Chicago Contemporary Circus Review – Storytelling Through Circus Arts


What’s a “contemporary circus”?



Think performance art by aerialists, acrobats and off-beat clowns with far more fashion flare than the Bozos of old.



Here’s a clip of  “The Way Out” by the well-named Acrobatic Conundrum, one of many acts in the Chicago Contemporary Circus festival that runs through the 12th of January.



Less a story with a beginning, middle and end, this was more of a moving Steampunk jewel. 



Each ensemble member is a star in their own right. 



Successive performance vignettes perk you like a hard sell pitch line – “Wait, there’s more”.



According to the show organizers, “This contemporary genre of circus tends to focus more attention on the overall aesthetic impact, on character and story development, and on the use of new media, design, and original music, to convey thematic or narrative content provoking emotional engagement.” 




Attrape-Moi by Flip FabriQue
Athenaeum Theatre: FRI, 1/10/14 @ 4pm
SAT, 1/11/14 @ 8pm, & SUN, 1/12/14 @ 5pm

The Way Out by The Acrobatic Conundrum
Athenaeum Theatre
 SAT, 1/11/14 @ 5pm 

Smoke and Mirrors* by Ricochet
Muualla/Elsewhere by Ilona Jäntti’
Athenaeum Theatre
 SUN, 1/12/14 @ 8pm

El Circo Cheapo Cabaret* by Aloft Circus Arts
Athenaeum SAT 1/11/14 @ 11pm

Honeybuns* by Dean Evans
Athenaeum’s Black Box Theatre
 SAT 1/11/14 @ 9:30pm, & SUN 1/12/14 @ 6:30pm

Running in Corduroy by Brian P. Dailey
Athenaeum’s Black Box Theatre
 SAT 1/11/14 @ 6:30pm, & SUN 1/12/14 @9:30pm

American Youth Circus Organization Showcase**
Athenaeum Theatre 
SUN 1/12/14 @ 1pm



ATHENAEUM THEATRE, performances will be held in both their main stage and black box (studio 3) theatres. The theater is located at 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60657 / 773-935-6875

LINKS HALL is located in Constellation (the former site of the Viaduct Theater) at 3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60618 / 773.281.0824

For more information visit the festival website.


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Photos courtesy of Chicago Contemporary Circus

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