Circus performers from all over the world are in Chicago this week and weekend for the nation’s first ever contemporary circus festival.
For the past week, performers have been training, sharing concepts, and preparing for a weekend full of shows. Festivals like these have become very common in Europe and Canada but this is the first one held in the US. Organizers say that’s partly because the US is just beginning to understand what contemporary circus really is.
“A lot of the same general discipline as trapeze and ropes and juggling and things like that as a traditional circus but they portray it in more of a narrative context or a context that has a little more meaning and depth behind it,” Shayne Swanson, festival producer, said.
Shows include small single performances to large scale ensemble shows. Shows run Friday – Sunday at the Athenaeum Theater in Lakeview.