Circus in Portland

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The State Theatre was saved, as its website states, from "the ravages of time." Built in 1921 as a vaudeville and silent-film palace, the venue fell on hard times in the 1970s when disco balls replaced light fixtures and complex hand-slaps were substituted for tickets. In 2003, however, a $3 million renovation restored the State Theatre to much of its original glory, as crews painstakingly rehabbed the ornamental plaster and terracotta exterior. Inside the theater, a stunning chandelier sparkles more brightly than ever below the venue's signature dome.

609 Congress St
Portland,
ME
US

Quick, quick, slow. Quick, quick, slow. It seems that every dance lesson starts the same way. Students are told, "These are the steps," "Move to the beat," and "Never breakdance on wet cement." But unwilling to settle for the minimum, Seacoast Ballroom helps dancers see beyond getting their feet to move in the right direction. Its founder, Frederick Dunn, strives to inject dancers with grace and musical expression to help them feel dance for what it is?an art form. Its classes range in difficulty from beginner to competition level, and cover a variety of ballroom styles. Solo dancers or couples can strut through a tango, shimmy their hips in salsa, or effuse elegance through the Viennese waltz.

95 Brewery Ln
Portsmouth,
NH
US

As eventgoers perch under the stately domed ceiling inside Lynn Auditorium, they can take in a show against an elegant red-curtain backdrop and sleek wooden accents. The distinguished interior of the event center augments the caliber of performances available in the form of concerts and holiday specials such as Kenny Rogers and The Vienna Boys Choir. The entertainment unfolds amid newly renovated elements such as updated seating and high-tech lighting that’s capable of illuminating the next line in an actor’s head.

3 City Hall Sq
Lynn,
MA
US

While living the life of a peripatetic juggling duo in 1970s Europe, Paul Binder and Michael Christensen had a dream: a non-profit circus that would combine community outreach with shows by the world?s best performers. Today a rotating cast of acrobats, clowns, and daredevils tour with a menagerie of exotic animals. Led by animal trainer Jenny Vidbel. The circus's ponies, Arabian horses, and dogs perform sprightly routines, learned under humane training regimens based on positive reinforcement. Shows take place under the big top, custom designed so that every seat is within 50 feet of the ring. The tent is also engineered to keep showgoers comfortable with a raisable cupola that allows warm air to escape as guests relax on comfy cushions that keep incubating eggs from cracking in back pockets.

1 City Hall Square
Boston,
MA
US