FYI Vol. IV, No. 4

Cirque du Soleil Revises Scouting Department

Cirque du Soleil has added two new talent scouts to the roster of its casting team.  They are Annette Devick who will specialize in finding clowns and physical actors and Charles Burrows who will be scouting circus performers and athletes.  Representatives of the casting department will be attending the International Juggling Association in Quebec City from July 22 to 25.  Interested performers are invited to stop by the Cirque color kiosk and talk to Samuel Roy.   The casting team has also organized its first singer’s workshop which is open to the public.  The three-day training session will be held in Mexico City, a unique opportunity for artists to develop their skills with lyrical arts specialists.  More info at the CDS website/casting.


Circus Great Honored

Dolly Jacobs has been named one of nine artists selected to receive the prestigious 2015 National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship, considered the nation’s highest honor in the area of the folk and traditional arts.  “The more I’ve gotten my arms around it, the more I’ve realized it’s not all about me, but about our industry,” Jacobs has said in response.  “I accept it on behalf of all the greats before me that paved the way for the rest of us.”

The Fellowships, which the NEA initiated in 1982, honor individual artists who have made major contributions to the excellence, vitality and public appreciation of 200 distinct and traditional art forms, from folk music to ethnic dance, basket making to quilting.  The award comes with a $25,000 cash prize and will be officially bestowed during a ceremony and concert in Washington, D.C, on Oct. 1 and 2, at which Jacobs and the other recipients will perform.

Jacobs said she plans to donate at least a portion of her winnings back to her own organization and that she hoped her father was “looking down and proud of what we’re doing.”

Jacobs’ husband Pedro Reis, co-founder of Circus Sarasota, called the fellowship “a pretty awesome honor” for his wife but was even more excited by what the recognition means for his industry as a whole.  “We’ve been fighting for so long to raise perception of circus to an art form,” he said.  “That was what our rebranding (from Circus Sarasota to the Conservatory of Circus Arts) was all about.  To have circus as an equal component with other disciplines is a wonderful thing.  It has always been a part of our mission and vision to continue the legacy of circus in Sarasota and beyond, so to have this recognition is very important to her and me.”


Sailor Circus Alums Move On

Two Sailor Circus Academy alums, Anthony Congdon and Ian Laidlaw, will soon bring their unique Duo Românesc balancing act to  the Fiesta Resort located on the picturesque western shores of Guam, the largest and  southern most island in the Marianas Archipelago for  a six-month engagement.  They will be part of a show called Encore!  They have been preparing, practicing and perfecting their act for several months.  “We developed a new style of performing and chose new music, new costumes and a whole new routine,” said Laidlaw aged twenty-two.  He attended the after school program at   Sailor Circus until his graduation in 2012.  Congdon, age twenty, attended from sixth grade until graduation in 2012.  The pair has expressed particular gratitude to Circus Hall of Fame award recipient and coach Willie Edelston who provided the duo with intensive circus training and preparation for their professional debut.


Sarasota Sites Listed as Top Destinations

The world’s largest travel site has awarded the prestigious “Certificate of Excellence” to Sailor Circus, Circus Sarasota , and the Big Cat Habitat/Gulf Coast Sanctuary.   TripAdvisor has officially endorsed all three sites as top destinations for world travelers.  Dozens of favorable reviews and five star ratings on TripAdvisor prompted the travel site to give its highest award to Circus Arts Conservatory productions.  Travelers commonly use words like “Fantastic,” “Affordable,” “Superb,” and “Great,” to describe CAC  shows and circus training.  All three venues have consistently achieved some of the highest rankings for Florida Attractions on TripAdvisor.