The Marvelous Miraculous Circus Machine

The Circus Arts Conservatory Presents Rube Goldberg Chain Reaction Machine

The Marvelous Miraculous Circus Machine

Sarasota, Fla. – The Circus Arts Conservatory (CAC) is proud to announce that the Sailor Circus Arena in Sarasota will be host to The Marvelous Miraculous Circus Machine May 7 and 8, 2015. The giant Rube Goldberg Chain Reaction Machine is being constructed by Sarasota High School’s elite engineering students enrolled in the MaST Program and was made possible through a generous grant by The American Honda Foundation. MaST is a program at Sarasota High School and is the School of Excellence in Math, Science and Technology.

Thirteen area elementary schools – more than 1,400 students – have also participated in the program supporting two productions of the “Machine” by learning the principals of physics following Circus Arts Conservatory curriculum and building their own machines in their classrooms. Seeing their calculations in action instead of on paper the 5th grade participants were afforded an unprecedented learning experience that brings together theoretical and applied learning.

Seventy Sarasota MaST students are participating in the project having been given specific parameters to develop the circus machine. Each of the four classes (freshman through senior) was responsible for creating one portion of the Machine and their piece must successfully integrate with the next classes segment. Parameters included such elements as the size of the arena (20,000 sq. ft.), the dimensions of their portion, the amount of force and the weight and angle to be applied at the beginning of their section delivered to the next piece of the machine.

MaST classroom time was spent learning about the physics, engineering, art, rigging and skills of the circus arts (trapeze, aerial performance, juggling, etc.) and understanding the critical role of teamwork among all of these components. The MaST instructor and teaching artists provided the students with the framework and parameters of the assignment; however, the concept, design, construction and execution of the Machine is all student directed.

Once the enormous Machine has been assembled in the Sailor Circus Arena, circus performers will become part of it – providing connections between the machine’s four main parts by being flipped, flown and spun from one component to the next.

This program was spearheaded by the Circus Arts Conservatory’s Education Department who combine the worlds of engineering, sculpture and circus arts in the classroom. After developing the pilot program in Sarasota, the CAC hopes the lesson can be introduced to neighboring counties.

The CAC’s education department is led by Karen Bell, a professional clown who first performed with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1986. Bell has been a teaching artist since 2005 and received her teaching training through the Kennedy Center’s Artists as Educators seminars funded through the DANA Foundation. Joining Bell is Robin Eurich, professional clown, improviser and teacher who has been performing for 42 years. He has been with CAC since its first year performing as Ringmaster and has been teaching in the classroom for CAC since 2011.

“This is exciting on so many levels,” said teaching artist Karen Bell. “A Rube Goldberg machine has never been built on this scale. We are assembling it in the Sailor Circus Arena and taking advantage of the rigging and circus performers. Part of the challenge to the students was to incorporate circus into the Machine. We’re teaching these children teamwork, perseverance and the valuable experience of failure – they most likely won’t get everything right on the first try but working together and using the principals of physics and engineering, they will eventually get their machine to work.”

Robin Eurich added, “This project teaches collaborative and creative thinking – the heart and soul of the workplace of tomorrow. And we’ve found a way to inspire children to find science compelling and achievable. They’re learning physics! Physics is non-changing – everything starts with physics. Since we are in the circus we think creatively, practically, big and out of the box and we’re teaching the children to think that way as well.”

Sailor Circus Academy 2015 Spring Performance

Sarasota, Fla. – The Sailor Circus kicks off its 66th season of incredible, family-friendly entertainment with its 2015 Spring Performance. This is the Country’s premier youth circus and each show includes more than 100 area students, in more than 25 incredible acts. The 2015 Greatest “Little” Show on Earth Performance runs on select dates from Friday, March 27th to Saturday, April 4th, 2015 and is the only place in Florida where you can find a youth circus production of this magnitude.

