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

Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival Member Picks Agenda The Short List (Theater) Recommended Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: June 17-21 2015

The mission of the Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival is "to elevate the perception of and promote the artistic view of circus performance in America"; its strategy, to flush out any bad impressions of the circus (abused elephants, creepy clowns, Las Vegas) with five days of exceptionally cool ones. To that end, this second annual edition features 11 acts from the U.S. and four foreign countries. Some likely highlights: From the UK’s Gandini Juggling, Smashed, in which nine ensemble members play—urbanely at first, and then maybe not so much—with 80 apples, four tea sets, and the concept of English reserve. In Suhde (meaning ratio), Finland’s Kate and Pasi use balancing skills to build a live rom-com about a tiny woman and a big man. The comic teeterboard act by Sweden’s Magmanus Company features a midair striptease. Among the Americans, look for Peter Davison’s elegant solo juggling display, Tossed & Found; The Submarine Show, offering physical comedy on a nautical theme by Slater Penney and Jason Hollander; and Third Coast Cabaret, in which the notoriously blue Bindlestiff Family Cirkus presents variety acts you won’t want the kids to see. On the other hand, the American Youth Circus Organization Showcase is specifically by and for kids. has all the acts, schedules, venues, and prices. —Tony Adler

Price: $22-$51, $150 main-stage pass

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