Circadium Brings the Circus to Feastival

The annual FringeArts party is part food festival, part performance.

Eric Michaels of Circadium practices acrobatics. He'll be performing on straps at Feastival.

Eric Michaels of Circadium practices acrobatics. He’ll be performing on straps at Feastival.

Food from many of the best chefs in Philadelphia, plus all the cocktails you can handle, is enough of an excuse to splurge on a ticket for Thursday’s Feastival. But if you need another reason, come for the acrobats.

Feastival is the annual FringeArts fundraiser, now held in the FringeArts multi-use venue on the waterfront, with more than 70 restaurants and bars setting up tables — many manned by Philly’s version of celebrity chefs. But the culinary performances aren’t the only acts going on. The arts are as much a part of the party as the edibles, and it looks like the organizers are making that element even bigger this year. Circadium, the new higher-education circus school, will be bringing in 30 artists, including 18 pros and 12 students. They’ll perform at Feastival using a 23-foot-high aerial truss that goes over Race Street, says Shana Kennedy, executive director of Circadium and the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts.

“Every year has included some elements of circus performance, [but] the organizers of the event this year decided to step it up a notch,” Kennedy says. “Circadium is breaking new ground in the realms of circus and performance art.”

Watch Shannon Sexton and Kendra Greaves perform on aerial ladder at Feastival.

Watch Shannon Sexton and Kendra Greaves perform on aerial ladder at Feastival.

Expect “spotlighted acts on non-traditional apparatus, such as straps and aerial chairs,” she says, plus “standard circus apparatus” like aerial silks and hoops. At the same time, circus artists will be woven throughout the party, juggling, contorting, fire-eating, and doing acrobatics on raised platforms.

Meanwhile, inside the building local muralist Juan Dimida will paint a car from Feastival sponsor Audi, while the inventive dance troupe Brian Sander’s Junk performs. Outside, FringeArts’ resident band Red 40 & The Last Groovement will entertain with disco and funk. Tickets are $300 and come with a FringeArts membership.

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