Climbing up to the ceiling holding onto long silk fabrics while some material is wrapped around her is Emma Kremer. This graduating senior from Milton High School was selected for the school’s well-recognized performance group and its 15th annual Cirque show held last month.
What began as an audition at the end of eighth grade to begin the Cirque Arts fundamentals class as a high school freshman became a four-year commitment culminating with Kremer becoming a performer in three acts of this year’s show.
Inspired by Cirque du Soleil’s world-famous performances, envision circus arts using rings, webs and ropes, poles and wheels as the apparatus using tumbling, trapeze and juggling skills performed to specific music with enhanced lighting.
The AJT interviewed Kremer to learn more about the program for which she auditioned, an elective class she took at the end of each school day.
First semester, the selected group spends time on strength-training skills such as situps, pushups and planks, critical to one’s success in negotiating the twists, turns and moves required in the routines that combine dance with aerial arts, she said. Second semester brings tryouts for the annual spring performance. When selected, Kremer started preparing her acts with choreography and aerial moves, deciding which apparatus to use. Plus her mother began sewing costumes for many of the student acts. Because of COVID last year, the spring performance was canceled. But fast forward to the fall, when fundamental training and preparation for a spring 2021 performance got back on track.
For the 2021 annual Cirque show entitled “Antanda,” Kremer said there was a planning group, including students who helped choreograph the individual acts. Because of COVID last year, though, there was less rehearsal time at the school, requiring online practicing. As a result, the 2021 show became more of a showcase event with shorter acts, she said.
According to the school’s website, Milton’s program founded in 2010 by its director Larry Smith is one of the only public schools in the country that offers circus arts. Combining athleticism and artistry in a theatrical form with its annual spring performances, Cirque is part of the school’s theatre department.
Kremer said she feels fortunate that the redistricting of her home that sent her from Roswell High School to Milton as a freshman in 2017 opened up the opportunity for Cirque arts into her life. “I am grateful to have been a part of this amazing program and learn these unique skills.” She said she hopes to continue aerial arts at an outside gym in Athens while attending the University of Georgia.