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
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…