Observations and projections by Keith Hennessy, guest performance curator Bay Area Now 2005.
Written for the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Bay Area Now 2005 catalogue
• Burlesque, sideshow, circus, fire arts and a return to artists who entertain.
For the past decade there’s been a steady increase in aerial acrobats, fire spinning and sculpting, nostalgic & campy burlesque, and the word circus being used to describe just about everything from the entire genre of Tom Waits meets gypsy/Roma music to the Schwartznegger election. After years of deconstructing the spectacle, entertainment is back. For a few years anyone who could spin fire or climb 25 feet of fabric earned respect but that moment is over and for a few dancers, aerialists, contortionists, fire sculptors and spinners, and even hula-hoopists, it’s all about quality now, pushing craft and performance and obsessive training to the next level...