The Aspen Youth Center presented an adaptation to the famous Cirque du Soleil show last week. Presented by everwave.com, Cirque d’Aspen was held at the Aspen High School gym from Dec. 28-30, drawing engaging crowds each night. Netting more than $175,000, the fundraiser was the most successful event for the AYC since its inception. The initial idea to bring the performance to town was hatched by AYC board member Allison Daily. Last spring she and friend Noelle Hernandez were casually discussing a Cirque event Hernandez’s sister had recently produced in Chicago. The thought of having an Aspen show was spawned, which Daily presented to fellow AYC board members. Producer Soraya Gallego of Trapeze Events was then hired and preparations were under way.
An extremely unique show, Cirque d’Aspen was made up of acts from multiple performers hailing from around the world. “They were not a traveling group that performs together on a regular basis,” said AYC Executive Director Sarah Blangsted. Everyone was “brought in from different places to be together for this special Aspen show. It’s very uncommon to see performers of this caliber working together at one event.”
Designed for the entire family to enjoy, Cirque d’Aspen was clearly a hit to guests of all ages. Performances included balancing acts, stepping and cycling across a high wire, juggling, motorcycling at top speeds in a steel globe, and more. During their visit to Aspen, performers stayed with locals at their homes.
“Everyone is so friendly here,” said Nicole Corona, who dazzled audiences with her aerial act. Corona and fellow performer Elayne Kramer noted how much they enjoyed strolling around town and riding the gondola up Aspen Mountain.
“I would chicken out if I had to ski,” said Kramer, whose routine includes hand-balancing from an elevated bar while contorting her body. The finale of her act then involves piercing a balloon with an arrow shot from a bow over her head with her feet.
“I already miss all of the performers,” Blangsted added. “They were so great. We hope to do this event again.” The Youth Center, located in the Aspen Recreation Center, provides a safe, supervised environment that parents can depend upon when they are at work or unable to care for their children themselves. Open to both local and visiting kids ages 718, the center offers activities such as cooking classes, dance lessons, movie nights and chess club. For more information on the AYC, visit http://www.aspenyouthcenter.org or call 544-4130.
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Playing at home for the first time in nearly two years, the Gentlemen of Aspen Rugby Club overcame an apparent lack of size compared to the Vail side en route to a 49-14 win on Saturday at Wagner Park in downtown Aspen. Prior to hosting Vail, the Gents hadn’t played at home since Ruggerfest in the fall of 2019.