Fly Circus & Aerial Arts Partners With Cirque Alfonse

March 29, 2023

Thoughts of the circus often result in memories of childhood wonderment including exotic animals, jugglers and incredible trapeze routines. Bringing that whimsical charm to your Fox Cities P.A.C. on March 30, 2023, it’s Cirque Alfonse – Animal, A Farm Story. Delivering a one-of-a-kind performance that reimagines farm life through circus, song, dance and theater, Animal, A Farm Story highlights French Canadian culture through the aerial arts. The show’s Community Engagement Partner, Fly Circus & Aerial Arts LLC, also is exhibiting their support of the impressive aerial art form. The co-owners of the aerial arts studio as well as the Co-Founder/Co-Artistic Director of Cirque Alfonse and artist in Animal, A Farm Story, Antoine Carabinier Lépine, expressed their thoughts on the unique art form, what audiences can expect and the meaning of this partnership.

As co-owners of Fly Circus & Aerial Arts LLC, Lacy Ihde, Julia Martinson and Amy Maile have been welcoming people for the past four years from diverse walks of life to explore the aerial arts in a local studio “where fitness takes flight.” Although started in 2017 in the Fox Cities, Fly Circus was moved to its current location at the Edison Center in downtown Appleton in 2019. Offering fitness classes including Yoga, Barre, Pilates and Conditioning, Fly Circus’ strength truly lies in its apparatus-based classes which include Pole, Silks, Hammock, Lyra (hoop) and dance & static Trapeze. Classes are open to people of all genders, welcoming children ages eight and older for youth classes, and 15 and older for adult classes. Those who develop their aerial skills display them for private performances for families and friends, as well as public events including festivals and demonstrations. This local studio values allowing community members to explore diverse fitness styles and engage in performance opportunities to present this art form live for audiences. “We believe circus is for everyone,” Julia remarked. “There’s no prerequisites or benchmarks required to start. Performances are not required, just a desire to learn something new!”

Partnering with Cirque Alfonse for its show allows Fly Circus an opportunity to further expand on the aerial art form, particularly as it pertains to the performance of Animal, A Farm Story. In a pre-show event free to ticket holders of the performance on March 30, representatives from the aerial studio will provide a demonstration on Lyra and engage in a Q+A with event attendees in the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center’s Kimberly-Clark Theater. Community support for this event comes from Community First Credit Union.

Julia shared, “Our new partnership with the Fox Cities P.A.C. is exciting!” Providing local support for Cirque Alfonse pairs well with Fly Circus’ goal of helping people to live out their Cirque dreams, in and out of the studio. “We look forward to future collaborations in dance and performance arts.”

Regarding the partnership with Fly Circus, Cirque Alfonse’s Co-Founder/Co-Artistic Director and artist in Animal, A Farm Story, Antoine Carabinier remarked how wonderful it is to travel around the world to see and learn from other performers capture the essence of circus culture. Antoine also shared the origins of Cirque Alfonse, stating that he and his sister wanted to give somethings significant to their dad for his 60th birthday, so they performed a show under a big top in their small village of Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez in Québec, Canada. Out of this show, Cirque Alfonse was born. Traveling together with four children and 16 adults who make up parents, friends and a grandfather, Cirque Alfonse is a multigenerational and familial performance group. Antoine’s father is still performing with the show at 76 years old, making this circus a close-knit family experience on both sides.

Integrating their traditional French-Canadian roots, the company uses music native to Québec, adding a twist of funk. But that’s not all that the troupe members transform from the ordinary to the extraordinary. The company utilizes props that are common on a farm including using a tractor wheel as a teeterboard, juggling with a large cow bell, executing acrobatic routines on a mechanical bull and more. “I think at first, audiences will be surprised; there is not just circus in the show,” Antoine commented. “The music is a character by itself, and all the artists are doing a bit of everything like dance, comedy, singing, etc… It’s really a multidisciplinary show that is using all the aspects of arts.” Adding further to why audiences are drawn to Cirque Alfonse, Antoine said, “I think people love the circus because there is no language barrier; it talks to everybody and moves everybody in a different way.”

With some final words for the audience, Antoine expressed, “I just hope that they feel like children, have fun and forget about their work and stress in their lives, just enjoying a moment with family and friends to connect with us. We are not perfect in what we do; We shake, we sweat and sometimes we miss tricks, but we are authentic, and I think it’s what people like in our shows.”

To learn more about the Center’s 2022-23 Season Community Engagement Partners, click the link and watch for more blogs about each partner through the season.


Written by Philomena Dorobek, Brand Storyteller
Fox Cities Performing Arts Center