Here & Now

How to Thrive? #CirqueFromHome

Everything’s canceled. Stay home. Wash your hands. Wear a mask when you’re out and about. Distance yourself from humans. Don’t stoke the virus. In these trying times, the Circus District has the quarantine content to keep you energized, entertained and engaged.

LIVE SHOWS

  • Enjoy a splendid variety of sideshow and circus at the Stay Inside-Show, a FB watch party showcase, next Friday (6/5) at 8:30 p.m. Performers include bow-and-arrow specialist Gigi DeLuxe, knife-throwing comedian Jack Dagger, D.C. juggler Christian Kloc and more! Tickets are a $5 suggested minimum donation, payable at this link. Visit the FB event page to watch the show, viewable with or without a FB account.
  • The Early Evening Show out of Maine returns next Saturday (6/6) at 7 p.m., featuring Fritz Grobe of Diet Coke and Mentos fame, juggling brothers Colin and Shane Miclon, folk music duo Oren Robinson and April Reed-Cox, host Mike Miclon, and many more talents from across the globe. Buy tickets at this link to receive the emailed livestream link.
  • The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Open Stage (Quarantine Edition) continues this next Monday (6/8) at 7:30 p.m. on Facebook and YouTube. Support their efforts to keep sideshow, variety and circus alive by donating at this link. Email keith@bindlestiff.org with the subject ‘Open Stage’ to be appear in future shows.

STREAMING

  • The latest episode of MOVE IT! is available on Vimeo at this link. In this edition, Mark Lonergan interviews Chris Lashua, founder and artistic director of Cirque Mechanics, as they explore video highlights from three of the company’s shows (Birdhouse, Boom Town and Pedal Punk).
  • The National Centre for Circus Arts of London is streaming their 2015 show Polymer tomorrow (5/30) at 1 p.m. Watch the show at this link. This production includes graduates of the school and is directed by Lina Johansson, co-founder of the female acrobatic theater troupe Mimbre.
  • La Symphonie du Hanneton — Charlie Chaplin’s grandson James Thiérrée directs and stars in this masterpiece of slapstick humor, acrobatic artistry and inventive visuals. This show will captivate young and old from beginning to end, with acts of juggling, trapeze and contortion throughout the production.
  • Cirque du Soleil has been releasing regular videos for your at-home entertainment. Their latest is a look at their shows Totem, Corteo and Volta, viewable at this link.
  • Don’t sleep on the latest episode of The New Circus, which takes you into the world of Gamma Phi Circus at Illinois State University. This YouTube series, directed and created by Samantha Gurnick, shines a light on the contemporary circus scene in the U.S. and beyond. Visit this link to see it now.
  • You can now stream D.C.-based Pointless Theatre Company’s Rite of Spring, featuring dance, puppetry and mask set to Stravinsky’s iconic score to tell the story of a desperate future wrought by ecological collapse. Follow this link to watch this riveting production, and donate to Pointless Theatre Co. here.
  • Swedish contemporary circus company Cirkus Cirkӧr has released their show Wear it like a crown to watch on Vimeo at this link. This show had its debut in 2010, completing a trilogy of circus shows about the body, this one focused on the complex relationship between the left and right cerebral hemispheres. The production’s six-person ensemble explores this theme through knife-throwing, juggling, shadowplay, illusions, acrobatics and drama.
  • Smashed, a Gandini Juggling production recently made available to view anytime on Vimeo at this link, pays homage to choreographer Pina Bausch with nine jugglers, 100 red apples and a soundtrack of popular music ranging from Bach to country icon Tammy Wynette. They’ve also released their production of Twenty Twenty, for your online viewing pleasure at this link. After you watch the shows, throw them some dollars (or pounds) to show your appreciation at their fundraising page to support their juggling artists. And follow Gandini Juggling on Facebook to see their next release.
  • The Kennedy Center’s Digital Stage features continuously updated content from their rich performance archive. Recent updates include a magic trick by illusionist Kevin James and a hilariously impressive rendition of ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ by a French percussion quartet.

