Artscape’s Wychwood Barns Circus is here.. August 26th 5-9 PM

By Joshua Sherman

High up among the Artscape Covered Street Barn’s rafters, there will be an unfamiliar sight on Wednesday, Aug. 26.

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Hanging from a special fabric as part of an aerial silk performance, which is a sort of choreographed midair-dance routine, Lindsay Bellaire will be suspended above onlookers.

“The challenge is always keeping my body healthy and strong,” says Bellaire, in what certainly seems like an understatement given she could be as much as 20 feet up in the air. “All the way to the ceiling!” she exclaims.

Bellaire is one of the fresh faces that Artscape, a non-profit arts organization, has booked for its third annual street circus.

The circus is a family-friendly event made up of carnival theatrics, music, food, and drink, and last year that medley drew more than 1,200 people to Artscape Wychwood Barns (601 Christie St.).

Although aerial performances have been a staple at previous events, this will be the first time Theatre Arcturus, the performance company Bellaire founded with her partner Phillip Psutka, has been involved. “We are very excited to be part of the event,” says Bellaire.

Niki AndreNiki Andre, a local recording artist, is also poised to make her circus debut. No stranger to live performances, the songstress is hosting an acappella jam at 6:45 p.m.

But what exactly is an acappella jam? “I get a bunch of people in a circle… and I create a vocal composition… where voices create all the sounds, and there’s no instrumentation,” explains Andre. Everything’s done on the fly and anyone who cares to take part can, she adds.

With Andre acting as a sort of conductor, participants are assigned roles — bass or percussion, for instance — but they can also add their own vocal flourishes. “It’s really accessible for people to join in. They don’t have to be familiar with a piece of music or know lyrics.”

That’s not all the Artscape Circus has to offer. Listing other attractions, Mereb Hagos, the organization’s admin, says, “We even have tarot card reading, face painting, roaming stilt walkers and more!”

Festivities kick off at 5 p.m. and will run until 9 p.m.

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