If you happen to be walking by the Chehalem Cultural Center in a few weeks and see people flying through the air or dangling from a crane, don't be alarmed. It's all part of a circus performance put on by CCC in partnership with performers from the group Up! Up! Up!
"They are a collection of circus artists who've got their hands on a flatbed truck with a 30-foot crane on the back of it," CCC executive director Sean Andries said. "They've built a circus show around that which involved aerial acrobatics, physical comedy, gymnastics and shenanigans. It's a contemporary circus show, so no animals, and it's got people doing amazing things in the air."
The performing group tours around the Northwest and was in search of a venue. Given Andries's background as a performance artist, he took up the opportunity to bring the show to Newberg.
"I used to run a circus school and was a performer for a long time," Andries said. "I went to clown school and was a clown for a long time. I had friends of friends who were working with the show and I knew a gentleman working out of the Seattle area who helps document performers on social media. I saw this group was looking for a spot to perform between Portland and Eugene and I thought it'd be great to bring them here."
The show will begin at 7 p.m. Aug. 5 in the CCC forecourt, with admission free and visitors encouraged to bring their own seating. The importance of putting on performances like this in general, Andries said, can't be overstated.
"The last year and a half has been particularly devastating for performance artists and for people who need a crowd to perform in front of," Andries said. "I put this show together specifically with the idea that they'll be able to perform outside for groups of people who wish to take whatever precautions they need to. I think what makes someone dedicate themselves to be a performer like this is a need to be in front of people. It's important to their health and life, and it's a deep personal drive."
Performers in the crane circus act will accept tips at the end of the show. During the performance, feedback in vocal and applause form is highly encouraged.
"If you haven't been to a contemporary circus show before, it is an environment that demands feedback," Andries said. "When you see something cool, you're supposed to cheer and clap, and when you see something funny, you're supposed to laugh. If there's a villain, you're supposed to boo them. This isn't like going to the opera hall or ballet. It's encouraged to provide feedback."
For more information on the event, visit the cultural center's Facebook page, where an event has been added to provide additional info and specifics on the performance. For a schedule of all upcoming events at CCC, visit the organization's website at www.chehalemculturalcenter.org.
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