On Stage

Love Story

My Circus Valentine

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Anneka Deacon lost her heart in the winter of 2010, during the Bellingham Circus Guild’s first public offerings of “My Circus Valentine.”

It wasn’t a singular human she was swooning over, but rather the alchemy between those in the audience and those onstage.

“It was like every one of us—performers, guests and everyone in between—fell in love, together,” Deacon says. “The shared experience was so much greater than the sum of its parts and had very little to do with romantic love.”

Since then, the Circus Guild cofounder and a rotating roster of creative collaborators have banded together on and near Valentine’s Day not only to share their formidable talents, but also to focus on facilitating community connections rather than catering to a Hallmark holiday.

“I’ve always chosen to feature acts in this show that explore all facets of being a human with a heart and a basic need for connection—to reflect a well-rounded range of emotions that our audience could relate to,” Deacon says.

A look at the lineup of talent being corralled for “My Circus Valentine” shows Feb. 14-18 at Fairhaven’s Cirque Lab proves that the performers who were hand-selected by Deacon were chosen according to this ethos—from professional circus performers with international acclaim, to local artists with strong regional followings, to hobby artists who have found inspiration at the guild.

Heart rates will rise when the juggling duo of Della Moustachella and Wren Schultz share the history of how love is made, and again when Seattle-based trapeze artists Two of Wands explore some of the darker, more complex sides of human relationships. Introspective reflections on love can be expected with solo aerialists Laura Burch and Jody Poth, and another trapeze duo comprised of Sadye Osterloh and Heidi Blossom will highlight some of the sometimes-hilarious, sometimes-awkward aspects of human connections.

Audiences can also expect to witness a Spanish web act featuring PJ Perry and Dream Frohe, a sassy (and silly) hammock number with Terril Terran Mire and Heidi Blossom, a spunky cougar named Gloria, the Hot Dogs—intel on this show is being kept under wraps, but Deacon hints the human-sized buns will dance—and, in the 21-and-older cabaret shows, the exploration of really good “love” by special guest Eve Diamond, who will be making her Bellingham debut.

“This year’s shows will offer a good amount of levity, which I think we all need these days,” Deacon says. “There will be sing-alongs. There will be surprises.”

There will also be a free photo booth complete with a costume rack for accessorizing, food and drink (at the cabaret shows), tasty treats and love potions. Deacon won’t need that last element, however, as she’s already fallen, hard.

“I love taking something from the total mystery of the unknown to a sense of massive collective accomplishment,” she says. “I love that I get to remember how everyone belongs when I make this show. I love seeing the bliss in people’s faces, hearing the laughter and applause, and seeing so many people I love share their amazing gifts with the world.”

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