CIRCUS REVIEW: Circus Sarasota finds new thrills to make you feel 'Wonderstruck'
Crossbow artist Cornel Tell performs a routine in which he shoots an arrow into an apple over his own head in Circus Sarasota's "Wonderstruck." STAFF PHOTO/THOMAS BENDER
By Jay Handelman ,
Monday, February 10, 2014
If you go to the circus for thrills and a sense of danger, Circus Sarasota should prove satisfying and exciting with its 2014 production called “Wonderstruck.”
There is certainly a sense of danger in the crossbow act by Cornel Tell, who aims his bow at a variety of targets in the middle of the ring, which raises the risk factor because it looks like a miss could send an arrow out into the crowd. He pulls five bows at once to pop a series of balloons and then sets up a convoluted contraption that triggers a criss-crossing, back-and-forth series of targets that wind up hitting an object right over his own head.
For sheer originality, there is little that matches an act billed as Ballet on Shoulder by Chinese performers Miao Changwei and Lin Deng. It’s essentially a hand-balancing act with a major twist. Lin is a ballerina in toe shoes. Miao lifts and supports her with his arms, as she bends forward and back and then stands en pointe on his shoulders and head, as he helps her do a pirouette.
The show also features the Hungarian juggler Laido Dittmar, who does some masterful work with an increasing number of thin rings. At one point, he tosses eight rings in the air, barely pausing to put one over his head, between his legs or under his arms, before getting them all back into the mix without missing a beat.
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