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Saturday, October 20, 2012


Cirque Mechanics wows audience
Former Cirque du Soleil member founded Mechanics group to have creative input
foto from--cirque mechanics.com
from---bgdailynews.com
By LAUREL WILSON The Daily News
Friday, October 19, 2012
When Chris Lashua of Las Vegas was a member of Cirque du Soleil in the 1990s, he had ideas for his own circus entertainment show, but as one of hundreds of members of the company, he had no creative control.
“As an artist, it’s harder to be involved in the process,” Lashua said.
So he started his own group, called Cirque Mechanics, in 2004. On Thursday night, Cirque Mechanics brought its show “Birdhouse Factory” to the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center.
Lashua enjoys creating mechanical contraptions for circus performers and he thought placing them in a factory setting was the perfect way to incorporate the machines into a show.
In “Birdhouse Factory,” the performers play workers in a 1930s industrial plant, using a conveyer belt, wheels, hanging light fixtures and other contraptions to show their skills in acrobatics, juggling, contortion and clowning.
Lashua, a former BMX biker, was drawn to fantasy-based circus entertainment when he saw a Cirque du Soleil’s mix of stagecraft with story and drama.
“I was blown away,” he said. “I had never seen a show like this.”
At Cirque Mechanics, Lashua enjoys being involved in the entire process of shows, from creating story concepts to performing to driving the truck with the set pieces from city to city, he said.
“We’re small. We wear a lot of hats,” he said. There are nine performers in “Birdhouse Factory” and four crew members.
Being involved in the creative aspects of a show is really satisfying for the artists, Lashua said.
“That’s something the audience feels,” he said.
Pam Houchens Gifford of Dallas attended Thursday’s show while visiting Bowling Green, her hometown, for a reunion. She was impressed with both the show and the SKyPAC facility.
“I think it’s great,” Gifford said of the venue. “I love all the colors and Kentucky history.”
She enjoyed seeing Cirque Mechanics because it’s a great family show, she said.
“It was adorable,” Gifford said.
Mike Adams of Bowling Green found “Birdhouse Factory” really fun and interesting, he said.
“They make it look easy, but it’s not easy,” he said.
Angela Shoulders of Bowling Green has seen some cirque shows before and thought Cirque Mechanics was great, she said.
“I’m not going to pass up the opportunity to see anything with arts,” she said.

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