Big Apple Circus contortionist hits the mark

 

Where last year’s Big Apple Circus was all about saying goodbye to the rabble-rousing, iconic Grandma the Clown, this year’s production cleans the slate by bringing audiences back to circus of yesteryear.

“Legendarium,” the 35th anniversary production of the Big Apple Circus, returns audiences to a time when traveling circuses were a part of village life. Or so it will feel when the storied company continues its annual Boston residency in the modernist setting of Boston’s City Hall Plaza through the middle of May.

Argentina-born contortionist Elayne Kramer hopes that first-time audiences will have the same experience that she did upon seeing the Big Apple Circus for the first time as a child. The sixth generation circus performer remembers being completely transfixed by the closeness she felt, both literally and figuratively, to the performers in the big top.

“I fell in love with it,” says the 21-year-old. “That sense of connection with the audience is so important.”

She’s just given an eye-popping outdoor performance at Faneuil Hall, where she charmed a frigid, but willing crowd with skills such as balancing on her hands and casually bending her legs over her head like a scorpion’s tail. Kramer’s remarkable act incorporates the ancient trick of firing a bow and arrow with her feet.

According to Kramer, her signature trick goes back to the year 61A.D. and was discovered by her father in Samoa.

“My father walked into a pub and found a picture of an Indian woman holding a bow and arrow with her feet. He kept that picture for many years and when I was six years old he showed me and said ‘would you like to try this?’”

Little Elayne said yes. But don’t be worried about the arrow going into the seats. Remember, she has been practicing since the age of six and first executed the trick at the age of seven.

“If you’re nine years old, you’re already too old to learn contortionism!”

Other performers in the Big Apple group offer modern spins on time-tested circus staples like clowning, animal training, tumbling, juggling, trapeze, wire, aerial skills and more—all skills within Kramer’s own amazing DNA.

“My father did everything. Teeter board, flying trapeze, tightrope, slack-wire, hand balancing and tumbling with his brothers. My mother was an aerialist, did hair-hanging—an art that people don’t know much about anymore—and was a rope dancer.”

Kramer herself was in the fold from birth.

“It’s easier to get into the circus than to leave it!”

Big Apple Circus
Legendarium
Through May 12
City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA
$20-$100, show times vary
(888) 541-3750
www.bigapplecircus.org


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.