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Local studio melds acrobatics and theater in 'A Jungle Adventure'



Hoosiers don' have to travel to Las Vegas to enjoy circus arts performances, as a local studio has made them a tradition every May. 

Now in its third Bloomington show, Stage Flight Circus Arts will perform a circus theater show, “A Jungle Adventure,” at 6:30 p.m. May 25 and 26 and 2 p.m. May 26 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

“A Jungle Adventure” follows the loose narrative of an explorer trekking through the jungle and encountering a variety of animals and circus creatures. 

The show is appropriate for all ages. 

Co-choreographed by Clint and Hannah Bobzien, who direct the Stage Flight Circus Arts, the show stars students ages eight to 63, who were handed-picked by the choreographers to perform. 

Clint Bobzien said “A Jungle Adventure” presents theatrical circus performed in a theater and melds acrobatics with narrative, character work and even comedy. 

The performers will portray monkeys inhabiting a silk tree, birds flying on hoops, leaping frogs, spiders crawling on webs and jaguars bounding on a trampoline.

Hannah Bobzien said their methods of performing animal movements on the circus apparatus is a distinguishing feature of the show.

“I’m stressing a lot more about character development than usual,” Hannah Bobzien said. “Would a bird actually move itself upside down on this apparatus? We're not just doing random circus tricks for the sake of circus skills.”

A number of the student performers are training for professional careers as circus artists with companies in Europe and Canada. Clint Bobzien said those students are hand-picked for generalist training, which includes studying the foundations in dance, gymnastics, aerial work, partner work, strength and flexibility. He said students also specialize in certain techniques.

“They can pick a specific discipline, like an aerial piece of equipment or tumbling or trampolining or something like that, where they can allocate more time to so that they can develop their skills better,” Clint Bobzien said. 

Clint and Hannah Bobzien had long careers with circus groups, such as Cirque Mechanics based in Las Vegas, where they were principal artists. They both completed their undergraduate education at IU. 

The Bobziens came to Indiana to train young circus artists three years ago and began training in their current space on Industrial Park Drive a year ago.  

Clint Bobzien said they're trying to make their shows different and said they might experiment with spoken dialogue in future shows. 

“If you’re going to come to the show, you should expect something that isn’t conventional circus,” Clint Bobzien said. “This is very different from any circus that we’ve ever experienced. It’s because of the story itself. It’s more than just showing tricks.”

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