Whether it’s a clown literally crawling through the audience or glow-in-the-dark juggling balls, the Summer Circus Spectacular keeps audiences of all ages enthralled and begging for more.
Sailor Circus Alumni, Bailey Sloan, hosts the show with her personal flair in the Historic Asolo Theater at the Ringling Museum, Sarasota Florida. Her narration and the hour-long performance take you through the history of the world famous Ringling Circus and highlights some amazing local performers. As people take their seats in the pit, the remarkable clown, Kirk Marsh, makes his way to the stage by tumbling over the seats, lifting people out of his way.
I have never seen a clown quite like him; there was not a moment that Marsh was on the stage and that people were not laughing. Marsh engages all members of the audience by bringing people on stage to snack on bananas, spins some plates, or toss his trademark red hat around.
The circus tradition of family is kept alive by both the Alvarez teeterboard act and the Anastasini Brothers’ Risley performance. The Alvarez family of four, including the parents and their two teenagers, captivated the audience as they flew off the teeterboard with incredible grace.
Anastasini Brothers, Fabio and Giuliano, kept my heart racing as Fabio twirled in the air atop his older brother’s feet.
In addition to these amazing performers were some incredible solo artists. Charming the audience with his French accent and unique juggling techniques, Sebastian St. Jules has definitely earned the title “Master of Manipulation”. At the young age of fourteen, Sebastian entertains everyone with some classic tunes played by juggling onto a piano.
For me, and many other young aerialists, the most memorable act was by far, Sarasota’s own Dolly Jacobs. She left the audience in awe as she flew through the air during her flawless aerial straps performance.
Each day the quaint theater fills up with people of all ages who leave with a new passion for the art of circus. After the performance, you have the chance to meet the cast and talk to them about their circus beginnings. This small show provides an intimacy that is quite rare of circus productions. The Summer Circus Spectacular is one event I look forward to each summer.
These photos are courtesy of Youth Circus Photographer, James Cole, and also my friend Owen Leonard.