From time to time, Cornichon gets sidetracked by entertainment other than culinary, but how'd we miss this? When Circus Contraption, which we'd much admired, folded its tent this summer, the gnashing of teeth could be heard all the way to Enumclaw. (But the circus doesn't die a quiet death; many of Contraption's players stuck around for the satirical dinner-party show called Cafe Nordo.) Meantime, at least three circus-type academies are alive and well in Seattle, not to mention innumerable aerialists who perform regularly in public, starting with.Teatro Zinzanni. We must be the World Capital of Trapeze. (Unless it's Paree; come to think of it; see the tag to this post.)
As we were saying, a curious phenomenon indeed. "It's never too late to start," the industry's websites say. Or too young, apparently, since there are even classes for two-year-olds. We weren't quite as sure. "Who'd even want to start?" we thought. Turns out we were wrong. Flying is good for kids, teaches confidence, builds muscles, etc. The most visible training, with bus ads all over town, is SANCA, School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts, whose exec director Jo Montgomery is a pediatric nurse, with an interest in improving children's health.
And Emerald City Trapeze not only has classes but puts on two shows most weekends, Friday and Saturday nights at 8, $15 via Brown Paper Tickets, with a cash bar open till midnight. There's even a single's night. ("Catch ya later!")
So now, having exhausted (literally) the trapeze jokes, it's time to play Trapeze Trivia! Here we go.
- The flying trapeze was invented in the late 19th century in France by one Jules Léotard, the original Flying Young Man. Yes, that Leotard, except that he called the one-piece suit he invented for his act a maillot, a word used today to describe a bathing suit or a jersey. Dead at 30, poor fellow.
- Trapeze Networks has nothing to do with aerialists; it's a wireless thing, for medical professionals, educational institutions and so on.
- In case you remember the movie Trapeze, directed by Sir Carol Reed, with Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis and Gina Lolloobrigida: yes, that really was Lancaster--a veteran circus performer--doing the triple flip. "One flies and one catches. Nobody gets in between." That's Lancaster to Curtis, Lollo being the sexpot who does them both.
Emerald City Trapeze Arts, 2702 6th Avenue S., Seattle, 206-906-9442
School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts, 674 S. Orcas Street, Seattle, 206-652-4433
Versatile Arts, 7601 Greenwood Ave N., Seattle, 206-399-7173
We haven't forgotten Paris, however, where an American gal named Amy Gordon is wowing partygoers in Montparnasse with an act where--after the members of her cohort come down from the swings--she plays the kazoo with her hoo-hoo. Srsly. The theater is Bobino, the troupe is called La Clique; there's a video of the swingers and danglers, though not Amy's tooting, on the site. You wanna check it out for yourself? Here's the link to Air France.
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