Acrobatic Conundrum at 12th Avenue Arts

They call it a contemporary circus. There are no animals, no clown costumes, no big top, but there are plenty of acrobatics and balletic moves, and I guarantee you will be astounded by some of the acts. A small band (bass guitar, guitar, and drums) accompanies the acrobats along with comedic introductions.

A man flies in on a rope then performs ceiling high “balletic dances” by twisting and turning on his sky-high perch. Another performer circles the stage in a gigantic hoop while juggling bowling pins. There’s lots of physical humor, and naturally there’s more than a little clowning, proving that clown costumes aren’t necessary to make people laugh.

Humor abounds with the actors playing off one another and offering smart repartee. Each weekend, there’s a small change in players and offerings.

One of the most amazing acts in last weekend’s shows consisted of Mama and Papa Gentile and their four children ranging in age from 21 months to 11 years. Not only are they all acrobats but also they have perfected the skill of foot juggling. Mama juggles everything from a table to a huge flowerpot, lying on her back while her feet madly move the goods in circles and at speed. It’s astonishing to see what she can do to that table. She also juggles her children who, amazingly, can foot juggle too. Even the 21-month old is incorporated in the act.

It may not be Cirque du Soleil but it is a fun and different night at the theatre.

Dec. 8-10 at 12th Avenue Arts, 1620 12th Ave., Seattle, www.bit.ly/acrobaticdecember.

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