Circus Smirkus at the 2017 Smithsonian Folklife Festival
One of the most enduring fantasies in American culture is the dream of “running away to join the circus.” At the Smithsonian Folklife Festival this summer, Circus Smirkus will showcase that dream in the center ring.
Circus Smirkus has been invited to participate in a program to spotlight the Circus Arts, that will feature intimate workshops, full-scale performances, and learning opportunities from master circus artists.
For the Circus Arts program at the festival, Circus Smirkus founder Rob Mermin has assembled a multidisciplinary troupe of former Smirkos to join him in presentation and performance.
Circus Smirkus will also present a program about its Ringmaster Residency program. As American’s educational system places more focus on student-directed learning, circus – and specifically Circus Smirkus – is in the forefront of curriculum development that uses the natural fascination and allure of circus to recapture children’s excitement about learning.
“The ‘Circus Arts’ program offers visitors an immersive, hands-on experience—one you cannot get by simply purchasing a ticket to a circus,” said Preston Scott, program curator. “The program brings to life not only the masterful work of the performers, but also the extraordinary effort of every member of the community whose work contributes to make the circus the dazzling multidisciplinary experience that it is.”
The Circus Arts program celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Smithosonian Folklife Festival and coincides with the 30th Anniversary of Circus Smirkus. It takes place June 29-July 4 and July 6-9, 2017.