Nationally Renowned, Locally Grown: Circus Flora Is a Treasure

by Debbie Monterrey (dcmonterrey@cbs.com)
The big top is up in Grand Center and it’s show time for Circus Flora, St. Louis’ very own circus since 1987.

For those who think they don’t like circus, trust me, I was you. Until Circus Flora. All I can say to people is, GO! I guarantee you will love it.

Circus Flora has several famous circus families who perform regularly, including the Flying Wallendas on the high-wire!
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It has spawned a number of documentaries, including “One Lucky Elephant,” the story of Igor David Balding (artistic director/producer) and his elephant, Flora, for whom the circus was named.
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The St. Louis Arches, the young tumbling phenoms from Circus Harmony school, were featured in “Circus Kids,” which followed their life-changing trip from St. Louis to Israel to work with a Jewish-Arab youth circus. It continues to be screened at film festivals around the country. Circus Harmony founder Jessica Hentoff is also a founding member of Circus Flora and New York’s Big Apple Circus before that!
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Circus Flora is more than a circus. It’s a theater company with a community outreach, including the Clowns on Call program that offers children in area hospitals smiles during recovery.

It’s a world I never thought I would be a part of, but I have been a member of the Circus Flora board for several years now and have two children attending classes at Circus Harmony. My husband quipped a few weeks ago leaving after watching our son do his wire-walking act, “We’re a circus family!”

Circus Flora runs May 30-June 23. Tickets information can be found at circusflora.org.
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