Parents' Guide to

Circus Dreams

By Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Docu about touring youth circus highlights friendship.

Movie NR 2011 82 minutes
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This documentary offers an entertaining glimpse into a rare world of teen performers peddling a somewhat dying art of circus performance. Watching them discuss what drew them to clowning, the audition process, and the passion they have for the performance is a window onto the lesser-known extracurriculars, such as clogging, or live-action role-playing. Here, the teens are enthusiastic and committed to circus art, and though it's an unexpected foray into the lives of teens, the result is something like watching a summer camp on the road. They make friends, they laugh, they cry, and, overall, everyone is committed to keeping the show on the road.

Circus Dreams is a positive depiction of an unusual bunch of enthusiasts who feel a bit out of time from modern teens today, while demonstrating that even early teens are drawn to opportunities to be part of something bigger than themselves. There's a strong emphasis on the gendered aspects of the circus, such as the increasing presence of girl clowns.

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