Is the circus romantic?
Well, think about two trapeze artists, dangling dangerously in mid-air while holding on to each other for dear life.
If that doesn’t define romance for you, then you haven’t been paying attention.
The idea of melding circus acts and a romantic night out makes perfect sense to the folks who run Circus Maine, a Portland-based group of circus professionals who teach classes and put on performances. This weekend, Circus Maine will be staging a show called “Cupid’s Night Circus,” just in time for Valentine’s Day.
The two-hour “circus cabaret” at Thompson’s Point in Portland will feature about 10 acts, including local, national and international circus performers. There will be trapeze artists, a clown troupe, acrobats, juggling, people doing tricks with sticks and hoops, among others. There will also be food and drink for sale.
The cabaret will run for three performances, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The cabaret acts will be family-friendly with nothing suggestive or erotic, said Amity Stoddard, marketing director for Circus Maine. Stoddard said that if the show were a movie it would be rated PG-13.
“The idea is that the ‘Night Circus’ is presented by Cupid, and the theme of romance is both light-hearted and innocent,” said Stoddard, adding that though there will be people flying through the air, Cupid is not a character in the show.
The cabaret will take place in Circus Maine’s space, in an old brick building on Thompson’s Point. The cavernous building allows for an aerial apparatus rigged at 27 feet high.
One of the circus artists performing who has an international resumé is Noémie Beauchamp, from Quebec, who will be doing an aerial act on chains. She’s performed with Cirque du Soleil and a company in Germany. Another is Charlotte Rigaul, a native of France, who will also perform an aerial act.
Stoddard said Circus Maine is planning to do a series of circus cabarets, to be held monthly.
Circus Maine was started last fall by staffers of the Circus Conservatory of America, in the space that group had been occupying. The conservatory had been putting on shows and classes at Thompson’s Point, but with the stated goal of being an accredited school for performers. But last year the conservatory canceled classes and vacated its building.
Circus Maine has “no plans” to become an academic program, but instead will focus on recreational classes and putting on performances, Stoddard said.
Like “Cupid’s Night Circus.”
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 6 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Circus Maine, 4 Thompson’s Point (off outer Congress St.), Portland
HOW MUCH: $12 in advance, $15 at the door, $10 for children