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Circus Wows With Greatest of Ease

Gazing high overhead, above the safety net, beyond the dangling ladder and up to a small platform, 6-year-old Michael Jacinto pondered the situation. "What are they gonna do up there?" Michael asked his mom. He watched as one daredevil performer stepped from the platform onto a trapeze, leaped from trapeze into the air and, at what seemed like the last possible second, grabbed the extended hands of a second flying trapeze artist. Michael had never seen that kind of live performance before. "Awesome!" he said.

On the first full day of shows at Mill River Park in Stamford Saturday, the Big Apple Circus elicited many "ooo's" and "ahhh's –and "awesomes"–with its dazzling display of crowd-pleasing acts. Horses galloped around the ring and pranced on hind legs. Contortionists amazingly remolded their bodies. An aerial acrobat suspended herself with nothing but a few yards of flowing material wrapped around her waist and ankles. Trampoline gymnasts rocketed into the air. "How did they learn all those jumps?" Michael wondered.

Michael's mom, Paola Jacinto, brought her son to Stamford from their home in Greenwich so he could experience the magic of the circus for the first time. "But I think it wasn't for him, it was really for me," she joked.

"It's a fun family outing," said Zdravka Baldino, who brought daughter Morgan, 10, and son Max, 3. The McGannon family–mom Frederica, dad Don, Henry, 8, Heidi, 6, and Nicholas, 2–also attended. Frederica McGannon said they didn't want to miss the circus. "Since we were so close by, we thought we should come," she said.

Performances run through July 25. Tickets start at $15, and group sales are available. For wheelchair-access and other information, call (888) 541-3750 or visit the on-site box office.

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