Swing music: Circus showcase features a singing aerialist

Swing music: Circus showcase features a singing aerialist
Christa Maxwell

These performers are reaching new heights!

A group of freshly minted circus artists will take to the skies this weekend, exhibiting their experimental acrobatic and aerial routines at a Bushwick big tent. The Evolving Artist Showcase, hosted by circus school the Muse on Sept. 28, will feature eight graduates of the company’s pre-professional intensive program, displaying their skills with trapeze, swinging hoops, and a host of other high-flying circus tricks — often adding their own personal twists to the techniques.

One Crown Heights artist plans to incorporate singing into her aerial silks routines, turning her death-defying debut into a theatrical performance as much as a circus show.

“I’m 100 percent acting and embodying the character I’m trying to portray,” said Christina Schwedler, who will belt out “Endangered Species” by Dianne Reeves during the Sept. 28 showcase. Schwedler says she will embody the jazz diva’s spirit while climbing up the silk rope, singing a new verse each time she pauses to strike a pose. Drummer Rick Smith and singer Sirintip will accompany her, playing along while the artist dangles from the silk rope by her ankles and sings upside down.

Schwedler, who was trained as a vocalist, started learning acrobatics in 2015 as a hobby, and quickly grew to love the art.

“It’s the first active thing I found that made me feel strong and beautiful at the same time,” she said. “I’ve never had anything feel so right.”

Combining acrobatics with her musical background created a new art form that Schwedler had never seen before.

“It’s something new to add to the circus world,” she said.

The Sept. 28 show’s other acts will include acrobats spinning from a hoop suspended from the ceiling and wall running acts, where performers dash along the wall while strapped into harnesses. Each routine will showcase a wide range of acrobatic abilities, said the circus school’s founder and director.

“You’ll see gorgeous acrobatics, flips, tumbling, different kinds of splits, and feats of flexibility,” said Angela Buccinni Butch, who founded the Muse 10 years ago. Watching the dancers, who choreographed their own routines with a one-on-one coach, offers an exciting glimpse into the future of circus arts, she said.

“It’s like watching the rising stars,” Butch said. “This is the next generation of performers.”

“Evolving Artist Showcase” at the Muse [350 Moffat St. between Irving and Knickerbocker avenues in Bushwick, (929) 400–1678, www.themusebrooklyn.com]. Sept. 28. at 8 pm. $20.

Reach reporter Rose Adams at radams@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–8306. Follow her on Twitter @rose_n_adams
New heights: Christina Schwedler will sing during her silks routine at the Muse on Sept. 28.
Georgia Cross