By Dasha Morgan- It’s back—The Circus— in a whole new art form. Many of us remember the traditional traveling circus with tight rope walkers, jugglers, clowns, and many a tiger and elephant performing. Sadly, the circus is no longer allowed to entertain us under their “big top” tents. This chapter in American history has been closed.
Now, a new art form—on-stage acrobatic circus performances, The Clan Destiny Circus—has come into existence. This group has been developing for 8 years. It will thrill and delight you and bring back the joy and happiness you found at the circus.
With graceful arching acrobats, unicyclists holding swirls of fire, jugglers, clowns, and balloons, Jeff “Tree” Anderson, who wrote, directed and choreographed the show, is bringing Clan Destiny Circus to the Diana Wortham Theater on July 13th. This show is truly a unique production—called “Troupe,” which has a story portrayed in costume and told in mime.
The Clan Destiny Circus has gathered some world class performers who live in Asheville. All of them at one time or another have been professional performers, who currently survive with their “day jobs,” but just love participating in the Circus and must continue.
There is a wide range of ages—from the teenage years into the 70’’s. They go to studios to train and develop their circus skills. Some go to climbing gyms; others lift weights. For this particular performance, Anderson, collaborated with Raeph McDowell as the musical director who composed and performs all the music for “Troupe.” McDowell may be known to some for playing his music in front of Earth Fare in West Asheville.
Some of the regular performers are Gillian Maurer who is passionate about the aerial arts and acrobatics; Nicky Murphy, who enjoys the spinning fire acts; Kenny Cowden, the clown and juggler; Peter Strong, a musician; Jason Payne, an acrobat; and Amanda Atkins, a talented dancer and choreographer; as well as Hayley Adamson.
These are all fine artists, who have “stock routine acts;” get together often to rehearse, and find new ways to fuse their multiple passion for the circus.
In 2016 Clan Destiny Circus debuted its show MAYA: Illusions of Experience at the Masonic Temple and then gave performances at the Leaf Festival. The group performs regularly at Pumpkintown Mountain Opry in Pickens, SC., where on June 1st, 8th and 22nd, they gave dinner theater performances.
This hidden gem of a restaurant on Route 11 is not far from Table Rock and is under an hour’s drive from Asheville. It is considered Southern Mountain Theater at its best and is well worth a visit. Another Clan Destiny Circus show will be there on August 24th.
The concept of “Troupe” comes from a book Jeff Anderson read in mime class called ‘Carnival of Saints’ by George Herman. It tells the story of the formation of a Comedia Del Arte troupe in Italy in the 1500’s.
The story is simple and quite moving: a group of refugees that has survived the bombing of their city bands together to form a “Circus Troupe.” They travel the war zone performing for food and supplies.
The production will come alive through mime and music — at the Diana Wortham Theater. Be sure to get tickets @dwtheater.com for this new production, Troupe, on July 13th at 7:00 pm.
Many avid fans are raving about the unique art form performance they bring to the stage, which brings back the circus once again.