top of page

Press Release for Brave Space Tour

For Immediate Release

Contact: Shayna Swanson


Aloft Circus Arts Presents a Contemporary Circus Show for the Resistance Era

Under a massive blanket fort, “Brave Space” explores being an ally in an culture that worships

individualism and self-reliance.

March 9, 2019--Chicago, IL: Aloft Circus Arts, a contemporary circus company from Chicago, is touring its new show “Brave Space” around the Midwest. Inspired by the idea of creating trusting communities in trying and dangerous times, Brave Space starts as a puddle 250 yards of fabric on the floor, and, with the help of the audience, grows into a massive blanket fort--a world of hope that includes interdependent acts of aerial arts, acrobatics, juggling and balancing on 8 ft high poles. A show that is impossible to perform without an audience, each act in Brave Space is designed to physically draw spectators into the experience of putting oneself on the line for the safety and well being of at-risk members of a community. Not passive viewers, the audience becomes a part of the show, sometimes helping to raise the tent, sometimes holding ropes that keep trapeze artists aloft, sometimes standing so close to the performers you can hear their hearts beating.

Brave Space was created

as an antidote to the horrors of daily news cycle. It’s not a “safe space,” but, an immersive performance that requires the audience and artists to show up as their best selves, encouraging them to care of themselves and those around them. “I wanted to create a show that felt like the opposite of the Handmaid’s Tale--something empowering. I wanted to create the world I want to live in, even if it only exists for an hour at a time,” director Shayna Swanson explains.

“In addition to the sense of space and community, I was struck by how intimate and how vulnerable the circus felt,” wrote Elisa Shonberger in her performance blog, Not Without My Bowler Hat. “ There was an openness to the performers that I haven’t experienced before. I was struck by how each performance felt very raw and exposed. It’s not something that happens in circus often to have that feeling of vulnerability and intimacy.”

To ensure intimacy and safety, the audience is limited to 100 people per show, and audience members must be able to sit on the floor, stand up, walk around for the duration of the performance. Audience members requesting assistance, or a chair to sit in, should note so when purchasing tickets. In addition, Brave Space may make persons suffering from claustrophobia feel uncomfortable at times.

WHEN: March 23, Pittsburgh. March 24, Philadelphia. March 29, St Louis. March 30, Kansas City. March 31, Lincoln, NE.



Interviews with director Shayna Swanson available. Possible topics include: creating meaningful performance, funding arts on a DIY model, contemporary versus traditional circus, the modern circus movement in the US.


Founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Shayna Swanson, Aloft is at the forefront of the contemporary circus movement in the USA. Based in a 111 year old church in Chicago, Aloft is dedicated to telling original stories through world-class circus arts. Aloft combines visual art, urban space, physical movement, modern dance, and circus performance to build cohesive emotional tales. In productions meant for theaters, the street, or the open sky, Aloft is changing the limits of what’s physically possible in storytelling.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page