Come one, come all this upcoming Sunday, October 16, to a show like no other where you’ll be dazzled and amazed by Cirque Mechanics Zephyr – A Whirlwind of a Circus.

That’s right, Tacoma Arts Live, a local non-profit arts organization in our beloved city of Tacoma is again welcoming Cirque Mechanics back to the stage with this year’s exciting new performance of “Zephyr.” As an exhilarating and innovative tale inspired by the wind, the show explores the tug-of-war between man and nature that battles on all in the name of progress. This will be Tacoma Arts Live’s third time working with Cirque Mechanics, with the first time was back in 2007 when they presented “Birdhouse Factory” and again in 2010 for their performance of “Boom Town.”

Tacoma Arts Live Cirque Mechanics Zephyr
Many types of acrobats will be present for the show, each one showing off their respective skills in the form of hula hooping, acrobatic bicycle fun, foot juggling, hair hanging, and many more jaw-dropping feats you’ll have to see to believe. Photo courtesy: Cirque Mechanics

Tacoma Arts Live Presents World-Class Performances

“This is going to be a high energy and exciting performance!” says Associate Executive Director of Tacoma Arts Live Lacey Wright, who’s just as enthusiastic as the rest of us about this high-flying opportunity to witness Cirque Mechanics’ brilliant circus visionaries in action.

With a mission to energize the community through live performance and as one of the most extensive arts access and education programs in the state, Tacoma Arts Live presents world-class performing artists like Cirque Mechanics at beautiful venues around the South Sound.

Cirque Mechanics in Tacoma

Cirque Mechanics has been putting on such outstanding performances since it was founded in 2004 by Boston native and German Wheel artist Chris Lashua. Though the group draws inspiration from the modern circus, it has put its own spin on the show that must go on. It primarily incorporates mechanics into the event, captivating audiences with innovative staging and unique performances. 

Get ready to experience this tour that’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before, as this year’s show has been based on the force and power of the wind and the various ways we, as humans, interact with this natural wonder. During the show, a troupe of acrobats and cirque performers incorporate engineering marvels into a dazzling performance as they fly, balance, float on air, and defy the laws of gravity right alongside their mechanical masterpieces.

Tacoma Arts Live Cirque Mechanics Zephyr
Erika gets ready for the big performance by practicing her hair hanging before the show. Photo courtesy: Kirk Marsh Photography

Zephyr – A Whirlwind of a Circus

The mechanical star of the show is the performance windmill designed and built by Cirque Mechanics that serves as the multi-functional mechanistic centerpiece of the “Zephyr” story. After a family trip to a working grist mill in central England, the team was inspired to create the windmill and the show itself. They found themselves enthralled and enchanted by the windmill’s sails as they rocked in a symphonious beat back and forth, as well as intrigued by all the internal gears and mechanisms that cranked the machine to life so that it could mill the grist into flour. Before the team knew it, the gears were turning in their minds, transforming all their new knowledge into a masterful display showcasing the wind’s power.

Afterward, ideas blew in like a soft, gentle, warm breeze, or well, zephyr as it’s actually called. The theatrical event came to life, harnessing human power instead of wind power to generate an energetic, acrobatic tale about our planet’s natural wonders and resources and the choices humans have made regarding both.

Tacoma Arts Live Cirque Mechanics Zephyr
The Cirque Mechanics crew works hard on the set of each Zephyr tour stop, ensuring that the lighting and props are just right on every stage. Photo courtesy: Cirque Mechanics

The story follows the life of Nigel, a hard-working mill owner and operator, and his complicated bond with the natural resource that powers his flour mill — the blowing wind. The plot thickens when his reliance on the breeze is tested, threatening his very craft. In the name of progress, he is finally forced to consider alternative means for a reliable energy source. Thus, he is lured by the temptation of fuel power and all it claims to offer. Of course, his actions are not without consequence, as he must now face the response of the community which the mill serves. To the audience’s delight, this is showcased in the form of mesmerizing, high-flying, and lyrical circus acts that thrill and energize with acrobatic bicycle fun, foot juggling, hair hanging, and many more jaw-dropping feats you won’t believe.

Those ready to be amazed by the outstanding Cirque Mechanics “Zephyr – A Whirlwind of a Circus” can catch the show at Tacoma’s crown jewel Pantages Theater on October 16. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are on sale now, starting at just $39. Reserve yours today before the final curtain falls for a chance to see this acrobatic performance of a lifetime brought to the South Sound by Tacoma Arts Live!

Tacoma Arts Live
Tacoma Armory
1001 S Yakima Ave., Tacoma