By Howard Pousner
Big Apple Circus presents “Legendarium”
Opens Feb. 1, though Feb. 18, under the big top in Parking Lot A of Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park (enter via West Gate at 1775 Founders Parkway, off Old Roswell Road, Alpharetta). Tickets, $20-$60, available at the circus box office, located in front of the Big Top starting Jan. 31 (no service charge) or via 1-888-541-3750, www.bigapplecircus.org. More info: 1-800-922-3772.
Here a circus, there a circus
In addition to Big Apple, also stopping in Atlanta in coming weeks are …
- Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, with “Dragons” at Philips Arena from Feb. 13 to 18 and at the Arena at Gwinnett Center from Feb. 21 to March 3. The 142nd edition of “the Greatest Show on Earth” is “one of the best,” the Chicago Tribune praised in a November review, “mostly because it comes with a far sharper edge than most of the Ringling editions of late, but also because it is faster-paced and more urgent.” 1-800-745-3000, www.ringling.com.
- UniverSoul Circus, bringing its tour to Turner Field’s Green Lot from Feb. 14 to March 3, works up its big top audience like it’s staging a tent revival. “Our event is all about lifting spirits,” UniverSoul founder and president Cedric Walker said. The Atlanta-based ensemble stars an international roster of contortionists, high wire, Russian bar, teeterboard, hand balancers and other performance artists. 1-800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com, www.universoulcircus.com.
Three Big Apple highlights
We asked ringmaster John Kennedy Kane to pick three “Legendarium” acts unlike anything audiences have seen:
- “Menno and Emily (van Dyke) are this sweet couple from Paris, who juggle while doing the tango. Their act is amazing. You think, ‘Ugh, jugglers,’ but it’s this dance thing that really gets a great hand.”
- “Consistently, people love Elayne Kramer, our contortionist (from Argentina). She does all these crazy positions where the audience is just freaking out. My favorite is the finale. They bring out a target with a balloon and a bow and arrow. She gets in a position where she then shoots the arrow with her feet overhead, supported by her hands. The audience thinks, ‘What is she doing?’ and then when she gets in position, it’s ‘Oh, my god!’”
- “I’ve done a lot of circuses but never seen an act like Desire of Flight (Valeriy Sychev and Malvina Abakarova of Russia). They really are daredevils. They will do a foot-to-foot catch — which if she misses it, she’s coming down. There’s no safety line, no net. They do just insane stuff, but they make it look so easy.”