Tag Archives: wire walking

Decades: A Circus Story Lost in Time

When a mysterious package is delivered to 470 Scenicview Drive, spring break 2019 doesn’t stop for the house full of teens. It’s not until two of them discover that this package is not ordinary but extraordinary that things start getting a little unusual. Journey with Cirrus Circus as two friends romp through Medieval England, Golden Gate Park in the Summer of Love, a run-down speakeasy in the 1920s, and more! Energetic, playful and spirited, Decades is a captivating voyage of discovery that showcases a variety of acrobatics and circus arts in surprising twists and turns.

The latest full-length performance from Cirrus Circus will feature original numbers on Unicycle, Tight Wire, Acrobatics, Duo Static Trapeze, Contortion, Juggling, Chinese Pole, Dance, Lyra and Cyr Wheel, Aerial Straps, Hoop Diving and Aerial Sling.

Shows are at Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, Seattle
April 5th at 7pm; April 6th at 3 or 7pm; April 7th at 3pm
Tickets at https://cirruscircus2019.brownpapertickets.com

Cirrus Circus is the teen performance troupe at the School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts (SANCA). They are 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 Seattles popular festivals and events, including Moisture Festival, Seattle Centers 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.

SANCA’s Annual Showcase Spectacular

One weekend only: April 6th-8th.

We have four shows, each featuring a different line up of spectacular local and internationally renowned circus performers alongside SANCA’s tremendously talented student performers.

Every year SANCA presents a showcase of unique circus performances featuring students, alumni, staff, and friends. SANCA’s Annual Showcase Spectacular (known as SASS) is  the accumulation of the culmination of all the hard work it takes to create new acts. Our students and staff have workshopped these new performances and are ready to take to the stage in displays of pure awesomeness!

Among the featured performers are Seattle favorites, SANCA’s 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!

Performances are at The Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway

Tickets are $12 (youth 16 & under) and $20 (adults 17 & up) in advance online from https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3232395 or at the door $15/$20

Friday Night April 6th, 7pm

Emcee: David Taft
David has been a physical theater artist for over forty years, performing in mask, movement, Commedia dell’Arte, dance and puppetry with a number of ensemble companies, has extensive touring credits on the East Coast and Midwest and has worked Off-Broadway for five seasons.   

The main creative focus of David’s work has been devising theater with collaborative ensembles utilizing text, nonverbal scenarios, and/or scenic choreography to investigate the physical realm of theatre and its power and expressivity. David trained actors in mask, movement and clown at Cornish College of the Arts for twenty- four years and is presently lead instructor of Theater at SANCA in the P3 Program.

Friday night lineup:
Cirrus Circus (unicycle)
Audrey Greaves (bounce juggling)
Sara Haverkamp (German wheel)
SANCA (group juggling)
Maria Mork (poi)
Nimbus Circus (formerly the Magnificent 7) (wire walking)
Caroline Alvarran-Belz & Sylvie Vermilya (partner acro)
Tania Nambo-Excobar (aerial rope)
Julaine Hall (aerial straps)
Milla Rose (aerial rings)
Laura Miller (aerial sling & tap dance)
Ashlei Mayo (aerial fabric)
Stratus Circus (formerly the Amazing Circus 1-ders) (aerial ladder)
Missy Nagin (lyra)
SANCA group (Chinese pole)

Friday Night Featured Performer: Julaine Hall. Starting at the young age of 5, Julaine joined SANCA’s youngest youth troupe and took off running!  To say that Julaine is a powerhouse is the understatement of the decade as she is proficient in Tumbling, Juggling, Acro, Teeterboard, Straps, and Chinese Pole just to name a few.  A better way to describe Julaine is as a force of nature!  Prepare to be astounded by incredible feats of strength and endurance on the Chinese Pole.

Saturday Matinee April 7th, 3pm  

Emcee: Mary Machala – Actor, Director, Improvisationalist and occasional Unicycler
Mary has acted and directed in Seattle for the past 30 years but who’s counting?  She is a founding member of Book-It Repertory Theatre, Artistic Director of the socio/political improv group Off the Wall Players (this was a long time ago), and touring member of Dudley Riggs’ Brave New Workshop out of Minneapolis, MN (a really long time ago).  She’s also a Master Gardener, Master Composter, Apprentice Beekeeper and fledgling Master Pruner.  After four years of circus classes she still can’t juggle but she can (with a lot of warm up) unicycle across the floor.  Progress, not perfection.

