Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Floating Palace

This afternoon, K and I made an impromptu visit to the symphony to see amazing feats of strength, flexibility and graceful coordination set to live music. Apparently Circus Flora is St. Louis's very own circus act, and has been around since 1986. St. Louis is one of only three lucky US cities to have its very own classical circus.

You're probably thinking, circus, how hoaky, how childish. You'd be wrong. This is circus how it's meant to be, with ridiculously flexible and strong acrobats doing entire performances in mid-air on ropes, ribbons and rings. One act involved two women holding on alternatively to a giant ring and each other with only the tops of their feet. Another involved a man and woman tangling themselves into giant ribbons high above the stage, at one point with the woman holding on to the man only by his head.

The most nerve-wracking of all was of course the tight rope act. No net. For the finally, two men were on bicycles with another rod between them, connected by life-vest looking shoulder rests. A woman climbed up on the rod, and sat down on a chair balanced on the rod, as the two men pedaled across the wire. No one fell.

All in all, I found it quite an amazing performance, making me miss my younger, more flexible days. And, as always I was reminded of the wonderful things St. Louis has to offer, things that I fail to take advantage of nearly often enough.

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