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Love, water, and a circus

Morgaine Rosenthal and Dee Fernandez
Cirque Italia
Morgaine Rosenthal and Dee Fernandez

Chicagoland residents may be familiar with the annual Air & Water Show but a different type of water show is taking place in Aurora.

Cirque Italia is a circus that incorporates water in its performances. A 35,000 gallon water tank sits beneath the stage. The circus was founded by Manuel Rebecchi in 2012.

Morgaine Rosenthal is the manager of the Cirque Italia Water Circus Silver Tour. She is also a part of an aerial duo. She said adding water to a circus complicates things.

“For example, we do an acrobatic roller-skating act. And so, it's something that we always have to be aware of, and conscious of,” she explained. "It's also really unique because it adds an aspect to the performance for the public that you won't see anywhere else.”

Rosenthal has been a part of these performances for 10 years but before that she worked with other circus acts. She started as a child and even went to circus school.

Dee Fernandez is the other part of the aerial duo with Rosenthal. The Silver Tour tells a love story that involves a mermaid and pirate. Fernandez plays the pirate and Rosenthal is the mermaid.

Rosenthal said they are a real-life love story.

“We're a couple. And so, we actually met in the circus. And so, he came to the circus just as part of our tech crew," she said. "He was putting the tent up and down. And then we got together, and I said, ‘Hey, I'm going teach you some things.'”

So, she started showing him how to perform aerial acts.

The circus has four tours - Paranormal Cirque, Paranormal Cirque ll, Water Circus Silver and Water Circus Gold.

“It’s a really unique experience for the public because in order to get this kind of entertainment, you really need to travel to Chicago, or Las Vegas, or New York,” Rosenthal said. “And so, you know, our goal here at Cirque Italia is to provide high level, family friendly entertainment. You know, that’s accessible to everyone.”

The performances are taking place under a tent at the Aurora Premium Outlet Mall, 1650 Premium Outlet Blvd, and will continue through July 4. The next stop for the Cirque Italia Water Circus Silver is Dearborn, Michigan.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.