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Those daring young nuts on the flying trapeze

With several high-swinging shows and schools, Seattle is emerging as an aerial heaven.

From time to time, my food blog Cornichon gets sidetracked by entertainment other than culinary. So how did I miss this? When Circus Contraption, which I'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.

"It's never too late to start," the industry's websites say. Or too young, apparently, since there are even classes for 2-year-olds. I wasn't quite as sure. "Who'd even want to start?" I thought. Turns out I was wrong. Flying is good for kids, teaches confidence, builds muscles, etc. The most visible training, with bus ads all over town, is SANCA, the School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts, whose executive director Jo Montgomery is a pediatric nurse with an interest in improving children's health.

For the more mature, Versatile Arts has classes in Greenwood, in a space called The Cathedral specifically built for aerialist training.

Columbia City Theater has Tamara the Trapeze Lady doing aerialist acts as well as "naughty-naughty" cabaret; she's also at Pink Door down at the Market on Sundays.

And Emerald City Trapeze puts on two shows most weekends, Friday and Saturday nights.

A slightly different version of this article appeared on Cornichon.

Seattle writer Ronald Holden blogs at Cornichon.org. He can be reached at editor@crosscut.com.


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