Circus Flora

One of Mayya Panfilova cats astound every cat person.
Donna Korando | St. Louis Public Radio

Yo-Yo has a new pair of shoes.

For just shy of 30 years, when Yo-Yo the Narrator stepped balletically into the center of the ring of our city’s own Circus Flora, she was shod in court shoes with a medium heel, rather fancy in the footwear world, shoes in keeping with her studied gestures and attitudes.

On opening night at the circus on Friday, her shoes were quite different, low to the ground, decidedly sensible, nondescript. And intended or not, these new shoes are signifiers.

Courtesy Circus Flora

On May 29, Circus Flora returns to “The Big Top” in Grand Center to open its 29th season with “One Summer on Second Street.” This season features new talent, including an act performed by domestic house cats, as well as familiar acts such as the Flying Wallendas and the St. Louis Arches from Circus Harmony.

Steve Truesdell

There is a big-man-size hole in the heart of St. Louis’ Circus Flora, a vacancy left by the death of Ivor David Balding last month at 75. Balding was the founder, the sustenance and the animating spirit of the company. But this breach is masked by the magical, ephemeral costumery of the circus, and apparently, with the greatest of ease, the show indeed is going on.

Circus Flora

The word circus conjures several interpretations, a different idea according to every one’s experience. Many of those definitions, as Circus Flora teaches us, can brilliantly oppose each other in both harmony and balance – and that the chess player can appreciate.

Dan Donovan

The Big Top is back in Grand Center for Circus Flora’s 28th season with “The Pawn,” a show inspired by the venerable game of chess.

Circus Flora

The members of the Circus Flora family were stunned and saddened when their beloved patriarch David Balding passed away on Friday, May 9. One of the members of that family is theater director Cecil MacKinnon who is also known as Yo-Yo, the Narrator. She joined Cityscape host Steve Potter to remember Balding.

Commentary: The Circus Arts Thrive In St. Louis

Sep 6, 2013
Courtesy Circus Flora

The modern definition of a circus is based on the ancient word referring to the actual performance area, a circle of sorts, in which gladiatorial events, chariot races, etc. took place.

Courtesy Circus Flora

‘A Trip to the Moon’ is a French black-and-white silent film produced in 1902.  The plot is about a group of astronomers who take an expedition to the moon.

St. Louis Symphony

Each Spring, Circus Flora sets up its “big top” in the parking lot of Powell Hall.  Over the years, the Flying Wallendas, Nino the Clown, and the St. Louis Arches have become familiar to many St. Louisans.  

For the second time, Circus Flora will move inside the hall, high wires and all, to join the St. Louis Symphony in a holiday production which will bring to life Dylan Thomas’ classic, “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”