art of shooting a ball through a basket, speaking a new language or mastering a dance move.
Saffi Watson, a Tillicum Middle School sixth grader and Bellevue resident, knows all about practice.
The talented contortionist and gymnast can hold her limbs in an ever-moving sculpture, like a living work of origami art. Saffi’s hands know the floor well; she’s used to resting her entire body weight on them in a variety of poses. In these handstands, her ballerina-like feet hover high above her head. With a smile on her face, she radiates warmth and poise during her performances.
Saffi has performed on a hoop suspended from the ceiling and been shot out of a cannon, just to name a few acts.
She’s also extremely practiced in the art of making audience members “ooh and ahh,” having taken this talent to the stages of Teatro ZinZanni, Moisture Festival and Cirque Dreams Illumination.
During a run of a ZinZanni family show, “In Tents” two years ago, Watson, only 10 at the time, left audience members waiting with baited breath.
As childlike music plucked like the metal heart of a jewelry box, Watson moved slowly and deliberately. Smiling serenely, she blew kisses, clutching a teddy bear.
Suddenly, her head began to fall backward. As if a magnet was connected to her pigtails and her tailbone, she arched backward, discovering the space behind her ankles. Planting her palms to the floor, the girl’s supple torso bent generously. With her entire body in an “O” shape for just a moment, Watson suddenly released her legs, which gracefully launched out behind her onto the ground, like “the worm” dance move.
Circus arts are a healthy and positive activity for all young people, even if they aren’t born with exceptional flexibility like Watson.
Unlike gymnastics or ballet, there’s less of an emphasis on competition or being the best. Here, it’s about affirmation and teaching kids a wide variety of skills. They can use these as performing artists, or simply to increase their self-esteem said Erica Rubinstein, a coach of Watson’s who teaches at Seattle’s School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA).
“Every skill, every body type has a place and is valued,” Rubinstein said.
This appealed to Saffi’s parents, a singer and pianist who are both performers themselves.
Clifford Watson just hopes his daughter grows up to be healthy and happy.
“We signed her up for gymnastics because we noticed she would jump off the sofa and do crazy things,” he said. “With a kid like that, you can either get them to stop, or you can help them harness and use that talent.”
To learn more about classes in the circus arts for all ages, go to sancaseattle.org.
Gabrielle Nomura is a former staff writer with the Bellevue Reporter. She lives in Seattle.