This Week — 17 April 2021

BLACK LIVES MATTER (PERIOD.)

  • The lives, families, thoughts, experiences, work, research, art, food and music of Black people still matter. Black women and Black trans people are daily lifting up their communities, building up culture, and offering vocal solutions for systemic issues — yet they are consistently disdained, ignored or under-valued for these contributions. This needs to change. No one should be targeted for going about their daily routine, and there is no justice in a system that disproportionately criminalizes and antagonizes Black people, people of color, Indigenous people, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
  • Contribute to micro-grants for U.S. circus artists of color by donating to Connecting Circus Students Around the World (CSAW), which awards monthly financial assistance to circus artists to create new work.
  • Read this brief guide to being an ally. (summary: don’t ask BIPOC to do the work or relive trauma for you).
  • Support or organize a mutual aid network in your community. This extraordinary document from 730DC is a great resource for mutual aid, food banks, medical services and community advocacy organizations you can get behind.
  • Support Daunte Wright’s family as they grieve their loss and rebuild their lives.
  • Donate to justice for Dominique Williams, who was killed along with James Johnson in Takoma Park on April 7.

SUBMIT

SUBMIT YOUR VIDEO – DEADLINE EXTENDED!


WATCH

April 17

  • Acrobatic Conundrum presents their virtual show taking circus beyond the tent in Between Dreams. This production is a cross between a show and a movie, collecting the Covid-stifled thoughts and emotions of 12 circus artists in a feature-length performance. The show premieres on April 17 at 10 p.m. EST., but will be viewable for a whole month. Get tickets at this link.

April 19

April 24 & 25

April 24


ATTEND

April 17 & 18

May 8

  • Fearless Fire founder Thomas Santiago will be running three fire-eating workshops, from beginner to advanced, in Baltimore. These workshops will be run according to the latest CDC guidelines and Covid-19 statistics in the area. Get more information and register at the Facebook event page.

Photo by Brett Davis. © 2017 from the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. https://flic.kr/p/Xe6N3B https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

This Week — 9 April 2021

We’ve got plenty of exciting circus developments below for your reading, learning and viewing pleasure. Have an in-person or virtual event coming up? Submit it on our website.


CELEBRATE

SUBMIT YOUR VIDEO


READ

DISPATCH


WATCH

April 9-17

Through April 12

  • Les 7 Doigts de la Main‘s virtual show En Panne (Out of Order) is viewable online at this link. This beautiful work of cinematography was filmed in the heights of the pandemic, as artists reflect on what their creativity and accomplishments mean in this era.

April 12

April 17

  • Acrobatic Conundrum presents their virtual show taking circus beyond the tent in Between Dreams. This production is a cross between a show and a movie, collecting the Covid-stifled thoughts and emotions of 12 circus artists in a feature-length performance. The show premieres on April 17 at 10 p.m. EST., but will be viewable for a whole month. Get tickets at this link.

April 24 & 25

April 24


LEARN

April 11


ATTEND

April 17 & 18

May 8

  • Fearless Fire founder Thomas Santiago will be running three fire-eating workshops, from beginner to advanced, in Baltimore. These workshops will be run according to the latest CDC guidelines and Covid-19 statistics in the area. Get more information and register at the Facebook event page.

This Week — 2 April 2021

Luckily, our weekly update doesn’t coincide with April Fools’ Day — so none of the information below harbors any (intentional) pranks or deceit. Have a truly wonderful weekend everyone!


CELEBRATE

SUBMIT YOUR VIDEO


READ

DISPATCH


WATCH

April 2-4

  • Enjoy a wide variety of all-ages performances in Virtual Moisture Festival, the longstanding Seattle variety arts event that’s been forced online for two seasons now. Shows are April 1-3 (10:30 p.m. EST) and April 4 (7 p.m. EST). Get tickets at this link.

