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

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.