Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival | various locations | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival Agenda Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Jan. 6-12 2014

To say the state of contemporary circus in America is dim isn't to insult the discipline—it's merely to point out that, with the exception of Cirque du Soleil, which is Canadian anyway, there's yet to be a troupe that's set the country ablaze. The first Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival intends to end this period of relative obscurity with an dynamite program—including eight world-class performances and five days of professional workshops—that will bring a broader contingent of cirque nouveau troupes to mainstream audiences. Earning the same recognition as ballet, Broadway, and opera won't be easy—especially since "circus" remains synonymous with "freak show" in the American imagination—but the substance is there. Unlike circus, which is a form of hell, cirque nouveau is a form of dance theater that appropriates circus skills such as trapeze to approach familiar and even mundane themes from the hell-bent rim of the physically impossible—with astonishing results. These artists create modern narratives and develop characters without resorting to the cheap stunts and unnecessary dangers typical of big-tent circuses. Continue reading >>

Price: Workshops: $15, $50 CN@CCCF pass. Performances: $12-$47, $135 main stage pass, $300 VIP pass

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