From now until July 28, guests of all ages can watch and interact with mind-blowing acts containing comedy, aerial skills, crossbow, hand-balancing and more, during the Summer Circus Spectacular, hosted at the Historic Asolo Theater by the Circus Arts Conservatory and The Ringling.
The one-hour show features renowned circus performers who now call Sarasota their home. The ringmaster starts each performance by sharing the history behind the famous Ringling family and circus culture with approximately 270 audience members.
One of the most beloved acts in the show is Renaldo the clown, an audience participation clown who specializes in being able to evaluate, assess and analyze what’s going on in the crowd. Selected attendees play a role in Renaldo’s act by assisting in juggling, tricks and other activities that creates a special connection with the audience. Renaldo says it’s important to understand that some people like to participate and others like to observe, adding that clowns need to prepare for any type of situation because some acts might not go as planned.
“When I teach circus skills, the most important thing for students to understand is to not rest on the strength of the material alone,” says Renaldo. “Thinking that you can pick whoever you want because the material is so strong that it doesn’t matter is not necessarily so, because if something goes wrong then you fall below the bar. That’s not good for you, the show or the audience.”
Circus Spectacular audiences are also introduced to Mr. and Mrs. G, a talented crossbow couple. Their act combines archery with passionate dance routines. Mr. G is a six-generation circus performer; his ancestors originally followed the Ringling Brothers to Sarasota in 1932. He met his wife while performing in musicals and together they started creating an act, but it took time to get the routine down to where it is now.
“At first, we weren’t sure how to present it,” says Mr. G. “We knew we wanted to integrate our dance skills, and that provided a challenge in terms of shooting because we had to be still and not out of breath.” (Caution from Mr. G: Don’t try imitating what you see onstage at home; remember that he and his wife are trained professionals.)
The ringmaster eventually brings aerialist Olga Coronas to the stage, for a demonstration of strength and skill as she performs nail-biting drops, climbs and wraps from high above in aerial fabrics.
Coronas first fell in love with the circus thanks to her aunt, who currently teaches circus arts in her studio in Moscow. Coronas spends two hours at least three to four times a week training, and says the most rewarding aspect of the show is to see the audience’s reaction.
“I love when the audience is engaged in the show,” says Coronas. “To feel their positive energy is important, because that inspires the performers.”
Summer Circus Spectacular is packed with acts that will entertain the entire family. Adult tickets are $16; $12 for children 12 and under. Buy tickets at ringling.org or call (941) 360-7399.