Saturday Matinee Lineup:
Hallie Smith (Cyr wheel)
Max Voronin (diabolo)
Laura Sposato (tumbling)
Fiona Ryan (German wheel)
Rachel Randall & Nick Lowery & Wendy Harden & Nick Harden (group juggling and acro)
Faye Visintainer & Devin Helton (poi)
Julaine & Jacob Hall (unicycle)
Stratus Circus (formerly Amazing Circus 1-ders) (lasso)
Jordan Rempel-White (aerial straps)
Faye Visintainer (single-point trapeze)
Erin Henderson (aerial fabric)
Alyssa’s Aerial Class (mixed aerial)
Duo Avocado (duo trapeze)
Nimbus Circus (formerly the Magnificent 7) (unicycle & lyra)
Cirrus Circus (Chinese pole)

Saturday Matinee Featured Performer: Duo Avocado
Comprising of Youth Company coach Alyssa Hellrung and Stratus Circus performer Ava Vermilya, Duo Avocado will light up the stage on Saturday afternoon!  These two amazing performers have been working together on the Double Trapeze for several years and are excited to showcase some new skills for SASS!  Don’t miss this stunning performance of trust and skill on April 7th at 3:00PM!

Saturday Night April 7th, 7pm

Emcee: Mary Machala – Actor, Director, Improvisationalist and occasional Unicycler
Mary has acted and directed in Seattle for the past 30 years but who’s counting?  She is a founding member of Book-It Repertory Theatre, Artistic Director of the socio/political improv group Off the Wall Players (this was a long time ago), and touring member of Dudley Riggs’ Brave New Workshop out of Minneapolis, MN (a really long time ago).  She’s also a Master Gardener, Master Composter, Apprentice Beekeeper and fledgling Master Pruner.  After four years of circus classes she still can’t juggle but she can (with a lot of warm up) unicycle across the floor.  Progress, not perfection.

Saturday Night Lineup:
Cirrus Circus (group acrobatics)
Siren Glenn (dance pole)
Brighter Than Diamonds (Floorial)
Fallon Mickle & Mary Gargett (hula hoop)
Aimee Storm (poi), Aimee Storm (wire walking)
Emma Cady (aerial fabric)
EJ Landsman (aerial straps)
Vertical Axis (duo aerial fabric)
Emma Curtiss (aerial fabric)
James Finch & Alyssa Luna (duo trapeze)
Iris Stokes (German wheel)
Mari Sharpe (lyra), Nick Harden (circus bike)
Jasmine Manuel & Tania Nambo-Escobar (duo aerial rope)

Saturday Night Featured Performer: Nick Harden
Internationally renowned unicyclist and bike extraordinaire, Nick Harden will take the stage for a performance that is sure to delight.  Nick has been unicycling his way around America and overseas for many years and is here to bring you a new act for your entertainment.  A dazzling display of spins, turns, and tricks on the Swing Bike awaits you on Saturday night.

Sunday Matinee April 8th, 3pm

Emcee: Emma Cady began training in circus arts at SANCA at the age of nine.  From age ten to eighteen, she performed with SANCA’s youth troupe Cirrus Circus throughout the greater Seattle area as well as in London, UK, Cardiff, Wales, and Sylt, Germany.  She has also worked as a professional aerial artist in such venues as Seattle Immersive Theater and Teatro Zinzanni, where she played the role of Schmee in their production of Lighter than Air.  In addition to hosting shows at SASS in the past, Emma has also been a Mistress of Ceremonies for the American Youth Circus Organization at two of their national festivals, first in Seattle and most recently in Trenton, NJ.  

Sunday Matinee Lineup:
Sara Haverkamp & Lilian Hoskinson (mixed circus)
Cirrus Circus (contortion)
John Spinosa (unicycle)
Nimbus Circus (formerly Magnificent 7) (tumbling)
Stratus Circus (Amazing Circus 1-ders) (unicycle)
Iska Popovic (wire walking)
Duo Shipwrekt (Laura Miller & Faye Visintainer) (duo trapeze)
Kevin Ruddell (aerial rope)
Carmi Westbrook (single-point trapeze)
Randi Morrison (aerial sling)
Alice Page (aerial fabric)
The Beautiful Aerialists (aerial fabric)
Duo TomKat (duo trapeze)
Julaine Hall (Chinese pole)

Sunday Matinee Featured Performer: Kevin Ruddell
Kevin has been a part of the SANCA community for many years.  Having had both of his children in classes as youngsters, he decided it was time to take to the air himself!  He has been training Rope with several renowned performers including Eve Diamond and Carey Cramer.  Let him astound you with feats of strength as he climbs his way to new heights on the Aerial Rope!

 

Performances supported in part by 4Culture and Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture

“Running Away to Join the Circus” – and dealing with Parkinson’s

From http://www.parkinsonalliance.org/weblog by guest blogger John Cornicello, a Seattle-based portrait photographer Cornicello Photography and a person with Parkinson’s

It all started a few years ago. I was working for a well-known software company. My job had me at a computer, typing, most of the day. I started noticing some “issues.” My left hand was becoming less accurate — DOuble-caps, repeating letters, things like that. I also noticed that my left arm was pulling in towards my body when at rest and it didn’t move/swing as I walked. My piano playing had been actually getting better for a few years, then all of a sudden it started a dive, too.

