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Reality circus to perform a Grand Valley 50th anniversary event

Posted on March 17, 2011

West Michigan is invited to a free and fabulous reality circus performance as part of Grand Valley State University's 50th Anniversary celebration.

"Stand Up Eight" will be presented Thursday, March 24, at 7 p.m. in the Fieldhouse Arena, on Grand Valley's Allendale Campus.

This is a show that breaks the rules by combining conventional theater and modern circus elements. Eight wild and spunky street performers interact with audiences during a partly scripted, partly improvised show of mesmerizing flight, cracking whips, untamed fire and side-splitting fun.

Among the performers is five-time national trampoline champion, Christianne Sainz, a Plainfield native who studied theater and graduated from Grand Valley in 2006. During a guest artist workshop, she met Allison Williams, and after graduating joined Williams’ circus arts company, Aerial Angels and more recently, her Stand Up Eight reality circus.

"The opportunities I had at Grand Valley helped to shape me into the person I am today," said Sainz. "It’s thrilling to return to campus as a professional performer."

Williams, the group's artistic director, said most of the performers have backgrounds in festival and street performance with specialties ranging from aerial skills and contortion, to fire eating and theatrics.

"This will be a family show, appropriate for all ages," said Bob Stoll, director of Student Life & Event Services. "We wanted to bring something quite unique to campus to celebrate the university's 50th anniversary with the community."

Open to the public with free admission, this event is sponsored by the School of Communications, Office of Student Life, Spotlight Productions, and the 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee.

For more information contact Stoll at 331-2345, or Learn more about the performance group at

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