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Free family circus arts workshops set at Mondavi Center

Kevin O'Connor, center, a master of fine arts candidate in choreography at the UC davis department of theater and dance, teaches ropes skills to eager learners. He'll teach two free sessions for Davis families on Sunday, Feb. 5, in the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre at the Mondavi Center. Courtesy photo

By
From page A1 | January 24, 2012 |

Check it out

What: Two circus arts workshops taught by MFA choreography candidate Kevin O’Connor

When: 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5

Where: Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, Mondavi Center, UC Davis

RSVP: Email your desired session time and number of participants (maximum seven) to ucdavisdance@gmail.com

Info: http://theatredance.ucdavis.edu

By Janice Bisgaard

If you’ve ever dreamed of running off to join the circus, now’s your chance!

Two free circus arts workshops, designed for the whole family, will be offered Sunday, Feb. 5, at the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.

The 90-minute workshops, sponsored by the UCD Institute for Exploration in Theatre, Dance and Performance, will begin at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Reservations are encouraged as participation is limited to 50 people per session.

The workshops are open to all ages, including families with youngsters and grandparents. Instruction will be in climbing and swinging on aerial rope, juggling, creating pyramids and other acro-partnering skills, basic acrobatic moves and group improvisation games.

Platforms will be no more than one foot off the ground.

The event will foster a sense of the techniques and skills required to be a circus artist, as well as develop confidence, creativity and responsibility for the body, a news release said.

Participants will discover the discipline and fun of circus arts. Events center on physical participation and the exchange of expertise. The classes emphasize building strength, accomplishing circus actions safely and deepening each individual’s own set of personal best physical skills.

To reserve a slot, email ucdavisdance@gmail.com. Requests are limited to no more than seven participants per family.

The circus arts workshops are led by Kevin O’Connor, a master of fine arts candidate in the UCD department of theater and dance who has worked for 10 years as a professional circus artist, choreographer, improviser and dancer.

O’Connor has taught circus arts around the world, including classes for professional artists, children and families. He trained for two years at the National Centre for Circus Arts in London and completed a three-year diploma in circus arts — where he specialized in aerial rope — from the National Circus School of Montreal.

O’Connor has performed around the world and has received numerous commissions to create and develop his circus and dance pieces.

He is one of two artists presenting MFA thesis choreographies at Mondavi Center’s Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, Feb. 16-26. O’Connor’s interactive new work will fuse dance, circus arts, acrobatics, multimedia and improvised vocals in an examination of the “sensing” of community.

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