Skip to main content

A troupe of Minnesota kids just got one of the biggest circus awards

Circus Juventas becomes the first American group to win the award.

Minnesota is home to one of the best circus schools in the world – and now St. Paul's Circus Juventas is getting some hardware that helps prove it.

They're the new winners of the Circopedia Award for Excellence in the Circus Arts, Circus Juventas announced Monday.

The award comes after 10 days of performances  at this summer's Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. put the performers – all of them 21 or younger – on a big stage. The Smithsonian made circus arts the theme of this year's festival and the Minnesota group performed under a big top for audiences from around the world.

The award

Circopedia is an online archive of the circus arts founded by Dominique Jando, a Frenchman who's been in the industry for more than 40 years.

The Circopedia Award started a couple of years ago, with the first two going to Russian performers. In announcing their win, Jando said he hopes the recognition for Circus Juventas will encourage other youth circus groups in the U.S. to follow its example.

Jando tells the Pioneer Press: “I don’t know of any other youth circus in the world that has reached their artistic level in terms of quality of skills and the circus acts.”

Circus Juventas co-founders Betty Butler and Dan Butler said in Monday's statement they're "overwhelmed and honored" by the award.

New Circus Juventas show opens soon

In Washington Circus Juventas performed their show from the summer of 2016, Wonderland, which was based on the Alice in Wonderland stories.

But their 2017 summer show is about to open next week. This one is called NORÐRSAGA, and it's built around the nine realms of Norse mythology.

Shows are from July 28 through August 13 at the Circus Juventas Big Top in St. Paul's Highland Park. You can get tickets here. Dominique Jando will be in town to present the Circopedia Award before the August 3 performance.

Circus Juventas started in 1994 and is now North America's biggest youth circus school, training 2,500 students a year. They say their summer shows feature their most advanced performers.

Next Up

fire truck

Explosion reported near Hastings; man airlifted to hospital

Authorities say the victim has serious injuries.

Screen Shot 2022-10-05 at 2.30.07 PM

School faces uncertain future after land sold to Catholic nonprofit

The school near Marine on St. Croix sits on land that's just been sold.

BikeCarSceneMpls

Boy suffers 'life-threatening' injuries in car-bike collision in Minneapolis

Police said the driver is cooperating with the investigation.

North Memorial Health Hospital

Man dies from gunshot wounds after Minneapolis shooting

The death marked the 69th homicide of the year in the city.

image

Gallery: Island cabin is one of northernmost homes for sale in MN

Want to buy one of the northernmost homes on the market in Minnesota?

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 4.54.42 PM

Charges: Houston men robbed Edina bank of $110,000

A third suspect has not yet been identified.

Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys coming to Minnesota for 2023 tour

The rock band hasn't gone on tour in the United States since 2019.

Flickr - Menards store front - Mike Kalasnik

Multiple charges over protests after fatal Menards forklift incident

The charges range from trespassing, destruction of property and assault.

Life Link

Boy airlifted after being struck by driver in Elk River

The boy is reportedly a student at Spectrum High School.

Related

A troupe of Minnesota kids just got one of the biggest circus awards

Circus Juventas becomes the first American group to win the award.

This playwright from MN just won one of the richest prizes in literature

Ike Holter is getting $165,000 as one of the winners of a Windham-Campbell prize from Yale.

This playwright from MN just won one of the richest prizes in literature

Ike Holter is getting $165,000 as one of the winners of a Windham-Campbell prize from Yale.

Biggest Bloody Mary bar in the world? A Minnesota pub is shooting for it

On April 9 the Happy Gnome in St. Paul will turn its parking lot into a bloody Mary bar.

One of the biggest champions of U of M women's sports has died at 94

Kathleen C. Ridder was a namesake of the women's hockey arena at the U of M.

One of the biggest champions of U of M women's sports has died at 94

Kathleen C. Ridder was a namesake of the women's hockey arena at the U of M.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame just got a little more Minnesotan

Jimmy "Jam" Harris and Terry Lewis are among the new members of the Hall.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame just got a little more Minnesotan

Jimmy "Jam" Harris and Terry Lewis are among the new members of the Hall.