One of the coolest things about PIFA is how it brings some of the most unique interpretations of dance and movement to Philadelphia–stuff you’d never even know existed here. For instance, did you know there’s a Philadelphia School of Circus Arts? Well, it’s teaming up with the Allentown area Fly School Circus Arts for something called Fly City. You guessed it. This is where you go to fulfill all those trapeze dreams you had the first time you saw the Ringling Brothers’ Barnum & Bailey Circus The Greatest Show on Earth. I always thought the name was a bit hyperbolic, but it’s actually not far off: the wonder of heights, gravity, death-defying bravado–and those outfits. It all blends together for some true slack-jawed amazement.

For the next few weeks, across from the Kimmel Center (313 Broad St.), you can invest in the experience of a lifetime. Guided by professional instructors, you’ll be offered hands-on lessons for kids and big kids alike. At four points during the day (9:00am, 11:30am, 4:30pm, and 7:00pm), snag a $55 ticket* and get a bystander to watch in awe as you swing fearlessly through the air. It’s not a bad deal–you get two hours with a pro, swaying back and forth, 25 feet above Broad Street. The space is a University of the Arts parking lot between Spruce and Pine Streets. Mary Kelly Rayel is the Executive Director of Fly School Circus Arts. She adds,

… [It’s a] great activity [to] tap into your inner courage, sense of trust, and attention to detail. Trained instructors provide a motivating and inspirational atmosphere where you are able to develop a sense of accomplishment.

You’ll also get the chance to pick up some simple techniques of the art in the process, such as: taking off from the platform, swinging and transferring to the catcher, and, of course, dropping to the net.

Up up in the air, I wanna be there!

*If you’re interested in making an appointment, act fast; this is a popular event and availability is limited!

Disclaimer: PIFA, the Philadelphia International Festival of Arts, based in the Kimmel Center, is sponsoring the writing of a series of blog posts. Bill Chenevert will be contributing previews and event spotlights leading up to the actual festival, which will take place all over the city of Philadelphia, in numerous venues.


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