1st professional circus school in US coming to Philadelphia

AP News
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Posted: Aug 30, 2016 2:49 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — No clowning around: The first full-time, professional training school for circus artists in the United States is set to open in Philadelphia next year.

Circadium will be a three-year, secondary vocational school where students can hone their skills in acrobatics, trapeze arts, juggling and aerial acts like the silks.

Officials say America is home to over 200 recreational circus schools, but unlike in Europe and Canada, there aren't any certified professional schools where more experienced students can elevate their art.

Executive Director Shana Kennedy says the traditional American circus, with its three rings, trained animals and red-nosed clowns, is becoming less relevant. She says audiences want to not just be wowed but also to be moved.

She says the contemporary circus mixes theater, dance and music with the standard circus disciplines.