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Circus Flora Opens Vagabond Adventures At Grand Center


Show marks 25th season for the one-ring circus



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May 20, 2011
In celebration of its 25th season, Circus Flora, St. Louis' one-ring circus, presents a brand new show, Vagabond Adventures, June 2 through 26 under the air-conditioned, red-and-white, big top tent in Grand Center.

Vagabond Adventures is set on the Floating Palace, an actual circus venue that traveled up and down the Mississippi River before the Civil War. This majestic riverboat triggers the season's thrilling caper.

"It's been 25 years in the making, and we are pulling out all the stops," said Ivor David Balding, producer and artistic director.

The show reunites Circus Flora stars from the last quarter century, such as the Flying Wallendas on the high wire, the acrobatics of the St. Louis Arches, the Flying Pages on the flying trapeze, Una Mimnagh on the corde lisse (vertical rope), legendary circus performer and Circus Flora co-founder Alexandre Sacha Pavlata as well as everyone's favorite clown, Giovanni Zoppé as Nino.

The 25th season also ushers in a host of new acts, including the Olate Dogs' tricks and the Riding Donnert's horsemanship, including juggling on horseback.

Richard Olate, his family and his dogs come to Circus Flora from Chile, where Olage discovered his talent as an animal trainer with an abundance of stray dogs.

Brothers Robert and David Donnert are fifth-generation circus performers. Trained by their father and uncle, they perform a very unique act of juggling on horseback.

Vagabond Adventures finds stowaways on board the Floating Palace, with dreams of becoming circus performers. From their hiding places, they catch wind of a scheme that threatens the boat. Through the stowaways' heroic efforts, the Floating Palace is saved, escapes the treacherous waters of the Gulf of Mexico and returns to St Louis – the largest city west of the Mississippi.

Circus Flora is held in a big top tent in Grand Center, adjacent to Powell Hall (corner of Grand Boulevard and Samuel Shepard Drive).

Show times are Tuesday through Thursday at 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m.; Sunday at 1 and 5:30 p.m.; and "Little Top Wednesday" at 10 a.m., a special one-hour show for smaller kids or the "kids at heart." The annual peanut-free preview opens the season June 2 for those with peanut allergies.

Tickets are $8 to $44. Call 289-4040 or visit www.circusflora.org for tickets and more information. Tickets are also available at the Circus Flora Box Office in the Centene Center for the Arts & Education, 3547 Olive Street. Group discounts are available for groups of 20 or more.

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