Circus Harmony | St. Louis Public Radio

Circus Harmony

Jessica Hentoff and Ari Maayan talked about Circus Harmony's trip to Puerto Rico from which they returned earlier this week.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Lions, tigers and … unicyclists, oh my! Circus performers are known for juggling many acts, but the St. Louis Arches can add humanitarian efforts to their repertoire as well.

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

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.

Jessica Hentoff, the executive director of Circus Harmony, recently lost her father, who died in January at the age of 91. She joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss a tribute she's planning for him.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In January, Nat Hentoff, a syndicated columnist and writer noted for his jazz criticism and attention to First Amendment issues, died at the age of 91.

His daughter, Jessica Hentoff, is a St. Louis resident and will pay tribute to her father’s work in an upcoming performance featuring Circus Harmony, the organization of which she is executive director.

Elizabeth Herring, who turned 90 on Oct. 26, practives for her trapeze show in this photo taken in October of 2016.
Provided | Elizabeth Herring

As a teenager, Elizabeth Herring of Ladue escaped a life luxury by joining the circus. Tonight, she’ll be back in the ring, celebrating her 90th birthday at a party benefiting St. Louis’ Circus Harmony.

Peace Through Pyramids participants at the JCC Maccabi Games, a Jewish Olympic-style event in St. Louis.
Jessica Hentoff | Circus Harmony

The night before the St. Louis-based Circus Harmony troupe left for Israel in 2014, the deadly conflict between Israel and Gaza broke out. Over 2,000 people in Gaza and Palestinians and Israelis were killed between July and August of that year in the conflict.

PNC Bank, NEA give St. Louis arts groups thousands in grants

May 10, 2016
David Gonsier as an owl and Levi Hernandez as Papageno in Opera Theatre of Saint Louis 2014 production of The Magic Flute.
Ken Howard | Opera Theatre of St. Louis

Today was a good day for St. Louis arts organizations. PNC Bank’s Arts Alive funding initiative announced it will distribute $250,000 to nine local groups.  The National Endowment for the Arts also announced it would split $120,000 among three other groups.

The PNC funding will support innovative programming and improved accessibility to the arts. One recipient, the St. Louis Symphony, will use its $40,000 to create an app that teaches kids about classical instruments.

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.

Jessica Hentoff

Circus Harmony, St. Louis’ only social circus and circus school, created Peace Through Pyramids, a performance arts initiative teaching youth of all races that cooperation, communication and standing on the shoulders of each other are keys to the path of peace.

The Arches of Circus Harmony
Jessica Hentoff

St. Louis’ Regional Arts Commission announced its very first Social Impact Fund grants today, with nearly one-third of the 28 winning projects related to Ferguson.

One of the winners is Circus Harmony, an organization that promotes social change though circus arts. The group will use its $2,200 grant to bring kids from Ferguson into the tent.

Circus Harmony performers join with members of the Galilee Circus in July in Haifa, Israel.
Photo provided by Jessica Hentoff

Jessica Hentoff has gone all the way to Israel to bring people of markedly different perspectives together. This summer, Hentoff, artistic and executive director of Circus Harmony, took members of her tumbling group, the St. Louis Arches, to the Middle East. There, the Arches joined with Arab and Israeli youth from the Galilee Circus, where they worked and learned together, setting aside religious, political and cultural differences.

The St. Louis Arches perform at Circus Flora in 2010.
Provided by Circus Flora

Update July 29: The St. Louis Arches arrived safely in the city this morning. The nine performers and three adults had their stay in Israel extended for almost a week after flights in and out of that country were temporarily halted.

The trip was Arches' member Donesha Buhr’s first time out of the United States. She says, while she enjoyed the experience, she’s excited to be home.

Jessica Hentoff

Ari Maayan flies through the air with the greatest of ease, a daring young man on the flying trapeze — in the parking lot of St. Louis’ Union Station.

Maayan, 14, is the chief unicyclist with Circus Harmony, an organization with the goal of teaching kids circus skills and life lessons. He’s been with Circus for three years but on Wednesday, he enjoyed his first trapeze swing, complete with a back flip into the net below.

“It was really cool, it’s really like flying,” Maayan said.

Safety First

Reggie Moore
Provided by the family

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Reggie Moore’s love of the circus took him into the ring, on the road and into the hearts of local circus performers and those around the world. Now, the 21-year-old man known as the “gentle giant” of St. Louis’ Circus Harmony, is being mourned by the wider circus community and his family, following his Friday night death in a local car accident.

After joining Circus Harmony as a teenager, the six-foot-five, 250-pound Moore quickly became known as a hard worker with a big heart, according to the organization’s artistic and executive director Jessica Hentoff.

Concentration required as the Galilee and Harmony circuses practice together.
Lauren Leone | Beacon intern | 2012

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - The Galilee Circus, a Jewish-Arab circus youth troupe, happily find themselves in the circus ring with new and old friends from the St. Louis Flying Arches, a youth circus troupe from the city's only social circus school, Circus Harmony.

So far, the troupes have performed at places such as a cramped, narrow sidewalk in front of Ben and Jerry’s in the Delmar Loop, the City Museum’s Circus Ring, and during intermission at the nationally known UniverSOUL’s circus performance in Florissant.

The circus circle 'erases all other lines'

Aug 11, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 11, 2008 - In a world where safety relies on the strength of a string or the bonds between aerialists' fingers, there is no room for distrust. That's why, when Roey Schafran tumbles with Mnar Asdi, these children born on different sides of a deep conflict simply become Israeli acrobats.

"To me, they're just Israeli circus kids," said Matthew Viverito, 18, a member of the youth troupe, the St. Louis Arches. He will study at Florida State University this fall. "In the beginning, I couldn't tell them apart."