Clown for a New Day

Clown for a New Day
Dagwood might make it in today's emasculated circus

Friday, May 11, 2012

Circus Pinder, Can We Be Friends?

I was surfing YouTube land, as sometimes I do. My friend Dame Dither, currently luxuriating in a summer retreat west of Santa Rosa, sent me a link to an acro-ballet contortion-duo, man and woman offering flawless executions combining equilibristics (WHY does that word never appear in a dictionary???) and erotic posturing. Stress erotic -- sex spelled s-e-x sells, right? This one got steamy hot, which suggests yet another arena for further development among the nouveau set (spell checker won't accept "nouveau" either). The crowd was taken. The crowd was French. Perhaps a competition. Seats packed with the well healed. I watch these lyrical contortions with numbing ambivalence, for they are a little too preciously insular for my taste. In other words, too slow. These are those moments were advanced circus art comes the closest to making authentic inroads into the more abstract world of ballet -- when tautly controlled perfection in a "circus" type setting can feel slightly still born.

At the finish of this video appeared, of course, links to other YouTubes of like kind (it's Friday evening, and what else have I to do?), so, here comes serendipity on demand: I watched one Terry Lemas attempt a triple; she accomplished it, though it appeared as if she and the catcher were locking arms rather than wrists; and upon her return to the fly bar, she missed, into the net. I did admire her stamina.

Then onto another act, the Flying Mendocas, who did lots of things, though most of them fun and flashy and not too memorable, and, from there, finally to one Circus Pinder. Embarrassed to say (fearing the Europeans may disown me), only this much I know about Circus Pinder: I'd heard the name. [blame it, please, on my loyal aversion to flying in airplanes.] Anyway, this 12-minute Circus Pinder sampler caught my attention. Some nice if not spectacular acts yet full of animation and zest. A diablo guy who ended up so joyfully proud of himself, making such an immediate connection with the audience as to give me a true circus high. Two clowns with instruments -- a third stood by with violin at the ready -- made me laugh out loud (high water mark) because of the funny, socially embarrassing sounds related to body functions that their instruments produced when provoked by each other. There were camels and horizontal bars (how I've missed horizontal bar acts). Some Asian kids, all of only a few seconds; they must have been good, I wanted to assume. Suave voice of a ringmaster discretely in the background just right. Music at least added to the infectious spirit of the show. From just these few snippets, it's a circus I would love to see.

That's all.

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