Cirque Eloize’s “Cirkopolis” drew modest crowds to Proctors during its 21⁄2-week run, which ended Saturday, but Proctors CEO Philip Morris said summer camps associated with the show were standing-room-only.
Schenectady has not traditionally been known as a summer destination, but Proctors hoped to draw crowds to the city with the troupe’s mix of dance, acrobatics and theater.
“We thought we were taking a gamble, trying to make a change in how people think of Schenectady and downtowns and summers,” Morris said, conceding that Proctors will have to work on growing audience numbers for next summer, when Cirque Eloize returns.
The Montreal-based troupe of acrobats, jugglers and rope climbers has contracted to entertain Proctors’ patrons for five consecutive summers.
Morris did not have attendance figures readily available for the Cirkopolis performances, but said the production drew fewer people per show than prior Cirque Eloize events at Proctors have. Those shows have never had more than two or three consecutive performances, while this summer’s run had 13 or 14, he noted.
The weeklong “The Cirque Experience” summer camps, taught this month by Cirque staff members at Proctors’ School of the Performing Arts, went exceptionally well, Morris said, citing sold-out sessions for both high-schoolers and middle-schoolers. Seventy-seven adults also attended the camp.
“We are really happy and frankly think we need to grow that part of it substantially,” he said.