Cirque Mechanics

Enter the most unlikely setting for a circus—a factory where the workers are acrobats and the machines are circus props. It’s a place where spectators watch a contortionist perform on a turntable powered by unicyclists, are captivated by the trapeze artist flying high thanks to the spins of an acrobat inside a giant gear-like wheel, and are stunned when the trampoline wall artists defy the laws of physics by virtually flying and walking on air. All the while they are giggling at the antics of the comedic characters, impressed by the acro-dancing, and enchanted by the story of laughter, love, flight, and birdhouses.
Birdhouse Factory is brought to life thanks to the vision of its creative team—Director Chris Lashua, Assistant Director and Choreographer Aloysia Gavre, and character actor and performer Steven Ragatz, all veterans of the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil. The inventive machines and extraordinary talent and energy of its cast of acrobats, dancers, contortionists, and clowns—former members of Cirque du Soleil, the Pickle Family Circus, and the Moscow Circus—transform the mundane into the magnificent. Birdhouse Factory was inspired by the masterful industry murals of Mexican-born artist Diego Rivera, the outrageous illustrations of cartoonist Rube Goldberg, and the slap-stick style humor of Charlie Chaplin’s film Modern Times. While its inspirations make Birdhouse Factory artful, nostalgic, and funny, the true essence of the show comes from the circus.
Birdhouse Factory was originally produced and presented by the Circus Center in San Francisco in December 2004. The show was based on an original concept and material by Lashua. As creative director, he direct semi-collaboratively with co-directors Rex Camphuis, Sandra Feusi, Gavre, and Sam Payne. The original cast also contributed greatly to the content of the show.

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