Join the circus April 29-May 1 as UAB’s Alys Stephens Center presents Cirque Alys II

Celebrate spring with the ASC and see Australia’s Sway Poles free each day during a three-day residency culminating in a circus arts showcase and grand-finale community performance.

sway 2Enjoy three days of free circus demonstrations and performances featuring Australia’s Sway Poles and more at Cirque Alys II, presented by the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center.

Celebrate spring with this festival event curated by the ASC and designed especially for families and the community to enjoy during the day and after work. Sway Poles is a company whose work fuses theater, dance and circus while elevated on poles 16 feet tall. Originally based on the image of a field of wheat swaying in the breeze, the poles’ extreme strength and flexibility allow the performers to bow to impossible angles and sway in a hypnotizing dance. With a world-renowned repertoire that celebrates a wide variety of themes and stories, the company has achieved near-cult status on almost every continent around the globe. 

The group’s three-day residency at the ASC from April 29-May 1 will feature demonstrations, happy hours and a grand-finale performance. Enjoy food trucks, live music and cash bars as the Sway Poles demonstrate their unique art form.

On Wednesday, April 29, and Thursday, April 30, the ASC will present free mini-demonstrations and performances outdoors in the Engel Plaza with the Sway Poles at 10 a.m. and noon, with happy hour at 5:30 and a mini-performance at 6 p.m. Cantina Food Truck will be on-site at noon each day for lunch, and guests can enjoy popcorn, cotton candy and cash bars for the happy hour events.

The free Cirque Alys II grand finale will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 1, with an extravagant circus arts showcase. Hoop for Fitness Birmingham performers will juggle, fire-hoop and fire-poi, and LED hoop and wand levitate, while one-man showman Jesse McElroy acts as mime and Thimblerig Circus performers swallow swords, walk on glass, eat fire, whip targets and lie on beds of nails to delight and mystify audiences. Each act will walk about the plaza and entrain and engage the audience.

The group’s three-day residency at the ASC from April 29-May 1 will feature demonstrations, happy hours and a free grand-finale performance. Enjoy food trucks, live music and cash bars as the Sway Poles demonstrate their unique art form.

The Sway Poles will take center stage at 7 p.m. to perform their dazzling, acrobatic work “Swoon.” A concert by String Theory will follow, with dancing and more from Hoop for Fitness Birmingham. Cantina on Wheels, Saw’s Street Kitchen, Steel City Pops and NOLA Ice will have trucks on-site for the evening, plus popcorn and cotton candy will be on offer. For more details, call the ASC at 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

ArtPlay will present several master classes and Meet the Artist shows with the Sway Poles for students and schoolchildren during the residency. This ASC-curated performance is made possible by the generous support of Jemison Investment Company and the Mike and Gillian Goodrich Foundation.

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