CIRCUS REVIEW: Nik Wallenda keeps Circus Sarasota flying high
Nik Wallenda, on left, with Erendira Vazquez Wallenda and Blake Wallenda perform during Circus Sarasota's opening night. (Herald-Tribune Staff Photo by Thomas Bender)
By Jay Handelman, Herald-Tribune
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Having watched daredevil Nik Wallenda’s thrilling high-wire walk over Niagara Falls last year, you might wonder how he can match that excitement level under the more limited big top of Circus Sarasota.
But the Wallenda family knows how to put thrills into a performance, no matter the venue.
To cap off Circus Sarasota’s action-packed 16th show, Nik Wallenda is joined by his wife, Erendira Vazquez Wallenda, his sister Lijana Wallenda Hernandez and his cousin Blake Wallenda on the wire in the intimate confines of the circus tent.
They walk, jump and ride bicycles across the thin wire, and stage a mini-version of the Wallenda family’s famous pyramid, with Blake and Nik riding bicycles and supporting Lijana on a chair resting on a bar across their shoulders. The slightest wobble she makes trying to sit or stand reminds you of the dangers in the act, even for a routine they have performed countless times.
The incredible Encho Keryazov strongman and hand-balancer during Circus Sarasota's opening night.
(Herald-Tribune Staff Photo by Thomas Bender)
Nik Wallenda, who is set for a high-wire walk across U.S. 41 on Tuesday, is the star attraction at this year’s show, but he’s hardly the only stand-out performer.
That list begins with strongman and hand-balancer Encho Keryazov, who supports himself on two poles (and sometimes just one), maneuvering his body into seemingly impossible positions for minutes on end without releasing the tension in his muscles. Sweat covers his body by the time he supports his on two stacks of eight bricks atop the poles.
Stefan and Aline of Duo Platchkov do a high-speed juggling act, where, in a rare switch, the man is more of an assistant, as she dextrously bounces balls off two drums and a platform. Aline finishes the act by playing familiar melodies on a special keyboard by juggling the balls at an increasingly rapid rate.