Ringling Brothers acrobat relies on precision, timing

Double down, and you’re a bettor making twice the wager. Double up, and you’re a trapeze artist maki
Tuniziana Troupe aerialists perform.
Tuniziana Troupe aerialists perform.

Double down, and you’re a bettor making twice the wager.

Double up, and you’re a trapeze artist making twice the somersault — way up in the air.

Estefani Evans courts gravity on a regular basis. As a member of the Tuniziani Troupe Solar Hawks, she will swing and spin as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus makes its annual stop at the Times Union Center in Albany. Seven shows are on the schedule, beginning tonight and running through Sunday.

Scouts are ready

Young Girl Scouts are eager to enjoy the circus.

This year, the Ringling-Barnum “Legends” tour is visiting. Among the attractions will be 20 horses and riders in the Thundering Cossack Warriors. Greasepaint legend Sandor Eke, born into a Hungarian circus family, will be the boss clown in the Clown Alley segment of the show. And daredevil members of the Torres Family will ride motorcycles inside a 16-foot steel globe.

Brazilian-born Evans is one of four women and 10 men on the Tuniziani roster. She gets to work hand-in-hand with her husband, Ammed Tuniziani.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

WHERE: Times Union Center, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany

WHEN: 7 p.m. tonight and Friday; 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m., Saturday; 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday

HOW MUCH: $23 to $63; $18 seats tonight only

MORE INFO: 487-2000, www.timesunioncenter-albany.com

“It’s awesome, I’ve been doing this since I was 10 years old,” said Evans, 25. “I was never scared of heights, so for me, that was really good.”

There’s never any fear when the troupe members climb to their positions high above arena floors. “We have to practice at least three times a week,” Evans said. “We do a lot of exercise and the costumes are amazing. There are a lot of people flying at the same time; it’s wonderful to see.”

Ammed is a master of the triple somersault. For now, Evans is content with the double somersault, and soaring from a partner’s outstretched hands to a swing that passes by at just the right moment.

The troupe works with a net. And while members are not in the habit of falling, missed connections are sometimes part of the job. “You don’t like that, it’s like, ‘Oh no, I missed it,’ ” Evans said.

“But it’s circus life, and everything’s live, so it happens sometimes. Trapeze is all about timing, you have to be precise — the time you’re leaving, the time you open your trick. If you open a little early and they don’t catch you right there, it’s like, ‘Oh, no!’ ”

world traveler

Evans is a fifth-generation performer. “My life was traveling all over the world,” she said. “I started in Brazil and went to South America, then I went to Europe and now I’m in the U.S. working for the ‘Greatest Show on Earth,’ the dream of all the artists to work with.”

Evans said members of the troupe all wear white, but each has a different color scheme. She is currently teamed with pink.

“I love to do my tricks, but I love to do the practice because I want to do the triple somersault soon,” she said.

“There aren’t that many women doing triple somersaults in the world.”

Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 395-3124 or at [email protected] or @jeffwilkin1 on Twitter. His blog is at www.dailygazette.com/weblogs/wilkin.

Categories: Life and Arts

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