My first thought was that I suffered some sort of mild stroke. I got a referral to a neurologist, had an MRI, and things looked good. He had me do some basic movements. Then, as he observed me, he suggested that I might have Parkinson’s. I had no tremors. Just the stiff left arm and some cogwheel type of movement in my left wrist.

I had already been taking Ropinerole for restless leg, so we didn’t change anything there. My diet has never been that great, so my wife and I tried to go radical (for me) for a few months with no sugar, carbs, or gluten. I did lose about 20 lbs very quickly. However, I was starting to get some tremors in my left hand. After three months, I went back to dairy and gluten but have managed to keep away from sugared soft drinks.

Concurrently with all of this I had been photographing for a circus school here in Seattle. SANCA is the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts, one of the largest such schools in the world. I became friends with the owners and at the end of a benefit show in February 2015 I casually mentioned that I had Parkinson’s and asked Jo Montgomery if she had ever worked with Parkinson’s patients. She said she had not, but that I should stop in at the school next Monday. And I’ve been there just about every Monday, since.

I was 57 and pretty sedentary when I started this. Jo started me up slowly with stretching exercises. And then gradually started asking me to try more activities. My initial reaction to most of these has been, “You want me to do what? OK, I can bounce on a trampoline and do some jumping jack type of movements, But now you want me to do a seat drop? And then come back to a standing position?” I dreaded the trampoline for about 2 weeks.

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Then it clicked and has become a favorite part of our routine. Next came walking on a balance beam. About 3″ wide and 6″ off the ground. More difficult than expected, but not so bad. I could do that one. Until one day she suggested a tight wire instead. A steel cable about 1/2″ or so wide. Barefoot, Jo would be holding one wrist as I walked back and forth across the wire. I never measured it, but I’m guessing it is a 12 foot distance. Amazingly I did it. And I enjoyed it.

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All of this has built good core strength and improved my confidence.

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So next came juggling. I’ve never been able to juggle. Maybe it is from lack of discipline and practice.

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But I try. Balls, clubs, rings. On my own, I’m really bad. But I found that I can toss 2, 3, or even 5 rings with another person. I believe this routine is helping to make new brain connections that might help with Parkinson’s.
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Then back to stretching. When I first started I couldn’t move my left shoulder. I would hold my left arm out to the side and grab a bar and tell it to move up/down and forward/back. And nothing would happen. I could tell my right shoulder to make all sorts of movements and it would. But the left shoulder would just sit there, completely ignoring my commands. I don’t know if is the medications (I started seeing a movement specialist in June 2015, and started Carbo/Leva in September), or all the other exercises, or a combination, but my left shoulder is finally starting to follow instructions and move around in circles when I want it to.

We also do some strength training by doing pull-ups on a trapeze bar and an exercise where I grab a bar above my head against a wall and pull my knees up to my chest 20 times.

Outside of circus school I have set up my home “triathlon” routine where I do a 30 minute routine that consists of a mile on a treadmill, then spin at 80-90 pedal rpm on a stationary bicycle for the balance of the 30 minutes. Then I take a shower.

All of this has helped me maintain a healthy and positive attitude. I consider myself lucky that my tremors are mostly mild and confined to my left hand so they don’t affect my photography. Yes, I’ve started using a tripod more often, but not all the time. I do worry that my left hand tremor might be a distraction to my subjects if my hand starts banging against my tripod. But I do explain the situation if that happens and all seems good.

This past week I found out that one of the members of SANCA’s board of directors has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and she has joined in on the Monday class. Our first try at juggling rings with each other went remarkably well.

Some days I wonder if I should be more concerned with my Parkinson’s. But so far I have managed to maintain a very upbeat attitude. I really look forward to both the SANCA and the home workouts. And I am somewhat amazed as I learn about more and more friends and colleagues who have some sort of tremors, be they essential tremors or Parkinson’s. This makes me have hope that more people will be learning about these issues leading to more research and the possibility of cures and even prevention. In the meantime, I am now starting to think about boxing lessons with a program like Rock Steady Boxing.

Thank you, John, for sharing your story with my assistant and blogging partner, Gloria Hansen. You are very creative and we applaud your unconventional approach to exercise, which we know is the best medicine for Parkinson’s. — Margaret Tuchman, President of  The Parkinson Alliance

Intro to Circus class

Wanna join the circus, but afraid of commitment? This introductory class features a variety of the physical and mental disciplines involved in the circus arts, including aerial, tumbling, trampoline, juggling and balance skills. It’s two hours of circus fun for the whole family (ages 6 and up) and an excellent opportunity to test drive our classes.
Anyone of any skill level, age 6-106 is invited to join us for this class. After one class we know you’ll be hooked on circus.
Tuition: $30/2-hr class
book now