Fun on rotation: 360 Allstars bring urban circus to Artosphere

Fun on rotation: 360 Allstars bring urban circus to Artosphere

A supercharged urban circus is coming to town for this year’s Artosphere festival, but there are no tents, no elephants and no high wires.

“We’re reinventing a traditional circus by replacing stereotypical circus art forms with contemporary street style,” explains 360 Allstars creator Gene Peterson. “Instead of acrobats, we have breakers. Instead of juggling, we have basketball freestyle. Instead of unicyclists, we have BMX riders.”

The show itself is an amalgamation of things Peterson found “awesome,” he says. He came up with the idea 11 years ago in his native Australia, where he has built up the show to include three tours, one in Australia, one in the United Kingdom and one in North America. Each tour features talent from all over the world and includes some form of rotation.

“We’ve got world champions, world record holders. They’re all the cream of the crop in their disciplines. So it really is a dream team, an ‘all star’ cast as in the title,” Peterson says, adding that every performer was head hunted to join the 360 Allstars.

“We’ve got incredible BMX riders, basketball freestylers, acrobats and break dancers and musicians and one idiot on the drums — that’s me,” he adds. Also joining him on stage are a DJ, beatboxers and rappers, creating a hyped-up soundtrack for the high-energy stunts that becomes part of the onstage energy.

During Artosphere, the 360 Allstars will give an abbreviated performance during the Strawberry Festival on May 19 and then do a full show at 7 p.m. May 21. Tickets are $10.

“It’s a very broad audience that we get [who] love this show,” Peterson says. While children will love it, he says that it appeals to the inner child in every adult and even offers a bit of nostalgia for those who grew up watching these art forms — specifically beat boxing and break dancing — take off.

“It isn’t something that’s dumbed down for kids. We do have grandmothers bringing their grandsons and loving it. Dads bringing their daughters and then coming up to us at the end of the show and saying, ‘Oh my god, we came back tonight with all our dad mates. We didn’t realize the show was just as much for us!”




360 Allstars

WHEN — 7 p.m. May 21

WHERE — Walton Arts Center

COST — $10

INFO —×10/360-allstars/

BONUS — 360 Allstars will perform during the Strawberry Festival events from noon to 6 p.m. May 19 in Fayetteville. A workshop is set for 3 p.m. May 19 with registration information coming soon on The Jones Center’s website. Space limited to 30 participants

Categories: Music