Circus Couture is not the circus of the past but a larger than life explosion combining circus entertainment, fashion and art inside The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas on Oct. 7. This year’s production, “Lucky,” will benefit the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada, the state’s only nonprofit clinic treating kids with cancer including those without medical insurance or unable to pay for treatment.
Co-founded by aerialist, Erica Linz, former performer in Cirque du Soleil shows and star of Cirque du Soleil’s “Worlds Away,” the event is close to her heart. She is the president and artistic director of Circus Couture and is devoted to organization.
“I helped to create and then continue Circus Couture because like everyone else, cancer has affected me personally,” Linz told AXS.com. “My mother is a cancer survivor and both of my dogs that I had growing up died from cancer.” She lost other relatives and friends and admitted, “All of that was hard with this awful disease.”
But Linz saw the emotional impact on the community when the 9-year-old son of a friend lost his battle with leukemia. He had been fighting the disease for two years and the experience of witnessing him and then other children diagnosed with cancer touched her deeply. “There was no justification for this and I wanted to work with others to stop childhood cancer.”
Circus Couture was developed as a grassroots volunteer organization with no affiliation with Cirque du Soleil or other entertainment productions. It was only because of her experience and affiliation with other Cirque performers, technicians, wardrobe, make-up and hair artists and others in the Strip shows that Linz realized they could fight cancer on a different level. She knew with funding; doctors, nurses and other researchers can cure childhood cancer and she could help. Circus Couture events have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for research.
“We have become a renegade force against childhood cancer,” Linz stated. The name of Circus Couture embodies the volunteers who are part of a circus show and couture describes the unique, one-time aspects of each annual event.
As part of the tradition, one person’s head is shaved on stage. For the seventh anniversary of Circus Couture, Linz will be shaving her mother’s head. “As well as being a cancer survivor, she is an advocate and my inspiration in working with philanthropic causes,” Linz stated. Her mother briefly performed in the circus and followed a career in both news radio and as a nurse working in trauma and hospice.
The evening will be a collaborative night of an inspiring spectacle showcasing individual performances and runway fashion, as well as live and silent auctions. An eclectic group of people, both guests and those involved in the event, come together to celebrate and continue the fight with a goal of victory over childhood cancer.
Circus Couture “Lucky” will be presented inside The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas on Oct. 7. Tickets for Circus Couture’s “Lucky” may be purchased online and start at $35. VIP table reservations may be made by calling 702-732-0952. For additional information, visit circus-couture.com.