© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Circus Harmony’s ‘Legato’ production journeys through 10 decades of circus

Circus Harmony artistic and executive director Jessica Hentoff talks about their production, “Legato.”
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio
Circus Harmony artistic and executive director Jessica Hentoff talks about their production, “Legato.”";s:

Circus Harmony, the local social circus, is preparing for a series of performances at the City Museum this month. The production will take a look at circuses through the decades from 1920-2010.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about the next production, “Legato,” with Jessica Hentoff, artistic and executive director of the organization.

The new show includes 20 performers, aged 10 to 22. Overall, the organization serves 1,400 people in the area each year. While Circus Harmony is a professional training school, Hentoff said the organization’s main purpose is social.

“… And to help these kids so that what they learn in the circus ring will travel with them throughout their lives, whether they go on to circus careers or whatever they choose to do.”

A social circus involves the teaching and performing of circus arts to motivate social change. While learning circus arts, people can also develop life skills, including responsibility, conflict resolution and the ability to focus and persist.

Recreational classes for all ages are provided, but the organization also focuses on outreach programs. Their Peace through Pyramids program in Ferguson will be expanded in February to include residents in Dellwood and Florissant. Classes will be held at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church.

“We bring all these kids together … we teach that you have a lot more in common than you do different. And if you focus on what you can do together, you can create something amazing,” Hentoff said.

She also reassured that circus arts are not dying off, despite the closure of Ringling Bros. Circus, one of the largest circus companies in the U.S.

“Quite the contrary, there are more and more schools and circus opportunities and it just opens up a whole new world for a lot of these young people,” she said.

Listen to the full discussion:


Related Events

What: Circus Harmony Presents "Legato: Circus Thru the Decades 1920-1010"
When: Jan. 13 and 20 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.; Jan. 14 and 21 at 2:00 p.m.
Where: City Museum 750 N. 16th St. St. Louis, MO 63103

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

Stay Connected
Lara is the Engagement Editor at St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.