DOWNEY – The Columbia Memorial Space Center was a literal circus Tuesday as Ringling Brother’s and Barnum and Bailey treated around 150 kids and a few lucky passersby to a sneak peak of their brand new show "Out of This World."
Acrobats, unicyclists, contortionists, and even a handful of clowns dazzled spectators as they displayed what happens when art and STEM collide. The demonstration offered only a small taste of what can be expected when “The Greatest Show on Earth” rolls into the Staples Center later this week.
According to Ringmaster Jonathan Lee Iverson, Ringling Bros.’ new show answers the question of what the world famous circus would do after the retirement of their iconic elephants.
“We have a completely new theme this year, as we always do…” said Iverson. “…In my career personally I’ve done everything from living carousels to dragons, and now I’m going [to] outer space; like an astronaut but not.”
Iverson also commented that those in attendance would see how the circus incorporates science, physics and mathematics.
“Something I’ve said for years – you know circus is really the science of miracles, and so we’re just merging the two. This is basically edutainment. We’ve been the greatest edutainment, the original edutainment industry for well over a century…”
Tuesday's presentation featured a one-of-a-kind aerial “spacewalk” on a spinning wheel by the Simet Family Astronauts, double-dutching unicyclers, water rocket launches, and the expected hijinks that comes with clowns.
Before being interrupted by a group of clowns with a “scientific experiment,” CMSC President Ben Dickow addressed the crowd, thanking Ringling Bros. for their attendance at the event.
“This event, which is the power of performance to inspire STEM furthers the mission of the Space Center by letting the Space Center become even more of the hub of these sort of awesome kind of science events here in Southern California…,” said Dickow.
Mayor Pro-Tem Fernando Vasquez was also in attendance, and presented the circus with a proclamation saying that the day was officially Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Day in the City of Downey.