LAKE GEORGE As I walked into the giant circus tent in Charles Wood Park with my date, my expectations were high for the level of spectacle and entertainment because years ago, I was quite impressed when I saw the Big Apple Circus during one of its residencies in New York City. The Big Apple circus is offering several shows daily through Sunday July 29
Immediately, I noticed the fanciful huge Imagination Machine which would play a role in the show’s theme and clever story line. The artistry of the sets, props — even paintings on the walls — were remarkable and indicated the caliber of the show to come. Designer-directors Andre Barbe and Renaud Doucet created a set that merges science fiction with a colorful, child-friendly sense of wonder. This Imagination Machine connects to a helmet that channels dreams, and makes them come to life.
Emerging from the device are an array of well-choreographed and marvelously costumed acts, including juggler Dmitry Chernov — considered one of the most accomplished jugglers in the world — in a spacey outfit tossing glow-in-the-dark balls. The machine also yielded the rope aerialist Anna Volodko who ascended, plunged and flipped with remarkable strength, skill, and grace — plus contortionist Melanie Chy who performed remarkable balancing feats.
The Shandong Acrobatic Troupe performed truly amazing stunts, including a three-story, six- or seven-person human pyramid jumping rope with perfect synchronicity — and they closed their performance by juggling each other.
Also displaying truly incredible athleticism were the Flying Cortes trapeze artists, who accomplished gravity-defying feats with outstanding finesse and style. Incidentally, we hear their act includes the world’s youngest professional flying trapeze artist.
The imagination machine provided a fun transition between the acts, which included the presentation of weird animals including a South American Capybara or an African porcupine; and the comedy and magic routines of Muriel Brugman and Scott Nelson, who mixed comic stunts with truly mesmerizing, seemingly impossible feats.