'Pedal Punk' Quite A Ride

Posted: November 5, 2017 at 1 a.m.

Courtesy Photo "With its top-notch acts and amazing aesthetics, 'Pedal Punk' offers a spectacular ride for hipsters and pipsqueaks alike," said Time Out New York of the Cirque Mechanics' production.

Audiences attending Cirque Mechanics' production of "Pedal Punk," part of the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith's 37th Season of Entertainment, should brace themselves for quite the spectacle. The New York Times described the American circus troupe's performances as "exceptional, evocative, eye-catching and grossly entertaining ... in a word, excellent."

In a video on their website, Cirque Mechanics' Creative Director Chris Lashua says the new production was spawned by his own fascination with the world of cycling; rehearsal shots show a fascinating structure -- which Lashua calls a "22-foot man-powered portable circus platform" -- upon which talented artists perform death-defying feats of acrobatics.

FAQ

‘Pedal Punks’

WHEN — 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8

WHERE — ArcBest Performing Arts Center in Fort Smith

COST — $22-$27; free to UAFS students

INFO — 788-7300

"We've had them perform once before here, and the audiences love them," says Stacey Jones, associate vice chancellor for campus and community events. They're incredibly inventive and very creative as well as being entertaining. What they do with the tools they work with is phenomenal."

Lashua's love of bicycles started as an adolescent, when he got involved with the freestyle BMX scene. "Pedal Punks" is set in a bike shop, where a bike mechanic has adventures with both cyclists and bicycles.

"This is a show that mixes acrobatics and mechanical apparatus," said Lashua in a recent television interview. "We strive to show the relationship between the mechanical apparatus and the circus performer."

The troupe is known for mixing traditional circus roles -- like aerialists, acrobats and jugglers -- with fresh and astonishing choreography.

"Audiences will leave entertained," says Jones. "It's family friendly, and as an audience member, you'll walk away thinking, 'How did they do that?'"

-- Lara Hightower

lhightower@nwadg.com

NAN What's Up on 11/05/2017