SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The Circus Arts Conservatory canceled its fundraising events due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it will be giving Suncoast circus fans a different kind of production over the weekend with a special benefit show called “Prevail.”
“Prevail” will feature a variety of Cirque du Soleil performers who were unable to work over the last year due to COVID-19. The show serves as a benefit for the conservatory to support a variety of activities, including programs involving students, seniors in assisted living communities and aspiring artists.
Italian Aerialist Guliana Piolanti said it also benefits the artists who are getting back on stage for the first time since the pandemic started, including herself. She said being able to perform again makes her feel like her life is getting back on track.
“My life feels nothing without it, being here made me realize how I am back to life right now,” said Piolanti.
Piolanti said training during the pandemic was difficult, but she found a way to never stop going, but getting back on stage was muscle memory.
“It’s like riding a bicycle, so yesterday was like ‘ahh OK,’ I am in my comfort zone again,” said Piolanti.
Canadian unicyclists Philippe and Marie-Lee said they had issues training, after not being able to do so for six months, but they were also separated once the pandemic started, making things difficult since they work in unison.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, we weren’t even in the same country and that was even harder because we couldn’t train or give ourselves little challenges,” they said.
“Prevail” kicked off on March 5 and will continue through to March 7, then again on March 12-14.
Video will also be made available on-demand for those who choose to not attend in person.