It hardly sounds like a circus. At least not the circus I went to as a boy with trapeze artists, high wire acts, men shot out of cannons, clowns and dancing bears. Cirque Du Soleil is not your ordinary circus. It’s a re-configured phenomenon for the 21st century where music, choreography and story weaves a mesmerizing spell.
Circuses in America have a long history that goes all the way back to shortly after the Revolution, offering the masses a source of diversion and entertainment unlike anything else. In the days before radio and television there were as many as a hundred circuses weaving their way about the land. But circus was not just about spectacular entertainment. At the heart of the circus was an innovative showmanship and entrepreneurism.
The Great Depression and bad investments killed the Ringling Bros. Circus but it did not kill the love for sensational diversions.
I went to the Grotto Circus I had a chance to see the famous Emmett Kelly with his "sad clown" look. I didn't know him from any other but my mom seemed to gush over the fact that we were going to see him, so every time he was out there in the arena all eyes were on him, including mine.
Art, entertainment, story, sensational skill, abandonment to imagination and awe... it's a modern spectacle with modern sensibilities designed to produce an unforgettable experience. There will be shows Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend at the AMSOIL Arena. I'll be there. How abut you?
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In other action, there are several Homegrown Art Openings this week. (It's Homegrown Music Fest here in Duluth/Superior.)
Tonight: Red Mug Coffee House in Superior, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 or so.
Tomorrow, May 4: Ochre Ghost is hosting an opening for the Abstract shows opening at Ochre Ghost and Beaners tomorrow. (I have two pieces at Ochre Ghost and will be there at 6 o'clock before rushing off to the circus.)
Saturday, May 5: "Saturday Morning Cartoons" will be having its opening at the PROVE Gallery from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
It's all free. Get out and take it in.
"Meantime, life goes on all around you."