Cirque Mechanics Brings the Circus to Town . . .


Submitted a month ago
Created by
Susan B. Apel

. . . with some Montshire Museum spin-off events.

Cirque Mechanics is a circus, with something resembling a science lesson to add a little gravitas. Following their previous Hopkins Center performances (Birdhouse Factory and Pedal Punk), they are bringing a new show, 42 FT - A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels, to the Moore Theater. The Hop describes it this way: “42 FT centers on an old-time circus with a classic 42-foot ring. That ring is transformed, Cirque Mechanics-style, with such human-powered inventions as a galloping metal horse and a rotating tent frame serving strongmen, tumblers and aerialists.” It is a family-friendly show that will make you want to haul along some children, but make no mistake. Adult spectators, even without the kids, will marvel aloud and often. 

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There is something decidedly analog—and blessedly so—about Cirque Mechanics. They are wildly inventive but seem to eschew much of the digital world’s bells and whistles, preferring to look in a different direction toward, well . . . actual bells and whistles, and other kinds of true mechanical magic. From their website: Cirque Mechanics, although inspired by modern circus, finds its roots in the mechanical and its heart in the stories of American ingenuity.  The shows, rooted in realism, display a raw quality, rarely found in modern circus, that makes their message timeless and relevant.  The stories are wrapped in circus acrobatics, mechanical wonders and a bit of clowning around. Still need convincing? Take a peek at the troupe’s short video on their website, where you’ll also find out that Cirque Mechanics is practically home-grown, having been founded in 2004 by Boston native, Chris Lashua. 

The Hop is holding a Milk 'n' Cookies reception for ticket holders to any of the performances, with snacks and an opportunity to meet Cirque Mechanics’ performers, following the 1:00 p.m. show on Saturday, December 8. (Reception at the Hop Garage near the Box Office.) Another event is free: Family Makerspace with the Montshire, Friday, Dec. 7, 6:30-7:45 pm, at the Top of the Hop, where kids (presumably of all ages) can explore the science of Cirque Mechanics with the Montshire Museum of Science by creating a spinning top or a whimsical balancing toy. The Hopkins Center is pairing with the Montshire in Norwich VT for a number of related events and workshops at the Museum, some free and others requiring an entry fee. For a complete list, click here.

Cirque Mechanics will perform at the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College on December 6th through 8th. For times and tickets, click here for the online Hop Box Office.

(All photos by Maike Schulz.)

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