We are now in the countdown until our opening day at Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. Although this is our seventh year, the process continues to be an adventure filled with excitement, nervousness, anticipation and the never-ending to do list.
It is a wild and energetic troupe this year where energy and ideas abound. New to this year’s show is Dawn Meredith Smith as our new Ringmaster as well as the hilarious antics and acrobatics of Calvin Kai Ku. Mix that up with the Bella gang you already love – David Hunt on Slackrope, High Flying Abigail on Trapeze, Ross Travis on Chinese Pole, beautifully bendy Dwoira Galilea, the foot- juggling- fantastic Gentile Five, the rhythms of Demarcello Funes. And don’t forget the Circus Bella All-Star Band who will be bigger and brassier than ever with the addition of a 6th member – A TUBA!
Every season we look for new ways to reinvent and refine our acts. This year our juggling finale is directed by Judy Finelli – legendary Pickle Family Circus veteran, co-founder of the San Francisco School of Circus Arts and the first female president of the International Jugglers’ Association. Collaborating with Judy as coach and director is uniquely special as she was one of my first circus teachers when I was 8 years old at the Pickle Family Circus School back in 1988. Circus is about circles, whether it the ring in which we perform, the juggling balls we toss in the air, or skills passed down generation to generation.
Last week we made the switch from playing and experimenting mode (what can we do as a company, how do we fit together, what skills to we want to add this year) to show mode. At this moment we leave some tricks behind (for next year!) and focus on training what specifically need to happen for our June opening. To tease and entice, here is a tiny peek at the Bella rehearsal headquarters at Trapeze Arts in West Oakland as we sweat fall, laugh and get Calvin’s front tuck “out of lines.”
Looking forward to seeing you at the Gardens this summer!