ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar
BIPOC Circus Alliance Midwest
Friday 5:30-7, Saturday 9:30-11 (13+)
By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara
When folks think of contemporary circus arts, many think of Europe or French Canadian companies, but circus arts are alive and well right here in the midwest, and include plenty of talented BIPOC performers. Circus skills are a powerfully visual way to explore collective trauma and joy of the lived experiences of people of color today.
I caught the BIPOC Circus Alliance Midwest's lineup for The Chicago Circus & Performing Arts Festival and it's well worth a look. The ceiling may be low at The Den, but the bar is high, and BIPOC Circus Alliance Midwest's aerial arts are hardly less impressive for happening close to the ground, instead of in the peak of a bigtop tent dozens of feet above. This intimate performance space provides great sight lines and a personal connection to the artists and the content behind their superhuman feats.
The diverse lineup has a bit of everything from powerful duo acts to a family who incorporated their infant into their straps act! Performers range from a teen juggling/acro act from Actors' Gymnasium, to older performers in the highly impressive and entertaining FUNKBOTNOTS act. We particularly loved the lyra act. The artists were thought provoking, talented, silly, sexy, and deep in turn, providing a full range of interesting, creative acts. Don't miss this. Their show repeats one more time Saturday night. Check it out.
Bonnie is a Chicago based writer, theatre critic, photographer, videographer, actress, artist and Mama. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) & ChiILMama.com (family friendly).
Our show will be a themed cabaret that tracks the lives of People Of Color as they learn to re-start their lives and re-engage with the outside world two years after the onset of a global pandemic. This is a collection of individual stories depicting a range of human emotions and unique challenges faced by POC in the contemporary American landscape. This show will be stripped down, human, and honest, focusing on communicating feelings through movement. Disciplines will include rope, straps, aerial hammock, diabolo, and silks. Show content is PG-13. Purchase tickets at The Den box office or in advance HERE: https://ci.ovationtix.com/35386/production/1106355.
The Actor's Gymnasium Teen Ensemble
Eric Rodney Robinson
Chris, Amy, & CJ Rooney
BIPOC Circus Alliance Midwest
The BIPOC Circus Alliance Midwest (BCAM) is a collective of circus practitioners and performing artists dedicated to creating more supportive, inclusive, and representative circus communities by:
- Advocating for equity and inclusion in training, teaching, and performance spaces
- Partnering with circus organizations to implement policy changes designed to increase BIPOC representation and inclusion within customers/students and staff
- Celebrating and amplifying BIPOC stories in circus
- Creating community, support, and mutual positive encouragement for BIPOC circus practitioners and performers
- Creating opportunities for circus practitioners of color to create, collaborate, and perform together
Since our formation in 2020 we have produced performances, facilitated discussions on race and circus with over 20 circus organizations, and provided focused consultation to circus organizations looking to diversify their spaces.
For more info check out: https://www.facebook.com/BCAMSupporters/