Fairy-tale ending for circus performer

Jack Smith plays Volpe, left, in this photo of “Gatta and Volpe.”

Recent Mahtomedi High School graduate Jack Smith is once again performing this summer with Circus Juventas. Smith is considered an elite performer with the nonprofit circus arts and youth development group. He is performing in the 25th anniversary show, “Twisted,” a fairy-tale fantasy running July 26 through Aug. 11.

Among the nearly 1,000 students at Circus Juventas, more than 80 skilled performers are showcasing their skills at the summer show. “Twisted” features talented teens and youth from the Twin Cities area ranging in age from 9 to 22. The summer show will emphasize the artistic beauty of cirque nouveau in an eye-catching blend of circus, dance and theater.

The fairy-tale world is thrown for a loop when Russian sorceress Baba Yaga and her sisters brew up a devilish plan to tangle the traditional tales and sow seeds of epic chaos, forcing beloved fairy-tale characters to band together and strive to set their stories straight.

Smith, 17, is playing Volpe, a vagabond who teams up with characters named Mangiafucoco and Gatta to cause trouble in Pinocchio's life. He graduated this spring from Mahtomedi and plans to attend Regis University in Denver in the fall. Since Circus Juventas is a youth performing circus, the students can only stay until they are 22. Smith has been taking circus classes since 2009.

Students in the show are trained by elite coaches from around the world. Coaches have performed with Cirque du Soleil, the Great Moscow Circus, Mongolian State Circus, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey and more to teach these highly committed young artists from Minnesota at the largest youth circus in the United States.

Show times vary; see circusjuventas.org for details. Ticket prices range from $18.50 for children 10 and under and for seniors 65 and older, up to $45 for VIP seating. Tickets are available online, through Ticketworks.com, by calling 612-343-3390 or at the Circus Juventas Box office. The circus big top is located at 1270 Montreal Ave. in St. Paul.

From press release

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