I’m a huge circus fan and one lucky lady. We’ve been guests of the Big Apple Circus before (in 2014 and 2015) and couldn’t wait to return this year for it’s 41st season!
Once again in Lincoln Center (through January 27th, 2019) we were able to relive the joy of the big top. This time, we brought our two-year-old and experiencing it through his eyes was (as expected) fantastic.
So let’s get to it! Post-pony ride, the lights went down and the circus began.
This Year’s Ringmaster Stephanie Monseu!
This year the Big Apple Circus is led by ringmaster Stephanie Monseu. Well-qualified for the position, she is a circus veteran who can swallow fire, walk on stilts & throw knives with precision. You know, just like you can do too…
Each act had so much excitement.
The Balancing of Emil Faltyny
We loved the amazing balancing of Emil Faltyny which made us look at our home ladder’s potential in a different way (do not try this at home!).
The Wall Trampoline Act – “Spicy Circus”, Created by Andréanne Quintal
We were amazed by the wall trampoline act – “Spicy Circus”, created by Andréanne Quintal. It was hard not to have fun watching this, especially because the performers had such huge smiles on their faces. It looked like it was as much fun to do as to watch. I turned to my kids and pointed out the apparatus these men were jumping on looked like what they often build out of Magna-Tiles. Naturally, they needed to build a replica when we got home.
Acro Fusion of Duo Fusion with Virginia Tuells & Ihosvanys Perez
As an avid Yogi, I am always so impressed to watch the upper body strength of the hard balancing acts. The acro fusion poses of Duo Fusion (featuring the “strongest mom in the world” Virginia Tuells & her husband Ihosvanys Perez) did not disappoint! Even more impressive: Virginia and her husband Ihosvany’s had a baby on December 24, 2017. Three months later they were up and performing again! Talk about an impressive post-partum period!
Animals Driving Cars!
But of course, one of the highlights was a dog driving a car. Yep, you read that right. Animals are always a hot topic in the circus. Something that sets the Big Apple Circus apart is their commitment to featuring only rescue animals and maintaining a vital no wild or exotic animal policy. In fact – the horses, ponies and dogs that appear in the show are members of 3rd generation animal trainer Jenny Vidbel’s family!
Finally, what would the circus be without the flying trapeze? It always amazes me to see how effortlessly these performers – here the Flying Tunizianis – fly through the sky. I was lucky enough to try aerial acrobatics a few times and let me tell you it is not easy. I was just happy to get my legs up onto the bar (the first time was a fail that I blame on my post-partum period, unlike Virginia!). Even more impressive about this group (many of whom are related) is that it’s the home to Ammed Tuniziani – one of the only living performers to ever land the quadruple somersault on the trapeze.
Comic Acts Mark Gindick & Adam Kuchler
As usual, Big Apple Circus had lots of comedic acts in between the big performances, thanks to Mark Gindick and Adam Kuchler that were fun to watch.
But – you might ask – didn’t the circus close? The tent was not raised for the 2016-2017 season but was revived by a group of investors led by the new CEO, Neil Kahanovit. A bit of an unorthodox path for a retired spine surgeon to take but, as always, we look to our formative years to guide us. For Neil that was performing trampoline acts and as an aerialist while in med school! See? We are all just chasing that Fountain of Youth and sometimes, especially in the Big Apple Circus, dreams can come true!
The Big Apple Circus is a fantastic way to spend the day with your family. After ending their Lincoln Center residency in Damrosch Park on Sunday, January 27th, 2019, they head down to Maryland February 14th – March 24th, 2019 (Neil’s a Pikesville, MD native), then back up to Long Island at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury April 26 – 28th, 2019.
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