Science is everywhere and this includes your favourite circus acts through the acts. If you think about it, trampoline stunts involve gravity; most magic tricks involve some form of optical illusion and the training of circus animals involve studies of animal biology and behaviour.
If you or your young ones at home like to find out more about the science under the big top, the Science Centre Singapore has recently launched a “Circus! Science Under the Big Top” exhibition, as part of a series of year-end blockbuster exhibitions to celebrate 40 years of inspiring science.
The exhibition runs from 28 Oct 2017 to 18 Mar 2018 and seeks to showcase and invite visitors to get a closer look at the science behind many iconic circus acts.
Organised by Science Centre Singapore and Mediacorp VizPro International, the travelling exhibition is originally from the Ontario Science Centre. It first opened in Toronto, Canada in 2001 and has undergone timely enhancements as it travelled across the world wowing over 600,000 visitors, including the UK and the US. The exhibition also celebrates the heritage of modern circus, specifically how it all started with Englishman Philip Astley who created a ring to bring together different performing acts back in 1768, nearly 250 years ago.
The Singapore edition features around 20 interactive exhibits. Visitors can experience how it feels to balance on a three metre High Wire or securing themselves to the harness in Elastic Acrobatics and perform aerial tricks like a trapeze artist to trying their hand at juggling. Explore the art of packanatomicalisation (getting into small spaces) and find out if you have what it takes to fold yourself into a small box as the contortionists. Discover how science is at the heart of every circus act.
My 6-year-old son Asher and I attended the preview and checked out some of the exhibits. As Asher is below 1.2m, he was not able to participate in the popular tight-rope or acrobatic interactive exhibits. The kids who tried these two activities seem to have a lot of fun though.
For those who have a fear of height or do not meet the height requirement, fret not, there are a lot of other things to do beside checking out the static exhibits.
There are roving magicians and acrobat performers going around who will gladly demonstrate and even teach you a trick or two. Magic performances are scheduled at 3.30pm every Saturday and Sunday and there is also a special workshop for children on 18 November where participants will learn the techniques behind time-tested magic tricks such as “Vanishing Tissue” and “I Know Your Number”.
“With the Circus! Science Under the Big Top exhibition, we hope to deepen audience’s appreciation and understanding of this popular genre. At ScienceCentre Singapore, we always offer a fresh and fun perspective of the role science plays in our everyday lives. The introduction of Circus offers an excellent platform to communicate the importance of science and we hope visitors will have more reasons to return to the Centre and join us in celebrating our 40th birthday this year with the exciting programme line-up,” shares Associate Professor, Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive, Science Centre Singapore.
Science Centre Singapore will also launch three other exhibitions, as part of its #unFOURgettable40 celebrations this year. The other three exhibitions are Phobia2 (28 October), Dialogue with Time – Embrace Ageing (10 November), and Above and Beyond (25 November). Together, the four exhibitions invite visitors to explore and understand the science behind intriguing phenomena in our lives that can be dissected and explained by scientific theories. More details about the exhibitions can be found on the official Science Centre Singapore website or on the Science Centre Singapore’s Facebook page.
Admission to Circus! Science Under The Big Top is priced at S$15 per child and S$18 per adult. Promotional bundles are available at $52 for a family of four (2 adults and 2 child) and are available online via SISTIC.