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Thursday, October 4, 2012

 
Circus of the Senses plays to special audience
 
Matthew Dovi and Kayla Harris, 9, of Lanham, who are both blind, check out circus performer Daniel Cyr’s giant hoop during a special “touch session” after the Circus of the Senses show Wednesday.
 (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
From-  washingtontimes.com
By Meredith Somers-The Washington Times
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Standing in the center of a circus ring, Joe Lilavois watched his 7-year-old daughter, Brooke, smile Wednesday as she ran her hands through a long turquoise banner.

The slender, blond second-grader caressed the silky wrap, speaking quietly with its owner, Katerina, who minutes earlier had been using it to dangle 30 feet above the ground.

It was daring feat of strength and agility that Brooke, who is legally blind, might not have been able to experience had she not been attending the Circus of the Senses.

“This is my first time going with her, but I can tell she’s having a great time,” Mr. Lilavois said.

Asked why she looked forward to this performance, Brooke’s answer was simple.
“Because I love this place,” she said.
 
 
Dr. Spats the clown performs in the audience before the start of the Big Apple Circus’ performance of Circus of the Senses on Wednesday in Sterling, Va. The free show was designed for children with various sensory impairments. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
Big Apple Circus Artistic Director Guillaume Dufresnoy said the performance for the sight and hearing impaired packs just as much entertainment into the show, but in a way that’s better suited for the audience.

“We created the show, and once the show was established, we tried to make it as varied as possible with the main elements,” Mr. Dufresnoy said. “We always wanted to make sure it retained the quality of the production.”

Some ways to do that, Mr. Dufresnoy said, were to adjust the volume and lighting during the show for young audience members who are sensitive to that kind of stimulation.

Bill Boots, left, and Paul Binder, who is the founder of the Big Apple Circus, broadcast live audio descriptions of the circus's special "Circus of the Senses" performance on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 in Sterling, Va. The visually impaired members of the audience were each given a special headset so that they could listen to the two men give play-by-play descriptions of the acts. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

 
Susan Thompson-Gaines, left, uses American Sign Language to interpret the action in the ring for the hearing impaired audience members at the Big Apple Circus's special "Circus of the Senses" performance on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 in Sterling, Va. This is the 13th time that the circus has held such a show; the first was in 2000. According to circus founder Paul Binder, it's just part of the circus's way of giving back.
(Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
 
Read more: Circus of the Senses plays to special audience - Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/oct/3/circus-of-the-senses-plays-to-special-audience/#ixzz28LKuABoL
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