Here & Now

How to Thrive? #CirqueFromHome

To paraphrase every email you’ve received in the past two weeks: Everything’s canceled. The DMV has topped 1,200 cases. Stay home. Wash your hands. Distance yourself from humans. Flatten the curve. Don’t stoke the virus.

In these trying times, the Circus District has the quarantine content to keep you energized,  entertained and engaged.

WATCH

  • Tomorrow (4/4), enjoy hours of local and live entertainment streamed by Mobtown Ballroom for their Mobtown Telethon, starting at noon at this YouTube live link. Tune in early for kids’ programming, followed by music/educational content in the evening and ‘Mobtown After Dark’ in the later hours. All performers will share their Venmo/Paypal information, allowing viewers to support them from home! If you are still interested in performing remotely for the telethon (and don’t mind being up past 3 a.m.), fill out this Google form.
  • Watch Zirkus MOnd livestream a variety/sideshow/circus show from Berlin tomorrow (4/4) from 3:30-5 p.m. EST. The show is available at this public YouTube link. You can support the work of their cast and crew (and receive cool Zirkus MOnd swag) by donating at this link. For English instructions, select the dropdown menu on the left and change ‘DE’ to ‘EN.’
  • For those lucky enough to be quarantined with a television, PBS is airing its debut recording of Akhnaten, orginally performed at the Metropolitan Opera, on Sunday (4/5) at noon. Featuring a mesmerizing, hypnotic score by Philip Glass, this opera chronicles the life of a trailblazing monotheistic Egyptian pharaoh, expressed through incredible vocals and the ‘visual percussion’ of Sean Gandini’s juggling ensemble. Get more information about this edition of Great Performances at this link.
  • 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. Recorded in 2017 at the 40th anniversary of the Mime Festival in London, this show will bring a jolt of playful energy to your stay-home club. 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 Jame and a hilariously impressive rendition of ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ by a French percussion quartet.

PARTICIPATE

  • Celebrate the 15th Anniversary of Gallery5 in Richmond at Pyro Circus tonight (4/3) from 7-10 p.m. This Zoom event is hosted by three DJs, who will feature participants’ live fire and flow performances throughout the evening, while also highlighting archival footage of past fire jams. Stay tuned to their Facebook event page for the pending event link.
  • The first edition of the French Virtual Juggling Convention will take place tomorrow (4/4) and Sunday (4/5). The virtual juggling space opens at 6 a.m. EST at this Discord link, but if you prefer to just watch the shows, visit the Facebook event page for an incoming YouTube live link for their open stage show (1 p.m. EST) and gala show (3 p.m. EST).

LEARN

  • 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

  • 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.