A Whirlwind of Circus by Cirque Mechanics. An emotive and exhilarating tale about human ingenuity and our natural resources.
Supporting Sponsor: The Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation
An emotive and exhilarating tale about the choices humans have made regarding our planet and its resources. In Zephyr – A Whirlwind of Circus by Cirque Mechanics, audiences will witness the unrelenting tug of war between man and nature.
Humans have been harnessing the power of the wind for thousands of years. The beauty and efficacy of that timeless and ingenious process inspired the creative team at Cirque Mechanics to create Zephyr. This theatrical circus show harnesses human power, instead of wind, to generate an energetic acrobatic experience.
Cirque Mechanics has designed and built a performance windmill to serve as the multi-functional mechanical centerpiece of our story. Mounted on a turntable, the windmill combines both modern and older, more picturesque elements. This turntable transforms the scene and creates unexpected flight.
Inspired by a visit to the Whissendine Windmill, a working windmill in central England, Zephyr (which means gentle breeze from the Greek god of the west wind, Zephyros) tells the story of Nigel. Our mill owner and operator has a complicated relationship with wind, the natural resource that powers his flour mill. His reliance on wind is tested and in turn he is lured by fuel in the name of progress as his primary energy source. His choices cause elation and disruption. Aptly represented by the community the mill serves as dynamic and lyrical circus acts. Nigel grapples with tough choices and unintended outcomes with humor and optimism. This approach leads to acceptance, coexistence and balance with wind, and ultimately, progress in his community.
Zephyr is a show for all ages.
About Cirque Mechanics
Cirque Mechanics was founded in 2004 by Boston native and German Wheel artist, Chris Lashua, after the success of a collaborative project with the Circus Center of San Francisco entitled Birdhouse Factory. Cirque Mechanics quickly established itself as a premiere American circus, with its unique approach to performance, inspiring storytelling, and innovative mechanical staging. Spectacle Magazine hailed it as “the greatest contribution to the American circus since Cirque du Soleil.”
Cirque Mechanics, although inspired by modern circus, finds its roots in the mechanical and its heart in the stories of American ingenuity. The shows, rooted in realism, display a raw quality, rarely found in modern circus, that makes their message timeless and relevant. The stories are wrapped in circus acrobatics, mechanical wonders, and a bit of clowning around. The troupe has created five extraordinary productions; Birdhouse Factory, Boomtown, Pedal Punk, 42FT- A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels, and, most recently, the wind-inspired Zephyr.
Fun Facts about Zephyr
Did you know?
A family trip to a working grist mill in central England, a place where the mills grind cereal grain into flour and middlings, and a tour of the inside of the windmill inspired the circus Zephyr. A windmill is a type of working engine. It converts wind power into energy.
Windmills may be powerful, but a zephyr is a gentle breeze! The word comes from the name of the Greek god Zephyrus, who ruled the west wind and heralded spring.
Cirque Mechanics has produced four other shows - Birdhouse Factory, Boom Town, Pedal Punk, and 42FT - and Zephyr includes several new acts for them, including foot juggling and group bicycle!
A Few Facts about Windmills
In case you need more spinning, Zephyr's 20-foot-tall windmill will be mounted on a giant turntable, enabling the performers to change the scenery in real-time.
The largest wind turbine in the world is in Hawaii. It is 20 stories high and has rotors that have the length of an entire football field.
Modern wind turbines are complicated machines. One wind turbine can have as many as 8,000 different components.
Most wind turbines have 3 blades that can reach up to a speed of 200 miles per hour.