The Geneseo Circus Club and Geneseo Late Knight hosted the Great Dubois Show on Friday Sept. 29 in the MacVittie College Union Ballroom.
Circuses often come across as kitschy shows with clowns, but from the moment the event began, it was engaging and informative. The table in front of the ballroom was stacked with traditional circus props free for attendees to utilize while they waited for the show to start. Flailing beforehand with silk fire fans, batons and juggling balls was a great way to learn to appreciate the professional show.
And what a show it was. The frontman, circus performer Michael Dubois, put on a completely over-the-top persona, shifting from showcasing his juggling, unicycling and balancing skills to poking fun at his own profession.
Dubois skillfully kept the audience’s attention during the performance. Volunteers all suffered a number of embarrassing, yet good-natured goofs onstage, and the audience’s reaction to these stunts drove the performance.
Much less of a show-off was the second performer, circus entertainer Viktoria Grimmy. Her more somber approach balanced out Dubois’ comedic routine with death-defying stunts that displayed her talent. Her aerial hoop and silk performances were both breathtaking and terrifying. When Grimmy let herself descend with only a ribbon to catch her, there was a moment of real fear, but her performance remained graceful and entrancing.
Dubois wasn’t lacking in talent when compared to Grimmy, despite a distractingly sparkly shirt and gimmicks galore. His progression from juggling three balls to seven kept the momentum going throughout the show. His other performance balancing plates was very reminiscent of older circus performances.
Dubois gained momentum by increasing the danger of his stunts, including an escape from a straight jacket atop a unicycle taller than most grown men. Additionally, the old-time music was remixed with popping synthesizer and bass elements. Combining all these elements of his performance, while balancing on a slack wire, only added to the excitement.
From a performance perspective, the Great Dubois Show was engaging in ways music or dancing can fail to be. The performance displayed real talent without taking itself too seriously; it involved audience participation that was never forced.
“[The circus] is good entertainment because it’s something different,” Circus Club president junior Jessica Lisi said. “The flow of arts are something that anyone can learn, and we encourage everyone to learn it. It’s something that incorporates your entire body, mind and spirit.”u