Cir­cus per­former at the li­brary

Pro­fes­sional demon­strated ba­sic cir­cus skills, en­ter­tained chil­dren

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - FRONT PAGE - BY CHELSEY GOULD CIT­I­ZEN-RECORD AMHERST

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.

1SPGFTTJPOBM DJSDVT FOUFSUBJOFS .JLF )JSTDICBDI XBT BU UIF "NIFSTU MJCSBSZ PO 8FEOFTEBZ EFNPOTUSBUJOH CBTJD cir­cus skills and mak­ing at­ten­dees laugh.

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