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Youth circus in St. Paul takes audiences on epic adventure with Excalibur

You've heard of King Arthur, but you probably haven't imagined his story looking like this. Excalibur runs from July 28-Aug. 13.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Circus Juventas is preparing to transport us to a time of myth and legend with its 2023 summer show, Excalibur. Unlike performances of yore, the actors are using acrobatics to deliver a show like no other. 

"It's very thrilling; it's intense; it's dramatic," said Elia Oldenburg, one of the featured performers. She has a unique role in this adaptation of King Arthur's journey.  

"It's never been done here before, and I have the great privilege of being the first to do it," Oldenburg said. She is introducing us to a new skill in the circus from Mongolia with guidance from her trainer Chimgee Haltarhuu. 

"We have a fully loaded bow that I take with my feet, and I take it over my head and into a handstand, and I shoot it. I shoot the arrow while it is on fire," she said. 

You'll also see incredible stunt work in acrobatics, often coming from Arthur himself, Ezekiel Pranis-Ricci. He's spent most of his life preparing for this moment. 

"This has been like 11 years of, like intense training," he said. "The Russian Swing Act is amazing. I'm going to say it's the best. I'm in it, so I'm a little biased." 

From the incredible stunts to the set design, it all helps paint the picture of an epic Arthurian tale.  

"I think kids will love to see this. It's very magical and mystical. And it shows the story of a great hero and his great journey to become a strong, wise, king," Oldenburg said. 

Circus Juventas is more than ready to deliver. "There's nothing like this anywhere in Minnesota, potentially even the country, I'd argue," Pranis-Ricci said. 

Excalibur, presented by HealthPartners & TRIA runs from July 28 through August 13, for 16 performances. The Saturday matinee, 1 p.m., August 5 will have ASL and AD interpretation. 

Tickets range from $25 to $50. You can find them at this link.


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