- George Zimmerman signs autographs at Orlando gun show
- GOP lawmaker faces fire for NBA crime tweet
- Taliban vow to ‘use all force’ to disrupt Afghan elections
- Atheists sue to remove ‘Ground Zero Cross’ from 9/11 museum
- Bishop in Aleppo: ‘We Christians live in fear in Syria’
- Oscar Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford flubs daylight saving time advice: ‘Turn your clocks back’
- Americans don’t support sending U.S. troops to Ukraine
- Florida lawmakers move to wipe corrupt ‘Boss Hogg’ town from map
- N.C. math whiz to unveil secret of March Madness picks
Circus of the Senses plays to special audience
The slender, blond second-grader caressed the silky wrap, speaking quietly with its owner, Katerina, who minutes earlier had been using it to dangle 30 feet above the ground.
It was daring feat of strength and agility that Brooke, who is legally blind, might not have been able to experience had she not been attending the Circus of the Senses.
“This is my first time going with her, but I can tell she’s having a great time,” Mr. Lilavois said.
Asked why she looked forward to this performance, Brooke’s answer was simple.
“Because I love this place,” she said.
Big Apple Circus Artistic Director Guillaume Dufresnoy said the performance for the sight and hearing impaired packs just as much entertainment into the show, but in a way that’s better suited for the audience.
“We created the show, and once the show was established, we tried to make it as varied as possible with the main elements,” Mr. Dufresnoy said. “We always wanted to make sure it retained the quality of the production.”
Some ways to do that, Mr. Dufresnoy said, were to adjust the volume and lighting during the show for young audience members who are sensitive to that kind of stimulation.
“Strobe lights we can turn off,” he added. “Nothing too harsh.”
The typical two-hour performance was also shortened, and they eliminated the intermission, which can be problematic trying to get young audience members back in their seats in time for the second half.
The performance was free, and audience members were invited to watch one of several signers stationed throughout the big tent. Or they could use one of the provided headphone sets that broadcast the live narrations of Big Apple Circus founder Paul Binder and Bill Boots, leader of the Big Apple Clown Care program at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
The traveling show and its Circus of the Senses has performed in the Dulles area 13 times. The first performance in Northern Virginia was in 2000. Though the Circus of the Senses performance has ended for this stay, the Big Apple Circus is scheduled to remain in Dulles through Monday.
Seven different school groups from throughout the D.C. area were invited to attend the Circus of the Senses, according to information provided by the circus. About two-thirds of the audience had a form of hearing or vision impairment, while the other third had some type of physical or mental disability.
Seth Bloom and wife Christina Gelsone — the Acrobuffos — were two of the most popular performers to visit during the hands-on session. The clown duo from Harlem in New York City, drew laughs during the show when they whooped and whistled at one another as a bickering couple. But it was their handmade masks and outrageous wigs that had the young audience clamoring to be next in line to try on the props.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Three Gulf countries sink 'Noah' before movie's launch
- Lenten season marks big business for seafood sector
- ACU at 50: Strong and looking ahead
- Ready for spring? D.C. cherry blossoms to bloom by mid-April
- MOVIE REVIEW: 'Son of God'
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- Arrest made in Ohio bar shooting that killed 3
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Florida lawmakers move to wipe corrupt 'Boss Hogg' town from map
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again