Soaring High

Circus Arts Conservatory Will Prevail with a Special Benefit Show

Many Cirque du Soleil stars will shine in the March performances.

By Kay Kipling February 23, 2021

Aerial strap artist Darren Trull

If you’re among the many disappointed by the cancellation of the Circus Sarasota 2021 winter season—and if you want to support the circus arts—you’ll be happy to know that the Circus Arts Conservatory is presenting a benefit called Prevail, for 10 performances over two weekends in March.

Not only will the weekend shows give circus-hungry fans an extravaganza to watch, the proceeds will benefit the CAC’s programs and outreach to people of all ages. The performances will be available to patrons either live or via digital tickets, the latter beginning at noon March 12.

Aerial lyra artist Alanna Baker

The circus artists donating their time and talents to this benefit (while their housing and incidentals are covered) include many who have been featured in various Cirque du Soleil shows—but none of them have previously appeared here. You can expect to be dazzled by aerial lyra artist Alanna Baker, aerial strap artist Darren Trull, Native American hoop dancers Eric Hernandez and Shandien LaRance, slack wire artist Evgeny Vasilenko, silks artist Giulia Piolanti, Chinese pole artist Oli Poitras, and unicycle artists Marie-Lee and Philippe. The ringmaster presiding will be familiar to Circus Sarasota fans; he’s Joseph Bauer Jr., who’s also known for his 50-foot Wheel of Destiny act.

Unicycle artists Marie-Lee and Philippe

“We are so grateful to these world-class artists who are basically donating their time to ensure the circus arts continue to be a vibrant and valuable resource,” said Pedro Reis, founder, president and CEO of the CAC. While they are in Sarasota, the performers will also train and do workshops with Sailor Circus Academy students.

Strict health and safety protocols are in place for the in-person performances, which will take place March 5-7 and 12-14 at the Sailor Circus Arena at 2075 Bahia Vista St. in Sarasota. For tickets, call (941) 355-9805 or visit

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