Aerialist Blaze Tarsha began pursuing a life in the circus arts when her mother, a professional chef, first cooked for a juggling convention. To keep herself busy, schoolgirl Tarsha learned how to ride a unicycle in a week.

Now a professional performer in the No Fit State Circus, the same troupe in which her mother is the touring chef, Tarsha specializes in daring feats on a rotating hoop. She created the routine above “in response to the world’s most famous circus painting – [French artist Edgar] DegasMiss La La at the Cirque Fernando, which depicts Miss La La suspended by a rope clenched between her teeth, over 200 feet in the air.”

blaze tarsha degas painting
blaze tarsha spinning hoop
blaze tarsha spinning hoop
The performance was captured for the Museums Sheffield‘s Circus! Show of Shows exhibition, a “celebration of 250 years of circus in Great Britain.”

Delve into the drama of the big top and explore the hidden histories of women performers and black circus artists, as well as Sheffield’s own circus story, the changing attitudes towards animal performance, and the enduring influence of circus on popular culture.

Related reading in The Guardian: From Degas muse to modern aerialist: exhibition charts black women in circus.

Watch these circus feats and acrobatics videos next: Angelica Bongiovonni rides a Cyr wheel, waltzing on the walls of Oakland’s City Hall, and a circus in an abandoned Victorian Sail factory.

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