Booty prize! Short shorts offered up as Bushwick-circus fund-raiser reward

Booty prize! Short shorts offered up as Bushwick-circus fund-raiser reward
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Get some booty for your booty.

The circus and theater company House of Yes is giving away handmade booty shorts and unitards as gifts for its online Kickstarter fund-raiser campaign to finance the construction of its new Bushwick venue. An acrobat and troupe leader said the crowd that comes to see House of Yes’s do-it-yourself circus shows could certainly use some mobility-friendly garb.

“Most of our audience are super active and they love partying and working out and riding around,” said Anya Sapozhnikova, an aerialist who runs House of Yes with artists Kae Burke and Elena Delgado. “They will wear booty shorts to rehearsal or to a performance or anywhere.”

Booty shorts are form-fitting, sparkly affairs usually made of spandex or other stretchy material. The garment and its cousin the unitard, a leotard that extends to the knees or feet, are so commonly worn among circus types that inviting someone to a booty-short or unitard-making party does not raise an eyebrow.

The organization chose the elastic articles of clothing as gifts because Sapozhnikova and Burke wanted to give donors something the Yes team could easily make themselves.

“You do not want your Kickstarter awards to take over your life, but you want them to be personal,” said Sapozhnikova. “These are something that we can make right here in Brooklyn.”

The crew initially planned to make 30 pairs of the shorts, but is willing go up to 60 if there is demand. Funders must give $30 to score a pair of the shorts, while those looking for the superior coverage of a unitard will have to shell out $75. So far, 18 backers have ponied up for the shorts and 12 for the onesies.

Other gifts include a video message from the performers for $50, a private aerial class for $100, and, for a whopping $2,500, naming rights to sections of the theater. Altogether the tumblers and trapeze artists are trying to raise $60,000 to build a stage, buy lights, sound equipment, and 30-feet-tall curtains, and install seating and a dressing room, which means they cannot spare much, according to Sapozkhnikova.

“Because this project is so financially extreme, we are trying to give away prizes that do not cost an arm and a leg, because we will need every dollar,” she said.

A big-money funder said the pitch caught her at a generous time.

“I have been gigging a lot and I was in a good mood and wanted to help out,” said Demi Fyrce, who teaches aerial arts in Queens and pledged $2,500, a gift that will be memorialized with the naming of the backstage as the “Fyrce Backstage.” “I know what it takes to open your own place and perform every day in a theater.”

If the fund-raiser succeeds, it will begin the end of a yearlong odyssey that began when the House of Yes lost its lease on the space it had inhabited on Maujer Street in Williamsburg. After a search, the troupe landed a 10-year lease on a warehouse space on Jefferson Street. The team has been renovating the building since February and construction will include raising the roof from 17 feet to 30 to accommodate aerial acts. The new venue is slated to include a restaurant and a significantly larger theater space.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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