Trapeze artist prepares for Festival of Fools debut

Published: Jul. 24, 2021 at 11:30 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Jugglers, acrobats and street dancers will take over the streets of Burlington next week as the Festival of Fools returns.

This will be Serenity Smith Furchion’s first time. She’s a trapeze artist from Brattleboro.

Furchion and her identical twin sister, Elsie Smith, co-founded Nimble Arts, a Brattleboro-based company. The duo has been performing together on the trapeze for 25 years.

Furchion describes their journey to the circus as “accidental.”

“We grew up on a small farm. We grew up in a very small town of 500 people and we had never seen a circus and we had certainly never done anything like trapeze and we didn’t have a dance or gymnastics background but we did grow up climbing trees so we were kind of strong and liked to go up high,” she said.

Things really took off when they worked at a summer performing arts camp for kids, which had a circus program.

“We kind of learned by doing circus and teaching kids and that was the door that opened us toward circus,” Furchion said.

For the past two decade, Furchion and Smith have performed with world renowned circuses including Cirque du Soleil. Ringling Bros., and Barnum and Bailey.

And next week, they’re bringing their trapeze act to the streets of Burlington.

Furchion says performing live on the streets is a much different experience than doing so inside a venue.

“Sometimes when we’re in theaters, the audience is sitting back and taking the show in a really different way but being really close to them, you know 10 feet away, they’re going to see us sweat. We’re probably going to see them sweat. I think it’s going to be a really fun experience,” Furchion said. “So this will be a really fun experience for us, to get up close and personal with our audience. So we’re excited to perform in a slightly different way.”

Festival of Fools returns on Friday, July 30 and runs through Sunday, August 1.

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