2012.06.13 We met at the circus

Written by David Green.

We met at the circus

 

By DAVID GREEN

My wife and I returned from a rather harrowing experience Saturday night in Toledo. We went to the circus, or actually, le cirque.

We’ve heard about Cirque de Soleil (Circus of the Sun) for many years, but never made it to a performance. I don’t know if the group has ever performed in Toledo in the past, but our daughter, Rosanna is a follower. She’s attended four of the various shows that travel around the world.

When she noticed that Toledo was on the schedule, she knew the perfect anniversary gift awaited. She, Ben and Maddie went together to send us to the circus for our 30th anniversary.

Cirque de Soleil describes itself as a “dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment.” There are jugglers, acrobats, incredible rope jumping, high wire performances, a mime and more. It started off with a pair of street performers in Montréal in 1984 and from there advanced to a most amazing level of skill.

Maybe I should have read a little about the show before we went. “I” should have read, not “we.” For Colleen, it was a complete surprise. We drove to the Huntington Center and there were no signs outside announcing what was going on inside. We walked through the doors and still no posters about anything but the Toledo Walleyes hockey team. 

It wasn’t until I handed over the tickets at the entrance that Colleen discovered what was ahead and she nearly wept with joy. This was a special treat.

If I had read ahead of time, I would have discovered that our show, “Quidam,” is about the imagination and daydreams of a young girl whose parents are too busy to pay her much attention.

Quidam features an overhead rigging system that allows performers to suddenly appear high in the air. The show moves from city to city in 50 trucks carrying equipment, the band that performs with the group, a school for the performers’ children and a restaurant with its own French chef.

This is one of seven shows touring the U.S. There are other groups traveling around the world and there’s also a handful of resident shows in locations such as Las Vegas, Disney World and New York City. It’s grown into a large organization with more than 4,000 performers.

Quidam was a combination of amazing and funny until the first aerial act began. I remember thinking to myself, “What a way to earn a living.” A woman was high above the stage with two long, red ribbons dangling from the rigging. It was just her and the ribbons. 

She would wrap them around her legs, let go with her hands and start in with the acrobatics. I can’t describe how frightening it was; you had to be there. It was the first of many aerial performances. Picture someone hanging from a hoop only by the back of their head. No hands, just their head bent back a little.

I don’t think our small crowd was appreciative enough. What we saw was really astounding.

During the intermission, we walked outside the arena and I suddenly stopped Colleen and said, “There’s Fred Sneider.” Remember the Sneider family that lived in Morenci in the 1980s?

I wasn’t quite sure enough to go up and talk to him, but after we sat down for the remainder of the show, I told Colleen that we just walked past Pam Sneider to get to our seats. And then, at the end of the row, I noticed the woman who stood up to let us pass was the mother of the kids, Dorothy.

Soon Veronica returned to her seat in front of us and then Angie was back in the row behind us. We were deep in the Sneider section. I reminded Angie that exactly 20 years had passed since Morenci’s girls track team placed second at the state meet, and Angie was Morenci’s only performer. She still has a few records remaining.

Angie’s feats from the past were impressive, but soon the acrobats were back at it. They were launching each other across the stage. A man stood with a man on his shoulders who had another man on his shoulders and soon a woman was flying through the air to be caught by the man on top.

That’s enough of that. Let’s bring the entertainment back down to the stage. Someone’s going to get hurt.

  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016