FSU’s The Ringling partners with Circus Arts Conservatory to present family-friendly Summer Circus Spectacular

Hand balance contortion artist Ricardo Sosa. Photo courtesy of the Circus Arts Conservatory.
Hand balance contortion artist Ricardo Sosa. (Photo courtesy of the Circus Arts Conservatory)

This summer, circus fans of all ages can beat the heat at reasonable prices while experiencing the best of the circus arts in Sarasota, Fla.

Florida State University’s The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and the Circus Arts Conservatory present the 2022 Summer Circus Spectacular June 10-Aug. 13, at the Historic Asolo Theatre at The Ringling (5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota).

“Each year we are thrilled to partner with the Ringling to present the Summer Circus Spectacular,” said Jennifer Mitchell, executive vice president of the Circus Arts Conservatory. “This show not only offers an affordable entertainment option for all ages but is also the perfect summer family-friendly activity. With nine full weeks of shows, and afternoon and evening options, there will always be a convenient time to come and enjoy the magic of the circus arts.”

This celebrated summertime event has become a seasonal highlight for locals, visitors, families and groups. To complete the circus experience, Summer Circus Spectacular patrons can enjoy access to the Circus Museum on the day they attend a show for an additional $5.

“It is such a pleasure and an honor to bring a live, professional circus show to the beautiful Historic Asolo Theater at The Ringling, which works to preserve the history and legacy of the circus,” said Pedro Reis, the CAC founder and president/CEO. “Our missions are so closely aligned — we both strive to inspire, educate and entertain; our collaboration has been such an organic and fulfilling effort.”

Show times are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Tickets are $18/adults, $12/children 12 and under.

For more information, visit https://www.ringling.org/.

The lineup for the Summer Circus Spectacular includes:

Heidi Herriott, Master of Ceremonies

Herriott is proud of her heritage as a third-generation American circus artist. She has traveled North America as an aerialist, equestrian and ringmaster. Career highlights include appearing on “America’s Got Talent” and with Studio 54 nightclub, Animal Planet, Walt Disney World, Ringling Bros. Circus, Circus Sarasota, Big Apple Circus, Excalibur/Las Vegas and more.

Chris Allison, Comedy

Allison was 12 years old when he took a school field trip to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey (RBBB) Circus that left him determined that he would grow up and become a clown with the Greatest Show on Earth®. After graduating from the RBBB Clown College with a major in pie-throwing and a minor in pratfalls, he spent the next 11 years touring with the circus, the final three years as the Boss Clown. Since leaving the show, he has toured across the U.S. as well as internationally. He has been seen on MTV’s “Road Rules,” MTV’S “Oddville,” Natalie Merchant’s music video for her hit song “Kind and Generous,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Today Show,” “Emeril Live,” Comedy Central’s “Strangers with Candy” and “The Late Show with David Letterman.” Also, he was a semifinalist on “America’s Got Talent.”

Olga Coronas and Holly Legare, Duo Lyra

This aerial dream team is honored to bring their aesthetically pleasing artistic fusion of dance and aerial acrobatics to Sarasota. Coronas, an accomplished, professional aerialist, and Legare, an award-winning dancer, have joined forces to create a beautiful, captivating performance that’s sure to inspire audiences.

Dust In the Wind, Hand Balance Adagio

Artistic partners Seida Maite Ramírez Lobaina and Julio Fajardo Arjona have taken their act to the next level. Their hand-to-hand balancing and adagio act have taken them all over the world and earned them prestigious awards. And they have been invited to the elite Monte Carlo International Circus Festival in 2023.

Abrehem Mola, Rolla Bolla

As an agile and athletic youth born and raised in Ethiopia, Mola at age 12 joined the first of many circuses, performing as an acrobat and juggler before perfecting his rolla bolla routine. Since then, he has been thrilling audiences while performing all over the world in circuses and festivals. He came to the United States to perform in 2016 and has since made the U.S. his home.

Ricardo Sosa, Hand Balance Contortion

Sosa, from Havana, Cuba, began studying ballet at age 6 and later trained in the country’s state-sanctioned circus school. Three years into his professional career, he became a highly regarded teacher and mentor whose students have won national competitions. Offered his first U.S. contract with an American circus in 1999, he has since performed in circuses all over the U.S. and Europe as well as in Las Vegas nightclubs and hotels. He now lives in Miami but continues to perform all over the world.