It’s that time of year, when the fashionable singularity of Sarasota: Circus City earns its billing and the dazzling acts of the big top dawn the community. Circus Sarasota’s winter performances open today, running through Feb. 15, and this year is headlined by both the renowned high wire mastery of Nik Wallenda and the dazzling aerial stunts of Dolly Jacobs, both local acts.
Circus Sarasota is a European-style, one-ring circus that strives to run the gamut on family entertainment as well as educate audiences. “I always bring in acts from various disciplines—comedy, thrilling, awe-inspiring, dangerous—and put it all together,” says Pedro Reis, Circus Sarasota CEO. “We’ve been doing this now for 16 years and our audiences leave smiling and awestruck. Some people come three or four times. It really centers on the circus and the art form that it is.”
Reis will open the show with the African-domesticated camel act of Ian Garden Jr., and he’s using the The Manducas, a Portugese comedy duo, to link the night’s performances together and to execute a hand-balancing stunt. The Smirnovs, one of Reis’ regulars, have a quick-change show, and in a first for Circus Sarasota, a ventriloquist named Willer Nicolodi will incorporate audience participation. Duo Platschkov from Belgium performs inverse stunts that make use of juggling to the ground, and Bulgarian Encho Keryazov performs a globally acclaimed hand-balancing act. “I swear I’ve never seen anything like it before,” says Reis about Encho. “Last year, when he worked with us, he had two standing ovations before his act was finished. That’s how incredibly powerful it is.” The regal Paul Binder, who was the co-founder of the Big Apple Circus in New York City and, coincidentally, boss of both Reis and Jacobs when they worked there years ago, will fill the role of ringmaster.
Tickets for Circus Sarasota run from $10 to $49, and no seat is roughly farther than 25 feet away.
Courtesy of SRQ Daily