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Connected at UniverSoul Circus!

Circus Harmony's St. Louis Arches are excited to be performing with the fabulous   UniverSoul Circus  ONLY on Thursday, September 1 in the pre-show of their 7 PM show. Check out  f or tickets and get there early to catch our flying children! Their tent is set up downtown on Broadway right next to the dome. It's a global celebration of circus art!
Galilee Arches at Universoul 2012
  This photo from our 2012 appearance at UniverSoul Circus with the Galilee Arches!


Our latest blog post:
UniverSoul's Wandi Mtshula and Circus Harmony's Jessica Hentoff

A few nights ago, at a UniverSoul Circus performance in Florissant, Missouri, I posed for a photo with a young circus performer to send to a young woman in Montreal because they grew up together in Zip Zap Circus, a social circus in South Africa, and this young woman is now dating my son, Keaton, who is currently working at a circus in Australia. Circus brought us together.
On August 5, 2016,  a Jewish circus boy from Israel rode a unicycle carrying the torch for the Maccabi Games (Jewish Olympics) here in St. Louis. There, he was part of a 21 person troupe that consisted of Israeli Jews and Arabs, St. Louis city and suburban children all performing breathtaking acrobatics and other circus arts at the Jewish Community Center on the day the Jewish Federation of St. Louis denounced the Black Lives Matter platform that America should no longer aid Israel. Circus brought them together.

In the circus, when we part, we say "See you down the road." instead of "Goodbye." Because, as we go to the next stop on our own life's path,  we don't know when we our paths will cross again. In the circus, generally, you will end up working with that person again in another place at another time. It's like a river, branching off into tributaries but always come back to the main river again a little further downstream.  The analogy is water because we are all connected and even as we separate we know we will come together again further downstream.

The last two weeks of August, at Circus Harmony, we said "see you down the road" to our two most recent interns from Germany, two students (one who has been with us for 12 years!) of ours going off to college and to the members of our Israeli partners from Galilee Circus. Each parting was bittersweet and full of memories and moments that celebrate our connections.  It is amazing how close everyone gets in such a short time. Circus brings them together.

When you ask any of our students, interns or Israeli partners to talk about their experience at Circus Harmony, they more often than not will use the world 'family'. In circus, at the level we work, you really have to work together and trust your partners to a degree not found in most other youth activities. This makes for a very deep and strong bond. Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds. For many of them, the only thing they have in common is circus. For all of them, some of their closest friends are made here. The interns come here not knowing what to expect and leave forever a part of us. We only get to work with our Israeli Peace Through Pyramids partners every other year because of the great expense of bringing troupes of ten plus children between America and israel. In the movie about our first time going to israel, Circus Kids, the scene at the airport when we are saying goodbye still bring me to tears. At that point, in 2007, we really had no idea if there would be a next time. Now, there have been many next times as troupes and even as individuals (with different young people coming and going on their own to visit their international now-family). This summer was the sixth time the two troupes have worked together. The seniors in the group were little siblings or younger students when this partnership first started. It was finally 'their turn' to get to be part of what has become like a family reunion brought together for and by circus.

So, when I show Wandi, the South African man working on UniverSoul Circus, the photo of the young woman,Sabine, with my son, Keaton in Australia and a photo of me with Sabine's father in Montreal, he laughs out loud and we hug. We are all so connected in this giant, worldwide circus family.  And, like a river, we flow in and out of each other's lives. This year, I was sent a photo from the European Juggling Festival that was of some of our Israeli circus friends from previous years with some of our former German circus interns! Family. Tribe and tributaries connecting, flowing off, resurfacing somewhere else in the world.  Connected by circus.

This is what I found in circus. That I was part of a world-wide family. This is what circus has taught all the children in our program. That we are all connected. We may not always be together in the same place (although Facebook, Skype,and other technology makes that much easier) but we are all connected. If only we could get the rest of the world to feel the same way.
See you down the road!

Jessica Hentoff
August 29, 2016

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Circus Harmony teaches the art of life through circus education. We work to build character and expand community for youth of all ages, cultures, abilities and backgrounds. Through teaching and performing of circus arts, we help people defy gravity, soar with confidence, and leap over social barriers, all at the same time.

We are very grateful for the support of the City Museum, Regional Arts Commission,  Dana Brown Charitable Trust, Missouri Arts Council, Jewish Federation of St. Louis, Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation, Boeing Employee Community Fund,  Wells Fargo Advisors, Edward Jones, Cardinals Care, Arts & Education Council of St. Louis, Greater St. Louis Community Foundation, DCA Family Foundation,  Lubin Green Foundation,Staenberg Family Foundation, Kranzberg Family Foundation, Saigh Foundation,  Build-A-Bear Foundation, Macy's Foundation, Bommarito Automotive Group, Simon Foundation, Big Shark Bicycle Works, Goudurix, Cirque Du Soleil, Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey, American Youth Circus Organization, Brentwood Minuteman Press, Stahl & Ponder, Circus Fans of America, Circus4Youth and people like you!