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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mad Tatters brings its surreal circus to town Saturday


CIRQUE VOLTAIRE is a Denver based Circus/Sideshow of Art, Performers and Musicians.

by Erin K. Barnes

February 10, 2012
Mad Tatters—Brandan Styles and Ellie Rusinova, who perform as Dr. B. Zurk and Madame Madness—is an art duo that travels around Colorado (and beyond) in a wagon hearse. Styles and Rusinova have filled the hearse with a phantasmagorical collection of paintings, clothing, collages, and what they call “Victorian oddities” that draw from “odd, grotesque, old fashioned, Russian, and old English aesthetics.” One outlet for that aesthetic is their Cirque Voltaire, a wild night of burlesque, freak show performers, cabaret, snake charming, xylophone juggling, topless aerial dancing, music, antelopes, and drilling nails into noses. (If they haven’t met Ukulele Loki yet, it needs to happen.)The next Cirque Voltaire performance isn't until April, but you don't have to wait to taste the madness. Their newest exhibition, Circus: Suspended Release, takes it one giant trapeze swing further. “Both Brandan and I have been working on new directions in our art,” Rusinova explains. “And we are very excited to finally get to show it to people.”
Suspension is a theme that runs throughout the exhibit, as the circus arts throw the viewers into unfamiliar and sometimes frightening territory in order to question their own reality. As they describe it in event's description: “Suspended Release is the moment when we decide to take that leap of faith and cut the cords, allowing ourselves to be released from our current state of being.” That means a surreal multimedia showcase of sculpture, paintings, and puppets, plus food, wine, and an acoustic set by the experimental classical/folk band The Tanukis. It all happens starting at 7 p.m. February 11 at Leon Gallery. For more information, visit the gallery's Facebook page.

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