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Circus Dreams (2011)

8.2
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Captures charismatic teen performers on a voyage of artistic and personal self-discovery as they fight to save this country's only traveling youth circus.

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Captures charismatic teen performers on a voyage of artistic and personal self-discovery as they fight to save this country's only traveling youth circus.

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1 April 2012 (USA)  »

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America's Best Youth Circus
11 June 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Circus Dreams is the story of one season in the life of Circus Smirkus, the only traveling youth circus in America, as seen from a number of viewpoints. One is that of Ed LeClair, who runs the business of Smirkus and signs all the checks. It takes money to put Smirkus on the road and sometimes it seems as if even the weather is conspiring against a successful season. Another point of view is that of the artistic and creative team behind each season, Troy Wunderle and Jesse Dryden, who come up with an entirely new theme for the show each year (without knowing who all their performers will be yet) and review hundreds of audition applications to select each year's cast of performers. And lastly, there are the performers themselves, kids really, from across the country and around the world, between the ages of 10-18. They will learn and rehearse a two-hour show in three weeks. Then they take it on tour for almost two months, putting on 70 shows in July and August throughout New England.

Circus Dreams captures not only the drama inherent in a traveling circus but the passion and commitment displayed by every member of the troupe, whether behind the scenes or in the ring, as they strive to make every performance the best Smirkus show ever. What makes Circus Dreams special, however, is that it captures the fun and enjoyment of a circus performance for everyone involved—the cast and crew, the audiences who came to see Smirkus that season and, best of all, anyone who has the opportunity to see the movie. Watching Circus Dreams, you will understand why Circus Smirkus might be the best traveling circus of any type in the US. Be prepared, though, you WILL want to run away and join the circus after you see this film!


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