There’s no need to need to wait for Barnum and Bailey — the circus comes to Isla Vista every week in the form of UCSB’s own Berzercus.
The group meets in Trigo Park from 3 to 5 p.m. every Sunday afternoon to practice various talents, ranging from juggling to fire dancing to unicycling. Since its establishment, Berzercus has put on two performances — last spring’s “How Bizarre the People Are,” which featured an aerialist hoop and fire dancing, and this fall’s “Demon Dances,” which showcased darker acts such as body suspension.Erin Rosenthal, a fifth-year biopsychology major, started Berzercus a year ago as a New Year’s resolution to create a performance group as both a reminder to practice and a way to bring people together.
“My primary goal in all of this is to provide an opportunity and motivation for myself and others to practice movement art form,” Rosenthal said.
According to Fabian Seewald, who performs as a clown in the circus, the goal of Berzercus is to reach out to the community.
“With Berzercus, hope we can start not only a parade but moreover a movement, a movement to open the eyes of people and let the creativity flow,” Seewald said. “A movement in the way that we want interaction with the audience. During the parade we want the feeling of the crowd to be, ‘How can I become part of this magic circle?’ And the answer has to be simple. … If you want to, you’re a part. It’s an open-minded community.”
Rosenthal, who organizes all group events and practices, said the circus has grown substantially in the past year.
“The first couple of weekends it was literally just me and maybe one other person,” she said.
Berzercus is currently prepping for a June 5 performance, which will feature an all-day circus in I.V. including a parade and workshops for those interested in learning some new tricks.
According to organizers, no experience is necessary to join — just interest and enthusiasm.
“I hope that anyone looking for a more playful way to experience their life will come by a Berzercus practice,” third-year English and philosophy major Satory Palmer said.