They are a-Muse-d: Circus performers teach kids some sweet moves

Circus kids: Performers and “ABCirque and Play” will show off their gravity-defying tricks, and then teach kids how to replicate the tricks while closer to the ground, at the Muse on May 12.
Alexander Rivero

Welcome to the Big Top, little ones!

Brooklyn kids can join the circus without running away from home! A Bushwick circus troupe will show off its tricks and then welcome children into the ring to try the acrobatics for themselves, at the show “ABCirque and Play” at the Muse on May 12.

The afternoon show will feature performers showing off some of their most impressive feats, including juggling, hula hooping, and flying through the air with greatest of ease. After the performance, pint-sized audience members can try some of the twisting and tumbling for themselves, according to the founder of the Bushwick circus space.

“They can dive into our giant ball pit, swing on our aerial hammocks with the aerialists who performed or they can meet the strongmen,” said Angela Buccinni Butch. “It’s much more special, real, and tangible for the kids when they get to watch it that close up and then they actually get to interact with those people and experience it.”

The show debuted about two months ago, and Buccinni Butch hopes that the May 12 edition will turn it into a monthly event.

Letting kids learn directly from the artists who inspire them exemplifies the welcoming spirit of the circus, said the Cypress Hills choreographer.

“Some kids will not let the juggler alone after the show, some are just need to fly with the aerialists – everyone has this draw to a different kind of magic,” she said. “There is this celebration of how different we all are and there is something for each person based on their strengths.”

But the show might not go on at the Muse’s current space, a former warehouse in Bushwick, where the group has taught circus classes and held performances for the last four years. Transforming the formerly run-down spot took “blood, sweat, and tears,” said Buccinni Butch, and ongoing maintenance has been a substantial financial burden on her and her team of about eight staffers, as they installed emergency exits and sealed the windows so guests would not freeze.

“We’ve spent over $400,000 in the past four years of upgrades to the buildings,” she said.

Because of the high costs of the building and some ongoing problems, Buccinni Butch and her team are looking for either enough money to resolve their space’s issues once and for all, or help with moving somewhere more suitable.

Buccinni Butch is optimistic that her cultural space can stay alive somewhere in the five boroughs.

“We’re here to stay, we’re fighting to stay. The fear is if we can’t find those resources, but our focus is turning it into a long-term sustaining solution to allow this kind of work to be in New York,” she said.

“ABCirque and Play” at the Muse [350 Moffat St. at Irving Avenue in Bushwick, (929) 400–1678, www.themusebrooklyn.com]. May 12 at 4 p.m. $25–$55. Anyone who would like to help or advise the Muse can get in touch at themuseevents@gmail.com.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Swing time: After the show “ABCirque and Play,” at the Muse on May 12, kids can try their hands on the aerial silks, juggling, hula hoops, and more,
Alexander Rivero

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