There's a New Circus in Town


Professor CarlosAlexis Cruz

What do you get when you mix aerial acrobatics, break dancing and trapeze with spoken word? An innovative, rousing and thought-proving experience called “Nouveau Sud, Nouveau Cirque.” 

AerialistDirector CarlosAlexis Cruz’s goal is simple: start a meaningful conversation about Charlotte’s cultural segregation through performance. 

The result is anything but simple. It’s an undeniably energetic circus arts piece known as “Nouveau Sud, Nouveau Cirque,” or “New South, New Circus.”

Cruz’s cast is diverse to say the least. They represent a variety of cultures, backgrounds and experiences. And, that’s the point.

TrapezeUsing the cast’s personal accounts, Cruz designed a performance capturing Charlotte’s shifting demographics and cultural struggles along the journey to this “New South.” It is definitely not your traditional circus.

Cruz is a UNC Charlotte professor of voice and movement. He’s also a physical theatre expert and current artist-in-residence at the McColl Center for Art and Innovation

In 2014, he won the Arts and Science Council’s prestigious McColl Award that included a $25,000 grant to create a new work of art. Thus, “Nouveau Sud, Nouveau Cirque” was born.

Cruz debuted the piece in late April at Blumenthal’s Booth Playhouse. In time, he hopes to take the show on the road with the help of MAX, the Mobile Arts and Community Experience.

Mobile Arts and Community Experience (MAX)This hybrid venue and community gathering space can accommodate everything from a circus (ahem) to community meetings. Just this past weekend, it hosted the International Sandwich Festival.

This recent coverage from the Charlotte Observer gives you all the details.