Andrea Legg and Joy Weick are two of the aerial performers who will appear in Discover Circus’ upcoming showcase The Birds Who Flew Beyond Time at the Civic Theatre on Wednesday, June 28. There will be two shows, one at 4:30 p.m. and one at 7:30 p.m. Photo: Will Johnson

Circus at the Civic

40 Discover Circus performers will appear in show next Wednesday

Every time she discovers something new.

Nelson aerialist Joy Weick has been in love with silks ever since she took a class on Saltspring Island five years ago, and even though she’s thrown herself into the pursuit headlong, it still feels like she’s barely scratching the surface.

“When I found circus it was about empowerment, it was about people coming together to celebrate what their bodies can do. It was fascinating and welcoming and fun and enticing,” the Discover Circus performer told the Star.

“With aerial silks it’s very much a matter of endless possibilities. There is a whole theory to the way you’re wrapping the fabric, and it’s endless. Every single time I get on I discover something different.”

And that’s a feeling she wants to share with not only the students and teachers from her troupe, but also the Nelson community — she’ll be one of 40 circus performers taking the stage for The Birds Who Flew Beyond Time at the Civic Theatre on Wednesday, June 28. There will be two shows, one at 4:30 p.m. and one at 7:30 p.m.

And for the troupe’s executive director Caleb Hull, this is a dream come true. With the recent installation of a retractable screen, the community theatre venue suddenly has way more space for people to fly and spin and whirl through the air — including him.

“We’ve been wanting to do a performance like this since we opened, because so far we’ve only been doing training and community stuff, but a huge part of circus is performance and now we can offer our students the opportunity to perform.”

Students as young as seven years old will be showcasing their skills alongside touring professionals like Andrea Legg, who will also be appearing.

“This is the perfect spring board for young artists to get into the circus arts. It’s quite hard to have a space to actually discover circus arts because it requires a lot of infrastructure, but Caleb has done a great job of providing that — and it’s really rare to have something like this in a small town,” Legg said.

“The circus community is really interesting because it’s different than any other community — dance is a completely different vibration entirely —and there’s a rivalry and tension there that isn’t in circus at all. It is like a family.”

The showcase will be approximately an hour and a half, and will feature a full storyline complete with set changes. Hull will be performing on aerial hoop with his partner Julia Langham while his teachers and students show off their skills with acro yoga, prop manipulation and flow arts.

Hull’s thankful for the money that’s been invested in the venue recently, which included a Community Initiative Project grant from the City of Nelson. “I don’t think there’s a better way to spend it.”

Weick has loved watching Discover Circus grow.

“I’ve had an incredible experience in Nelson helping build this up from the ground, and it’s been amazing to see students go from zero to 60, to see them do amazing things with their bodies on the silks or the lyra. We can’t wait to share this with the community.”

 

Joy Weick (above) and Andrea Legg are two of the aerial performers who will appear in Discover Circus’ upcoming showcase The Birds Who Flew Beyond Time at the Civic Theatre on Wednesday, June 28. There will be two shows, one at 4:30 p.m. and one at 7:30 p.m. Photo: Will Johnson