Topsy-Turvy 2013

, ,
Five queer people in glittery outfits posed in circus gear


A one-of-a-kind event, Topsy-Turvy: A Queer Circus Extravaganza features mesmerizing circus artists from across the country. Spin your world upside-down with awe-inspiring aerialists, side-splitting antics, jaw-dropping entertainment, and cutting-edge visions of what circus looks like and where it can take you.

Fueled by a zeitgeist that encourages reinterpretation of popular art forms, Topsy Turvy turns representations of strength and beauty in circus arts upside-down through stories rooted in a queer experience. Topsy Turvy features innovative performers from New York, Vermont, and New Mexico, in addition to Bay Area circus artists. With a matinee show for families and an evening show for older audiences, Topsy Turvy expands the imaginative possibilities of circus performance.

June 22
Topsy Turvy: A Queer Circus Extravaganza
Brava – 2pm (Family show) & 8pm (Adult show)
Adults $12-$20 sliding scale, Youth under 18 $8


A Selection of Artist Bios


India Davis is a Multidisciplinary Artist and Instructor. She has a background in Theater, Dance, Media Arts and Circus Arts and is a graduate of Antioch College and the New England Center for Circus Arts Professional Development Program in Vermont.  She has been a creator and collaborator of numerous solo and group productions including Infinity Xtravaganza, Alcyone, Circus City and Ruby Red, and has held residencies at El Puente Theater in Penasco NM. India values the many possibilities circus arts provide for creating compelling and expansive performances. The wide variety of her artistic interests is mirrored in her work.  India coaches aerial hoop at Kinetic Arts Center in west Oakland. Photo: Miki Vargas





Indi McCasey believes in the transformative power of the arts and is a circus performer and arts educator who loves to make fabulous things happen. As a former artistic member of Wise Fool New Mexico and founding member of the Santa Fe Gender Offenders, Indi has infused gender performance with physical theater and circus arts for seven years. Indi has brought performances that are comical and vulnerable, provocative and poignant to queer cultural events in Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, Portland, Seattle, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Vancouver, Tucson, and Oakland. Topsy Turvy fulfills a dream for Indi to create a space where circus ideals of strength and beauty are re-framed by innovative queer artists. Photo: Miki Vargas





SAM Luckey is a multi-directional circus performer.  A native Oaklander, she has explored circus arts for over twenty years, and currently specializes in trapeze, partner acrobatics, group juggling, hand-balancing, and clowning. SAM’s love of circus began at age 7 at Camp Winnarainbow. In 2002, at age 18, SAM moved to London, England, to study at The Circus Space, specializing in swinging trapeze. She received a BA in Theater Practice: Circus in 2004. During her time in London she was part of The Optimists, a flying trapeze troupe on the petit volant (mini fly rig). After graduating from Circus Space she joined the Flying Cáceres, an innovative flying trapeze troupe. With the Flying Cáceres SAM performed with Circo Mundial in Valencia, Spain and with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth. In 2009 SAM returned to her native home of Oakland, CA.  In the Bay Area, SAM has performed in collaboration with The Burley Sisters, Sweet Can Circus, Coventry & Kaluza, the Ragged Wing Ensemble, Jessica Ferris Productions, the Paper Doll Militia, and Temescal Entertainer’s Neighborhood Theatrics (TENT). She is currently an aerial dancer in Flyaway Productions, a company of ‘off-the-ground dance’ directed by Jo Kreiter in San Francisco. She is a resident clown with ClownSnotBombs, based in Berkeley, and a core company member of The Vespertine Circus in Oakland. SAM loves diversity and possibility, multiplicity and sharing. Photo: Cybil A. Fresnido-Patz



Kiebpoli Calnek is the Artistic Director of BLACK*ACROBAT, an aerial dancer, and theatrical performer. Her creative works desire to explore the survival of the Spirit and Love as they sit at the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality. Her style has been called smoothly efficient.  She is a graduate of CCNY, a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and of Actors’ Equity Association. She has danced on the ground and in the air at Dixon Place, The Kitchen, The SkyBox, Judson Church, DTW, LaMama etc., SLAM at STREB, P.S.122, Danspace Project, and 3 Legged Dog.   Her works have received generous funding and support from Elizabeth Streb, Astrea Foundation, Asian Arts Initiative, and The New York Foundation for the Arts. Her aerial rope portrait was published in; UNDISCLOSED: Images of the Contemporary Circus Artist in 2011.


Marshall Jarreau is from Colorado and was most recently seen as the Walrus character and dancer in Cirque Du Soleil’s LOVE. He has performed around the world with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines for 5 years and was also a top finalist on the first season of FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance. He trained at the New England Center for Circus Arts and the dance program at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Marshall is interested in the idea of mixing LGBT concepts and issues with circus arts to create interesting social