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[VIDEO] MoonDrop Circus 'Dreams Big' At First Fridays

Julie Denesha

For the past two years the aerialists, jugglers, and musicians from Moondrop Circus have attracted audiences with their antics. Most months, the group gathers in the Crossroads Arts Districtamid the carnival atmosphere surrounding First Fridays, at 19th and Baltimore.

Interview Highlights: MoonDrop Circus

On dreamers who dream big 

"All of us at MoonDrop Circus are dreamers. We dream big, and we also hope to share our dreams with other people," says musician Andrew Wilson. "MoonDrop is the unity of jugglers, aerialists, hoopists, dancers, musicians, and a whole host of other performers who really love performing and performing with other people."

On the biggest challenge: gravity

"For any juggler, you know, the biggest challenge is gravity, of course," says juggler Greg Owsley. "We will have 10,000 throws and catches in any give act and we are not supposed to mess up one. But that's part of the challenge, that's part of the fun, and that's also part of the experience. The audience knows that I am throwing a lot of objects in the air really fast and catching them all, or not catching them all. And they are feeling the struggle I am feeling."

On a ballerina in the air

"Most people just describe it (aerialist performance) as acrobat or contortionist poses in the air," says Robin Rosenberger, directing manager and aerialist for MoonDrop Circus. "So in that way we are really just like a ballerina hanging upside down. You just gotta not be afraid of heights so much and like spinning (laughs)."

On finding inspiration in performance

"I was an audience member of MoonDrop for awhile before I was asked to join the crew," says hula hoop artist Natalie Pierce. "And sitting in the audience and watching was really inspirational to me and I really wanted to have a group of my own that I could be a part of to learn to expand my art and to perform. When I joined MoonDrop Circus that allowed me that possibility."

On turning on a faucet of creativity

"To me the most exciting part of performing with MoonDrop is the moment that we go onto the stage, because it's that moment that we've been building up weeks of preparation, of concentration, of organization, and that downbeat is the turning on of the faucet," says musician Andrew Wilson. "And it's the moment that all of our talent and preparation, sort of just pours out into the audience."

On doing what you love

"It's really rewarding to do what you love and to learn new things and discover that you can do new things and to perform those things as well," hula hoop artist Natalie Pierce says. "You know that inspiration that you give to others and that feedback that they give you as well is really what keeps us all going."

On making the magic

"Circus is not, you know, sideshows and animals, and clowns," juggler Greg Owsley says. "It is part of that, but circus is art. And what I really want to emphasize is that MoonDrop Circus is celebrating an art form, and it's an art form that includes everybody.

"And when everybody is excited and feeling that experience of MoonDrop Circus, that's what we are really trying to convey. All right, and if the audience is passionate, and the audience is excited, that's what makes the magic."

MoonDrop Circus performs October 4, in front of Beco Gallery, better known as "Beco's Big Top," 1922 Baltimore Ave. Kansas City, Mo., during First Friday festivities in the Crossroads Arts District. 816-472-4242.

Julie Denesha is the arts reporter for KCUR. Contact her at julie@kcur.org.
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