By Amber Parker
There’s a simmering excitement around SANCA lately that’s greater than the usual magic you feel when you walk into the building. The entire gym feels more alive- children running from annex to annex, parents and volunteers crouched in corners sewing costumes, coaches, directors and administrators bustling all around us. It’s not just that it’s been more busy at SANCA, it’s that Leap with a Twist is approaching us fast, and everywhere you can feel the creative energy that is manifested when a community comes together around a common cause- to produce an original and inspired stage show.
SANCA’s annual fundraising gala, Up with a Twist (re-named Leap with a Twist since it falls on Leap Day in 2016), is a mere three weeks away. This is SANCA’s 7th year producing this show, and it’s become a highly anticipated and integral part of the SANCA community. Not only is Twist the largest show of the year, the fundraising at the gala supports SANCA’s Circus Arts Program for Youth, which makes the benefits of circus arts available to all families, independent of their ability to pay. Considering this mission to make circus arts more accessible, the theme of the show this year feels particularly apt- Creating a World Inspired by Circus. The show explores the question, “What would the world look without circus?” and what’s more, “What would our community look like without SANCA?” In many ways, the artistic direction of the show is an answer to these questions.
David Crellin, also known as Armitage Shanks, The Carney Preacher, has been directing Up with a Twist for the last six years and is working with young performers he’s seen advance through all three youth performance troupes, from the Circus-1ders to Magnificent 7 and on to Cirrus Circus. Here, David speaks to the both the concept behind this year’s show and how it explores a world created by circus:
I had the privilege of observing David in rehearsal with all three troupes featured in Leap with a Twist for their first stumble through rehearsal. With a total of 39 children ranging from ages 5-18, David worked with the young performers for hours choreographing their opening scenes and fine tuning their upcoming performances. It’s truly amazing to see the show come together, not only for the visually stunning art direction, but for the level of commitment and discipline required from everyone involved to bring the show to life.
Please stay tuned to the SANCA blog for more upcoming features on the creation of this year’s Leap with a Twist!