Completing the Cirqle

  • Under fire: Tara Cassidy performing at Zirque Carnival in Barbados which was attended by superstar Rihanna (Photograph supplied)
  • Under fire: Tara Cassidy performing at Zirque Carnival in Barbados which was attended by superstar Rihanna (Photograph supplied)
  • Under fire: Tara Cassidy performing at Zirque Carnival in Barbados which was attended by superstar Rihanna (Photograph supplied)
  • Home for Crop Over: superstar Rihanna and her brother Rorrey Fenty at Zirque Carinval in Barbados (Photograph supplied)

A troupe of circus performers will take to Front Street for a Hallowe’en celebration that promises lots of mystery and illusion for children and adults.

The Pier of Fear is Cirqle Bermuda’s first major event.

The circus arts collective, which was formed by Tara Cassidy, has linked with performers from Kinetix Natural Movement, Elevate Aerial, Cherish Entertainment and Vivid Elements for the spectacle.

It follows the Bermudian designer’s performance at a party during Barbados’ Crop Over that was hosted by Rihanna’s brother, Rorrey Fenty. The superstar was there for the event.

“We welcomed Rihanna when she arrived,” said Ms Cassidy. “I was flame dancing. It was a great honour to be there.”

The event encouraged her to try to do more with performing artists here.

The Pier of Fear has circus-inspired fire shows, mystical illusions and acrobatic performances. Youth performers will entertain children from 3pm to 7.30pm.

The real party starts at 9pm when adults are invited to enter a “haunted hall of hell”, “survive” interactive encounters and sip on smoky cocktails. Silk, aerial hoop and fire shows are all part of the pageantry along with illusionists and contact jugglers.

There will also be “lots of photo opportunities with performers”.

“It will be like a Cirque de Hallowe’en,” said Ms Cassidy. “There will be circus workshops and performances as well as arts and crafts and a fire spectacle.

“I am also trying to connect with other dance groups including dancehall dancers and African dancers. This is something we want to push further and further each year and eventually we want to have regular seasonal circus offerings.”

A lover of carnivals, Ms Cassidy decided the opportunity to attend Crop Over in August was too good to pass up.

“I went to Barbados for the carnival and posted on the website Couch Surfing, which is a wonderful tool for when you are travelling and looking for other performers,” she said.

“One of the main fire spinners on the island wrote me and offered me to spin fire at Zirque Carnival put on by Rihanna’s brother at Nikki Beach.

“It was incredible to be part of this team of people. There were ballet dancers, stilt walkers, clowns and other circus performers.”

Cirqle Bermuda is a regular performer at the carnival here each June; Ms Cassidy sees the potential for it to grow.

“After going to Barbados and experiencing another carnival, I realise how much Bermuda has to offer that is completely different,” Ms Cassidy said. “We already have these circus experiences, so I think we can do more fantastical things and continue to set our carnival apart.

“Since returning from Barbados, I have had invitations from hotels and venues overseas.

“There are ample opportunities for paid gigs for anyone wishing to become performers at Cirqle. It is fun and fulfilling.”

Although she also has a keen interest in making music and jewellery, Ms Cassidy didn’t set out to work in the arts.

She gained a degree in sustainable residential development from the Ontario College of Art and Design University before launching La Garza, a jewellery business here. Once she discovered that wasn’t enough to fulfil her creative needs, she was thrilled to find aerial arts.

“It completely changed the landscape of my life,” she said. “There is so much opportunity for growth in Bermuda. I think it is absurd that we still don’t have a performing arts centre.

“We need to bring these communities together. We have the people, we have the ideas and a viable business model.

“It is just a matter of the bigger financials coming forward in order for us to have that space.”

The Pier of Fear takes place at Number 1 Car Park on November 1. Tickets are $5 for the Hallowe’en Kids Party which runs from 3pm until 7.30pm. Prices start at $60 for the Hallowe’en Party at 9pm. Tickets are available on Visit and @cirqle.circus on Instagram