April 2-17

  • Register for the Circus International Film Festival and get free links to film screenings sent to your inbox as they are released. Films will be available to view for 24 hours each day, and you can also vote for your favorites to receive awards on the festival’s final day, April 17. Categories include filmmakers under 18, documentary/performance shorts and full length productions. Register at this linkDonate to the organizers here.

Through April 4

April 5

April 17

  • Acrobatic Conundrum presents their virtual show taking circus beyond the tent in Between Dreams. This production is a cross between a show and a movie, collecting the Covid-stifled thoughts and emotions of 12 circus artists in a feature-length performance. The show premieres on April 17 at 10 p.m. EST., but will be viewable for a whole month. Get tickets at this link.

April 24 & 25

Anytime

  • Circadium‘s evening of unfinished/experimental circus acts — aka Test Flights — is available to watch at this link. Hosted by Zak McAllister, this production includes acrobatics, Chinese pole, lyra, cyr wheel and more!

ATTEND

April 3

April 17 & 18

Various Dates

  • Enjoy an informal, socially distanced juggling hangout at the Old Town Playground near the College Park Metro station, at the intersection of Columbia and College Avenues. Parking is available on the street, or you can use the metro parking lot. Message John at oldmanjuggler@gmail.com for meeting days and times.

Photo by Blink O’fanaye. © 2017 https://flic.kr/p/WJ2tPh https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

Artists of Note: Rudy Horn

This is a continuing series highlighting circus performers and producers who’ve made an impact on circus arts history and culture.

Photo courtesy of Bradford Timeline, (c) 2012. https://flic.kr/p/PfGsgP https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

This week’s featured artist is Rudy Horn. He was born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1933 and began juggling at age 7. Instigated by his father, who gave him three apples and encouraged him to juggle, Rudy took those apples to greater heights than anyone could have imagined.

During the 1940s, he entertained U.S. troops in Germany in exchange for cigarettes and chocolate, which were valuable bartering tools at the time. In the 1950s, he joined Circus Krone and began touring the U.S., appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show and in other exhibitions of variety arts.

Rudy’s unbelievable tricks included a series in which he rode a six-foot unicycle while flipping cups and saucers onto his head one by one; a seven-ball force bounce off of a drum; and a long seven-ring cascade with a lamp balanced on his forehead.

See them all in the video above! Ball bouncing @1:05, Rings @ 1:53 and Unicycle @ 2:51. Talk about an exhausting and fast-paced routine!

Rudy didn’t see another performing juggler until 12 years into his juggling practice, making his achievements even more incredible. Imagine going 12 years without being able to ‘Google’ somebody and instantly pull up their act on YouTube. You could say those were simpler times, but Rudy’s juggling was far from simple.

In January 1965, the International Jugglers Association newsletter reported the following:

“If you prefer juggling that is high wide and handsome and full of suspense you should certainly see the phenomenal Rudy Horn.”

To celebrate Rudy’s juggling, toss some cups and saucers on your head. Just kidding! Leave that to the professionals.

Unless you like breaking a lot of plates, learn a foot balance instead! As Rudy demonstrates, using an object that is taller with a heavier top makes the balance easier.

Warm up by balancing on one foot for 30 seconds to a minute. Then, place the base of the object on the part of your foot just above your toes. Look at the top of the object and stay underneath it. Try to keep its motion right-to-left as opposed to forward-backward. It’s harder to recover when it’s falling towards you or away from you. This a fun trick to try with a cane or with an upside-down, folded umbrella.

Stay inspired, and keep creating art!

This Week — 19 March 2021

This month has brought us another weekend to listen, reflect and learn. Fortunately, the circus provides a lens through which to educate ourselves, witness the incredible stories of those in our community, and marvel at the talent and creativity of our world.