LEARN

  • The Circus Arts Hub is offering a panel discussion on Monday (6/1) at 8 a.m. titled Circus Futures — Physical Theatre or Circus? RSVP at this link.
  • CircusTalk is hosting a panel discussion on Tuesday (6/2) titled ‘Circus Media: The Evolving Field,’ moderated by Adolfo Rossomando. This talk will appear on their YouTube channel.
  • Local artist and antipodist Anne Weshinskey is offering a video tutorial series for anyone interested in making spinning carpets (for foot or hand manipulation), with more details at this link.
  • Make a Puppet— Local physical theater and puppetry duo Alex & Olmsted teach you how to build and animate a charismatic puppet out of ordinary household items.
  • In the Dark Circus Arts is hosting weekly Zoom classes in hooping, flexibility, dance and conditioning, with schedules announced on their Facebook page
  • Emilia’s Acrobatics and Gymnastics is offering Zoom classes for kids and adults in flexibility, conditioning, handstands and yoga. Follow them on Facebook for the latest schedule updates and meeting links.
  • Monarca in Flight is now offering online classes in flexibility, conditioning and yoga. See the class schedule and sign up on their website.
  • The Muse in Brooklyn is offering donation-based online classes at this link. From juggling to acro to handstands to games to theater, their wide selection of accessible classes will keep all ages of your household engaged and entertained during quarantine.
  • Get expert instruction in handstands, flexibility, contortion and conditioning with Shelly Flex Athletics. Shelly Guy offers virtual coaching from her studio in Gaithersburg, Md., with pro tips from years of experience teaching and performing handstands, contortion and aerial arts. Get started by messaging her on Facebook or visiting https://shellyflex.com/coaching.
  • Pole Pressure DC is offering virtual classes in deep stretch and flexibility, pole conditioning, chair choreography and more. Visit their website to explore membership options that will give you access to these classes, which allow you to participate from home with minimal or no equipment.
  • The Circus World museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin, is posting regular updates on its Facebook and Instagram feeds offering virtual tours of its incredible collection of circus memorabilia, musical instruments and archival literature. Also, get a free print-at-home coloring book (for kids of all ages!) from their website.
  • CircusTalk provides a centralized circus resource including news, education, jobs and events. Some parts of the site are free of charge, but others require a CircusTalk Pro membership.

LISTEN

  • see u down the road, presented by Circus Voices through CircusTalk, is available on all podcasting platforms. This short-form series chronicles the fascinating stories of professional circus artists in an engaging and fresh manner. Visit this link for the latest episode.
  • Listen to the first episode of Monkey See, Monkey Discuss, a Circus Voices podcast, at this link. This show follows juggling convention organizer Rosie Kelly and recent Circomedia graduate Ruby Burgess as they discuss the state of the circus industry in times of COVID-19. They will address issues of mental health in the circus community, as well as how circus schools and organizations are making the adjustment to online and non-traditional spaces.
  • The Props to That! Podcast is available on Spotify (and iTunes Canada). This series interviews object manipulation experts and contemporary circus artists about their craft, covering topics like street performing, clowning, prop making, circus careers and the creative process.
  • The Artist Athlete interview series (available on YouTube, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play and other major podcasting platforms) follows aerialist Shannon McKenna as she chats with industry professionals, from circus therapists to Cirque du Soleil acrobats, about their lives backstage, safe training practices and other lessons from lives in circus.

SUPPORT

  • This global pandemic has left no member of the circus community unscathed. From lost gigs to cancelled contracts to jobs put on hold, this event will leave its mark on our worldwide community. Think about the teachers, performers and producers in your community who continue to bring light and joy to the world through their art in these difficult times. If you’re in the DMV, here are a few creators and venues worth checking out for their inventive content and worthwhile fundraising campaigns. We will keep updating this list, so check back often! Happenstance Theater, Mobtown Ballroom, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Anacostia Arts Center, Joe’s Movement Emporium.

If you’ve got a great online resource to recommend or a worthy cause to support, message us on Facebook or email your recommendation to circusdistrict@gmail.com.