Famed circus to beam show around world

What: Metamorphosis

Where: SilverCity Cinemas

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When: Saturday, 9:30 a.m.

Tickets: $12.95-$14.95

Reservations: cineplex.com

 

Don’t be misled by the title of a really big show lighting up the screen at Silver City this weekend.

While Metamorphosis is also the title of Franz Kafka’s novella, you can be assured Saturday morning’s similarly titled experience will be anything but Kafka-esque.

It’s a breathtaking, notably wholesome new show by New York’s Big Apple Circus, the first in its 37-year history to be beamed live into hundreds of movie theatres around the world.

The cinematic one-ring circus rolling into town in time for local families to “step right up” to the Saanich multiplex after breakfast will feature captivating canines, camels and clowns, including a comical character who turns himself into a human xylophone with a repertoire including The Girl From Ipanema.

All of the animal-friendly acts featuring rescued critters — including horses, ponies, llamas and goats — are designed to appeal to audiences of all ages, especially children with limited attention spans, the show’s producers say.

This year’s spectacle, hosted by veteran ringmaster and magician John Kennedy Kane, was recently described in the New York Post as “very comforting” and fun “minus the arty pretensions of Cirque du Soleil and the seizure-inducing freneticism of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.”

Big Apple Circus is also “a circus you can take the small fry to with a clear conscience,” it said.

Immersive yet intimate, the circus show with a theme of transformation — butterflies figure prominently — features flying trapeze artists, the six-person Aniskin troupe, as well as what producers term the “razzle-dazzle of the Rolla-Bolla, the dynamo of the Diablo [juggling] and the risky rhythms of the Risley team,” referring to the aerial acrobats Fabio and Giuliano Anastasini.

Saturday’s live broadcast will also showcase the jaw-dropping flexibility of star contortionist Odbayasakh Dorjo, who gracefully folds herself into a small cube, and the mind-boggling achievements of Russian quick-change artists Vladimir and Olga Smirnov.

Since Big Apple Circus was founded in 1977, it has produced 36 original shows featuring international performers that integrate classic circus elements with aspects of traditional theatre.

The organization takes pride in its animal-welfare policy, providing its animal performers with daily exercise and baths, balanced diets and regular vaccinations and medical checkups.

mreid@timescolonist.com

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