Sailor Circus Spring 2015Due to the overwhelming support of Sarasota locals and visitors, the legendary Sailor Circus is a major attraction on Florida’s Gulf Coast and has grown from a small high school gymnastics class, back in 1949, into a four-ring circus production of epic proportions. Today Sailor Circus is made up of students from throughout Sarasota and the surrounding counties, in grades 4 through 12, who are dedicated to carrying on the heritage of a city founded on the circus arts. This year’s Sailor Circus cast has 10 graduating seniors – some of whom aspire to become professional circus artists and others who will attend Ivy League colleges – the rest of the cast are high school, middle and elementary school students. These extremely committed youth performers train under the stewardship of world- renowned circus professionals, for 20 to 30 hours each week, 8 months out of the year, in order to prepare for the performance and carry on the legacy of what has been nationally-recognized as The Greatest “Little” Show on Earth.

Audiences will be awe-inspired as these young circus artists jump, bend, balance, flip, and fly with all the non-stop entertainment you’d expect to find in a professional circus production. The one-of-a-kind performance includes unicycle, juggling, tightrope, aerial silks, acrobatics, the flying trapeze and much, much more. With everything from circus gifts, buttery popcorn, fresh-spun cotton candy and an incredible display of magnificent circus arts, this spring performance is high-quality entertainment that will win the hearts of both young and old. As an added bonus, a live all volunteer circus band will add to the artistry by accompanying a selection of Sailor Circus acts with traditional circus favorites. Other acts will be accompanied by Top 40 hits giving everyone a chance to clap along to music they enjoy.

The Sailor Circus Academy 2015 Spring Performance runs for 6 magic-filled days at the Sailor Circus Arena, located at 2075 Bahia Vista Street, Sarasota. Shows are at 7 P.M. on Friday, March 27th, 2 and 7 P.M. on Saturday, March 28th and Sunday, March 29th; at 7 P.M. on Thursday, April 2nd and Friday, April 3rd; and at 2 and 7 P.M. on Saturday, April 4th. The cost is $18 for adults and $12 for children 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased by calling The Circus Arts Conservatory Box Office at 941-355-9805, or online at

Circus Sarasota and Key Chorale Present Cirque des Voix 2015

SARASOTA, Fla. – Circus Sarasota proudly teams up with Key Chorale and the Cirque Orchestra to unveil Cirque des Voix™- a dynamic and supremely blended presentation of songful voices, dramatic orchestra music and awe-inspiring physical strength. The musical circus arts savoir-faire reaches far deeper than sights and sounds to provide a unique and bold presentation unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. This spectacular production regally intertwines live choral music, from classical and famous composers, and wondrously engaging circus arts entertainment, by world-renowned circus arts performers. Cirque des Voix™ runs for two shows only – Friday, March 13th and Saturday, March 14th, 2015 – at the Big Top in Nathan Benderson Park, directly behind The Mall at UTC.

Cirque des Voix 2015The musical compositions of Cirque des Voix™ embody great intensity and include a myriad of impressive pieces that range from classical to new age. There will also be illustrious pieces from the Silver Screen like the theme song from “Spider-Man,” “King Arthur” and “The Adventures of Rabbi Jacob.” The circus arts performances will be equally inspiring and include everything from the world-famous Nik Wallenda on the highwire, human- acrobatic foot-juggling by George Coronas Jr. and Miles Ashton and an aerial silks display from America’s most beloved and longest running youth circus, Sailor Circus. There will also be treasured classics like professional clowning by Karen Bell and Robin Eurich, impressive cube juggling from Vladimir Kim, the graceful poise of World-famous aerialist, Dolly Jacobs and feats of impeccable balance and super-human strength from Duo Romanesque!

The combination of majestic and distinctive art forms – live choral and orchestral music combined with the circus arts – will create an engaging entertainment experience that will grab the attention of both young and old. Cirque des Voix™ shows will be held on Friday, March 13th at 7:30 P.M. and Saturday, March 14th at 2 P.M. Prices range from $20 to $50 per ticket and can be purchased by calling The Circus Arts Conservatory Box Office at 941-355-9805, or on-line at

Click here to read a Sarasota Herald Tribune review of Cirque des Voix 2015.