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Westchester Circus Arts will make its Massachusetts debut on Sunday, October 8, for two shows, one geared toward kids and one for adults. Run by co-directors Hilary Sweeney and Carlo Pellegrini, both shows promise acrobatics, aerial silks, clowning, comedy, magic, and more.


Hilary and Carlo have a wealth of experience in circus arts. A veteran circus performer, Carlo has traveled the world with Lichtenstein Circus, Big Apple Circus, and Nikolais Dance Theater. He is the founder of Amazing Grace Circus – a community circus that strives to instill social skills to create “citizens of the world.”


Hilary longed to be a dancer growing up, and ended up changing her career for the circus–she has a degree in neuroscience and worked a chemical engineering job until she saw Cirque du Soleil and “it blew my world right back open,” she said. “It was dancing in the air.”


Hilary and Carlo moved to Florida, Mass., in 2019, searching for an affordable place with a supportive arts community. The Berkshires are now their home base, although they’re traveling a good part of the year for shows and camps, which they run regularly during school breaks and summer.


During the pandemic, with restrictions stopping in-person performances, they used the local community access TV station to produce “Circus Corner with Mr. Amazing” (Carlo is Mr. Amazing) for kids stuck at home. They like to partner with towns, organizations, and venues to create work and performances, like a recent partnership with the New York town of Sleepy Hollow to create “The Legend Cirque,” based on the legend of the Headless Horseman.


“We like to do relationships,” said Carlo. “Artistic projects are more successful when you have community involvement.”


They’re excited to bring the circus (with “no elephants, just relevance”) to their new community, and to the Adams Theater. “Expect things that will amaze you and astound you,” Carlo said, in true ringmaster fashion.


“We really believe in what theater founder and executive director Yina Moore is doing,” Hilary said. “The performing arts are important. Humankind needs a place to elevate their senses, to take inspiration. I’m thrilled to be able to do that in our new home.”

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