Circus performer at the library
Professional demonstrated basic circus skills, entertained children
The Amherst library was not so quiet Wednesday afternoon as a professional circus artist entertained children and adults.
Mike Hirschbach, a professional circus performer, presented “Secrets of the Circus” to children and adults at the library.
“When we’re learning, we make mistakes,” Hirschbach told attendees. “Once you learn to do it, it’s impossible to forget.”
The performer has 35 years of experience, having toured internationally solo and with Cirque du Soleil.
Hirschbach explained five circus categories – aerials, aerobics, object manipulation, balance and clowning – and demonstrated the last three.
Demonstrations included juggling balls and clubs, flower sticks, riding two unicycles like a bicycle, the diabolo and a mischievous jack-in-the-box puppet.
Children were quite amused by the puppet, which did not like to cooperate with Hirschbach. That resulted in a brawl between the two.
He also demonstrated how to balance a broom on the hand, explaining that as it starts to fall you move your hand in that direction.
With a shorter broom it is more difficult, having less time to determine the direction.
The opportunity was provided by the Nova Scotia Provincial Library as part of the Children’s Performer Tour.
Hirschbach teaches at the Halifax Circus school. He said that the oldest student is a 58-year-old trapezist who hangs upside down on the rope with only her toes and does sit-ups.
“When she does that, I tell you, all activity ceases and we stare in awe,” said Hirschbach.
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