Star News - Connecting Our Communities

News Sickle Arrow NSA Black Earth Cross Plains

Rumpus Circus comes to town

Students take part in 'World Circus'


May 10, 2018

Joe Block

Mazomanie and Black Earth Elementary students were treated to an hour-long performance by the Wild Rumpus World Circus on Friday, May 4th. The assembly included Jacob Mills clowning around, much to the students' delight. Students from the audience wore masks and performed pantomime. Finally, several native dances were performed.

The Wild Rumpus World Circus entertained Mazomanie and Black Earth Elementary students last week. The Wild Rumpus Circus is located in Mazomanie, and offers circus camps and classes for children and adults.

Janet Dahl, the Wisconsin Height's K-5 music education teacher, explained how the three-day residency started. "Marcia Miquelon from the Wild Rumpus Circus, approached Dale Green, the Mazomanie Elementary principal, to see if we might be interested in an assembly/program that involved stilts, masks, dance, and multiculturalism. The Wild Rumpus World Circus was awarded grant funding and were looking for local participation and we were very excited about that possibility. Through communicating back and forth, the three-day residency developed, culminating with a program/assembly."

Started in 2002 by Jacob Mills and Marcia Miquelon, the Wild Rumpus Circus' shows combine clowning, aerial artistry, stilt characters, along with mask theater and juggling. Acrobatics, physical comedy, pantomime and low-flying trapeze add to the mix.

Miquelon's background includes ballet, modern dance, improvisation, African, and Latin dance. She has at times performed, choreographed, and directed Cycropia Ariel Dance troupe since 1994. Mills is a professional actor, physical comedian, and educator. He has been an Artist-In-Residence for the City of Chicago in the past.

Elly Craig and her mother, Polly Poupore-Craig, have been a part of the studio since its beginnings. Craig began her training at the age of three, and now performs dance and acrobatics. Poupore-Craig, an aerialist and teacher, owns her business in Mazomanie called Shenanigans, offering classes and activities focusing on visual art.

Dahl continued, "Monday began with a multi-media presentation that introduced the project to the students. During this introduction students were introduced to stilt-dancing Moko Jumbies from Trinidad, fiesta skirts and stilt-dancers from Mexico, the acrobatic Chinese Lion dance, and the masks of Switzerland's Carnival. Then students went to the gym and were introduced to the 'stilts' and learned a dance, 'Follow the Leader' which was part of the assembly on Friday".

On Tuesday, students created African style masks, which they will finish in art class next week. Marcia and Elly demonstrated a Mexican dance on stilts. On Thursday, students put on masks and through pantomime through the character of their mask. Dahl explained, "It was amazing to see how using your body changes the different emotions of the character. Students also had the opportunity to watch a Marcia and Elly demonstrate stilt acrobatics and then they tried it out. They were very good at it!" Polly also provided a resource guide which the school will use to supplement the music, art, dance, and theater.

In 2009 the Wild Rumpus World Circus began touring internationally. The Circus has performed throughout the United States, Qatar, the Pacific Coast of Mexico, and Europe.

"We feel so fortunate that our work brings us into contact with so many children, from so many different cultures! We have the opportunity to teach them things that are hands-on, engaging, confidence-boosting and fun", explained Miquelon. "We think that circus transcends boundaries of language and culture, brings people together, and opens their eyes to new possibilities".

"This was a week of experiencing and engaging the culture of several different countries through stilts, music, art, dance, and theater. Through it all there was much laughter, collaboration and an awful lot of fun.

Information about workshops, shows, and camps can be found at


Our Family of Publications Includes:

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018