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] Degas’ Miss 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.”
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.