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.
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.
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.
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.”