Guest writer Liat Ginsberg is a mother and former journalist for the Israeli newspaper, Maariv. She has taught at the Film and Media Department at Hunter College.
If you are wondering if it’s worth the hassle to take your kids to sit in a tent to watch two hours of high energy circus performers? If you want to invest in pleasant childhood memories and support a non-profit organization whose primary purpose is to make you and children happy, do it, Big Apple Circus is 100% worth the effort.
If you also think, “Oh, again? I took my kids last year to the circus; it’s probably the same”. Well, it’s not. Every year the circus reinvents itself with new acts. This is the fourth year I’m taking my kids, and every year we are introduced to new performers. My ten-year-old twins look forward to our annual visit to the Big Apple Circus, although they visited other big circuses.
Although the circus acrobats are from all over the world, we were most impressed by the New Yorker, Jayson Dominguez, Wheel of Death. He demonstrated the incredible capabilities of the human body and mind. He ran and jumped in and out of a gigantic Wheel of Wonder as if he was a daring hamster who enjoyed his wheel.
For educational and diversity, the Big Apple Circus also introduced an acrobat in a wheelchair with mighty hands who performed a hand-balancing act (Four sides and two wheels by Rafael Ferreira and Alan Pagnota of Dupla Mão na Roda). Kids learn that, yes, it’s challenging to be in a wheelchair, but you can still overcome hurdles and conquer your obstacles. It also demonstrates that the Big Apple Circus is a circus with a big heart.
In addition to that, the New York premiere of the Savitsky Cats (“America’s Got Talent finalists) was popular among the cat lovers in the audience. The comedian Amy Gordon, who played the loveable pigeon in between the circus acts, was funny and convincing. The Aliev Troupe, aerial acrobatics, and the Russian Barre kept our heads up and praying that they will not fall from the sky, which they did not.
Big Apple Circus is not only a circus, but it also has many community outreach programs. It offers unique, enhanced experiences for audiences who are blind or deaf. It also provides sensory-friendly Autism performances (October 26 and November 1 at 11 am), a professionally staffed “calming center,” and additional support that can be accessed at any point during the show. As part of the Circus for All initiative, eighteen performances throughout the fifteen-week run will offer $10 tickets for every seat in the house to underserved schools and community groups. In addition to the tickets, Big Apple Circus provides a complete study guide highlighting both CORE and STEAM curriculums for the students to learn about science, history, geography, and more first-hand as they experience the Big Apple Circus.
You have the option to purchase VIP tickets, which include unlimited popcorn and cotton candy in a separate lounge, one complimentary beverage of your choice and access to private restrooms.
Big Apple Circus, at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park (60 Lincoln Center Plaza), will run through February 2, 2020.
Disclosure: Liat was provided with complimentary tickets to see Big Apple Circus with her family.