It's hard to think of the area's history without mentioning the legacy of the circus. From documentaries to local buildings, the circus (especially the Ringling brothers' circus) has left a mark on this town. Cirque Italia, the first traveling Italian Water Circus, is headed to Palmetto this month, proving the attraction the circus still holds today.
It makes sense considering that Cirque Italia's owner resides in Bradenton, and is the nephew of the late Moira Orsei, who owned the biggest circus production in Europe.
"It’s just like when you’re watching talent shows, or when you see someone doing something that you know you can’t do," the company's public relations and media representative, Sarah Kessler says. "It's captivating."
Kessler adds that the acts in Cirque Italia's show "Aqua" will include jugglers, aerial acrobats and even a wheel of death. As an animal-free circus, the performances are a celebration of the human form. The circus boasts a 35,000-gallon water tank, one of only three in the world, and the only one that's portable.
"It marries with the lights and the sound," Kessler says. "It brings an extra pop and a gorgeous visual to see."
With contortionists, gravity-defying acts and gorgeous visuals, "It's a truly unique show unlike any other," Kessler says. "We’re the first traveling water circus."
The traveling circus will be in the Sarasota-Bradenton area from Jan. 31 until Feb. 3. Tickets are available online.