Circus Flora returning to Grand Center
For the Intelligencer
Andriy Bilobrov's Jack Russell Terriers are a featured act in Circus Flora.
May 5, 2014
The beloved St. Louis institution, Circus Flora, powered by Ameren, returns for its 28th season to present "The Pawn," a chess game brought to life through the circus. The World Chess Hall of Fame and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis partner with the circus to create a delightfully imaginative world under the big top next to Powell Hall, May 29 to June 22.
Every June, more than 30,000 audience members gather under the big top and leave behind the everyday, entering a place of intrigue and awe. Here the impossible is possible. Adults as well as children are enthralled by a performance that captures their imaginations and transports them to a bygone era. The Circus Flora experience is palpable: the audience is completely immersed in a spellbinding story that is woven through every detail, from performers to costumes to original music.
Drawing from the history of chess, this mythic tale is steeped in right sights, sounds and the mystique of ancient Persia and India. The audience will journey to an exotic world where myth and intellect collide, and the stone city surrenders to the desert's every shifting sands. Follow the Pawn through his journey through curious creatures and intrigues: knights on mounted steed, bishops zigzagging across colored squares, chess pieces flying through the air. In this world, the chess pieces do not wait to be moved. They have their own adventures to play out under the big top.
The tale is presented by a cast of hand-picked and internationally renowned circus artists. Making his debut under Circus Flora's big top, clown Andy Kuchler plays the Pawn, maneuvering through the enchanting world of the chess board, encountering friends and foes along the way. Kuchler will meet performers and characters such as an equestrian bareback rider, S. Caleb Carinci-Asch, as he balances fearlessly atop his galloping horse. From Finland and making their U.S. debut, Duo Kate and Pasi will captivate with hand-to-hand and foot juggling finesse. Andriy Bilobrov and his Jack Russell Terriers will show the audience man's best friends like never before. Claire Kuciejczyk-Kernan mesmerizes the crowd from above with daring swinging-trapesze performance. Also joining this year are six rare, blue-eyed pied camels from the Canary Islands. "The Pawn" will also feature celebrated Colombian flying trapeze artists, The Flying Cortes, who will introduce new twists, spins and summersaults as well as returning favorites The Flying Wallendas and local troupe, The St. Louis Arches.
Circus Flora presents a truly immersive experience unlike anything else in the country. As artistic director and producer David Balding explains, "Sometimes we need respite from our everyday realities. Circus Flora takes you out of the ordinary, and deep into a magical world. Once you enter the big top, you forget everything else."
Circus Flora will not only thrill its audience, but it will woo with a beautiful storyline, delight with its comedy and – like any good work of art – is is an experience that is impossible to forget.
Tickets are now on sale for Circus Flora’s 27th big-top production, "The Pawn," powered by Ameren. Call 314-289-4040 or visit www.circusflora.org for tickets. Tickets are also available at the Circus Flora Box Office at 3547 Olive Street in Grand Center.?
Tickets start at $12y. Group tickets are also available. The Pawn opens May 29 with a peanut-free preview and runs through June 22. Show times are Tuesday through Thursday at 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 1 and 7 p.m.; Sunday at 1 and 5:30 p.m.; and “Little Top Wednesday” at 10 a.m., a special one-hour show for younger kids or the “kids at heart.”
Founded in St. Louis in 1987, Circus Flora is a nonprofit performing arts organization dedicated to sharing the magic of classic, one-ring circus with audiences of all ages.
Circus Flora raises its big top every summer in the arts district at Grand Center.
Through its year-round Clowns on Call program, the healing power of Circus Flora brings laughter and respite to thousands of patients and their families every year at two St. Louis-area children's hospitals.