READ

CIRCADEMIA — A BRIEF INTRODUCTION

ANTI-RACISM

  • Like all prominent entertainment industries in the U.S., the circus has played a significant role in promoting and profiting from Asian stereotypes, and as a result distilling all Asian identities into an indistinct ‘other.’
  • Learn about the Chinese woman Afong Moy, renamed as such and brought to the U.S as a teenager in 1834 by traders who sought to make money from her perceived exoticism. She toured extensively and also performed at P.T. Barnum’s American Museum in 1842. Hers is an all-too-common story that persists today of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders receiving token fascination in manufactured stereotypes while suffering unjust angst from a public eager to groundlessly blame them for society’s ills.
  • This study guide from The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art explores harmful depictions of Asian cultures in circus posters from 1850 to 1950, providing an introduction to some of the more common images and tropes that left a mark on American popular culture.
  • Sign up for a free bystander intervention training to help curb Asian/American and xenophobic harassment.

ATTEND

March 21

  • Puppeteers of America will celebrate World Puppetry Day with a free online gathering of puppeteers and puppet enthusiasts from 3-5 p.m. EST. The first hour will feature an introduction to this annual event as well as information about the Puppet Relief Fund. The second hour includes breakout rooms covering topics like equity and diversity in puppetry, 3D filmmaking, puppet building and more. Register for free at this link.

Various Dates

  • Jugglers by the name of John, Dzhoy and David are hosting an informal, socially distanced juggling hangout at the Old Town Playground near the College Park Metro station, at the intersection of Columbia and College Avenues. Parking is available on the street, or you can use the metro parking lot. Message John at oldmanjuggler@gmail.com for meeting days and times.

WATCH

March 19-21

  • The 7 Fingers will air their show Out of Order, with showtimes at 10:30 p.m. (3/19-20) and 3 p.m. (3/21) EST. This production was created in the throes of lockdown, using theatricality and acrobatics to express the strife and hope of the present times. Get tickets at this link.

March 19-April 17

  • Register for the Circus International Film Festival and get free links to film screenings sent to your inbox as they are released. Films will be available to view for 24 hours each day, and you can also vote for your favorites to receive awards on the festival’s final day, April 17. Categories include filmmakers under 18, documentary/performance shorts and full length productions. Register at this link. Donate to the organizers here.

March 22

March 27

March 31

April 1-4

  • Enjoy a wide variety of all-ages performances in Virtual Moisture Festival, the longstanding Seattle variety arts event that’s been forced online for two seasons now. Shows are April 1-3 (10:30 p.m. EST) and April 4 (7 p.m. EST). Get tickets at this link.

LEARN


APPLY


Featured image by Marco Verch © 2017. https://foto.wuestenigel.com/aerial-of-circus/  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

This Week — 12 March 2021

Don’t forget that our calendar has a full list of upcoming events. If you’ve got a workshop, showcase or talk fast approaching, let us know at circusdistrict@gmail.com.


READ


WATCH

March 15

March 18-21

  • The 7 Fingers will air their show Out of Order, with showtimes at 10:30 p.m. (3/18-20) and 3 p.m. (3/21) EST. This production was created in the throes of lockdown, using theatricality and acrobatics to express the strife and hope of the present times. Get tickets at this link.

March 27

March 31


LEARN


APPLY

  • Students ages 10-17 can now apply for the Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour InTENTsive, which runs for eight weeks from June 19 to mid-August. This opportunity enables students to become colleagues with camp leaders in designing, building and producing a complete circus show. Applications are due March 22. Visit this link to apply and get more details. No accepted students are denied participation because of financial need, as scholarships are available.
  • Bindlestiff Family Cirkus is offering their tenth annual First of May Awards, which provide creation and residency grants for circus artists. This year’s award will allow one recipient to enjoy a residency at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, with 2-3 weeks of creation time for up to 14 people. Applications are due April 1. Get more information and apply at this link.

SUPPORT

  • Circus artists Jean Carlos Claudio and Raquel Torre of Circo La Vuelta are building a circus and movement space in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. Their fundraiser will help them purchase aerial equipment and allow them to better serve the heavily Puerto Rican and Hispanic population in the community. Donate to the cause at this link.