What do circus performers from Canada, New York, Madrid and Colombia have in common? On Sunday, they joined more than 140 fellow performers in the Circus Ring of Fame in St. Armands Circle.
The Circus Ring of Fame Foundation celebrated Guy Laliberte, The King Charles Troupe, Los Quiros High Wire Artistry and the Carillo Brothers High Wire Duo at the 33rd annual ceremony.
“Circus is adaptable, evolutionary, and has so many interpretations,” said Bill Powell, Chair of the Foundation. “When one door closes, five doors open, because people close to the heart of the art form are inventive, creative, and extremely hard working. Circus finds a way to move forward.”
The acts inducted into the Ring of Fame have reached the pinnacle of their profession through hard work that has made a significant and notable contribution to the advancement of worldwide art circus arts and culture, Powell said.
Each group was awarded with medals, a framed letter detailing their contributions and a bronze plaque in Circle Park.
A touch of family appreciation lingered in the air as members of each group recalled the times they had crossed paths or performed with one another. Most notably, Los Quiros High Wire Artistry and the Carillo Brothers High Wire Duo each spoke about how thankful they were to Cirque du Soleil, which was founded by Guy Laliberte.
A number of surprises took place during the ceremony from performances to a proclamation from the mayor of Sarasota.
The King Charles Troupe riled up the crowd before the ceremony began with a performance as members rode around on their unicycles and tackled feats such as jump roping and double dutching on them.
Keith Green and George Hooks performed the solo melody they once played during Pedro Carrillo, Sr.’s high wire performance in “The Great Show On Earth.” When the song finished, Carrillo embraced Green and Hooks in a teary hug.
With the induction of Guy Laliberte and Cirque du Soleil into the St. Armands Circus Ring of Fame, Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch and Director of Public Affairs for Cirque du Soleil Agathe Ali announced Jan. 12 will be known as Circus Day in North America.
“The city of Sarasota salutes their common (circus) heritage with the city of Montreal, and together they strongly encourage the artists, organizations and audiences of these two great cities to continue their collaborations so that the natural link between traditional and contemporary circus serves to create and promote public appreciation for this incredible art form,” Ahearn-Koch said.