Yesterday was the last day of the Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival. It was wonderful but sad that it was ending. What a wonderful festival and weekend!
We saw the American Youth Circus Organization showcase. There were kids from all over the country from ages 6 to 21. They performed on a variety of devices whether it was a synchronized unicycle, hoops, or lyra. It was charming and impressive. These kids are quite talented and it was quite amazing to see the future of circus in America.
There were several pieces that stuck out to me. First, there was a German wheel piece from Chicago. There were five German wheels on stage at the same time and that was amazing. Or four German wheels and a Cyr wheel. Can’t beat the spectacle of that. Another piece that struck me was a young woman doing the hula hoops. I think it was intended to be a chanteuse act between the French music (possibly by Edith Piaf) and the costume. It was really well done. The young lady was quite impressive with the hoops. There were three incredible silks acts; one of which had a young lady in green tights and leotard strike a pose and then spin several times. It’s something I haven’t seen before and it worked to emphasize the incredible feat.
I also thought that the dual trapeze “Doll” act was quite charming. The young ladies did a splendid job of incorporating doll poses into their act. And their perpetual, slightly menacing smiles, were the icing on the cake. There was a young contortionist who at one point walked her legs around her body while arching her back on the floor. Quite the bees knees!
Congratulations to all of the kids, their parents, and their coaches!
That sadly was the last circus for us. But we did attend the closing party at the Redmoon Theatre. It was pretty magical. When we walked in there was a woman effectively standing in the middle of a mobile table, wearing a Victorian dress whose skirt was an entire table. She also had a red parasol with LED lights. She had popcorn placed on the table and would wander around the space. There was a man on a tall bike who poured wine. And there was what looked like a mini-zamboni machine with a DJ. Also, the machine blew bubbles. I called him DJ Troubadour.
There were swings, including a tandem swing, and a slide. There was a moving chandelier on a crane that would wander the space occasionally. And Jo Snow was handing out alcoholic snow cones, flavored with grapefruit and vodka, lavender and gin, and other wondrous concoctions. How lovely! (Apparently, you can buy the flavors or make them at home from recipes on their website. How neat!)
And there was the band Girl Group Chicago which was a wonderful throwback to girl bands of the 1960s and beyond. It was pretty awesome. Any band with a brass section gets bonus points in my book.
So that ends the Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival for me. What an amazing time! Congratulations to Shayna Swanson and Matt Roben and all the volunteers for their hard work and dedication.
Until next year? I hope!