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August 08, 2017

15 photos from the Ghostly Circus – beautifully bizarre, it's held within a historic cemetery

Held near a mausoleum, this bizarre, annual art performance offered an evening of fire, flow arts, and circus

Performing Arts Laurel Hill Cemetery
Carroll - Ghostly Circus Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Ghostly Circus co-organizer, Lauren Raske, right, and Laura Rennegade rehearse their performance moments before the start of the show.

Set deep in the heart of Laurel Hill Cemetery, amongst the neoclassical tombs and infused in the landscape of statues and flowers honoring the dead came Ghostly Circus: Heaven’s Theatre. An evening showcasing professional circus and flow arts, sprinkled with a touch of flavor from the Burning Man arts community, brought high-flying aerial and fire performances, along with flavorful music by Worldtown and The Architech to the hundreds of spectators nestled amongst the gravestones.

The event, in its fourth year running, is created by Lauren Raske and Britt Killeen of 7Textures, a contemporary event design and set building company that specializes in community celebrations, weddings, and the performing arts.

Below is a series of photos from this year’s showcase.

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Spectators filter in before the start of Ghostly Circus: Heaven's Theatre. The performance is set in the rolling hills of Philadelphia's Laurel Hill Cemetery amongst a backdrop of gravestones, statues, and mausoleums.


Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Aerial performer and musician Lee Thompson poses for a photo before the start of the Ghostly Circus, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017.


Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Emcee of the event Michael Nighttime, poses with performers Erin Flanigan and Lauren Raske before Friday's show.


Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Laura Rennegade rehearses her performance moments before the start of the show, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017.



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Photos: The dazzling, death-defying Ghostly Circus 
Photos: Phila. School of Circus Arts' high-flying 'Cabaret Pinot Noir'
Gallery: Behind the scenes at Cirque du Soleil's 'TORUK - The First Flight'


Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Chi-Wen Lee performs on the aerial silks as guests make their way through Laurel Hill Cemetery before Friday's performance.


Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Ghostly Circus co-organizer Lauren Raske rehearses with silk fans before Friday's show.


Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Aerial performer Rae Mae balances while hooping before the start of the Ghostly Circus: Heaven's Theatre, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017.


Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Roo Marie, Amanda Mandalay, and Tippy breathe fire during their performance in the Ghostly Circus: Heaven's Theatre.


Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Laura Rennegade hangs upside-down while performing on the lyra.


Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Performers Rae Mae, (top), and Wei Wei, perform on the the aerial silks at the Ghostly Circus: Heaven's Theatre.


Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Allie Hart spins a fire hoop during one of her many performances Friday, Aug. 4, 2017.


Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

With an almost legend-like status in the flow arts scene, Lucas Boyd executes a performance with the triple contact-staff.


Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Wei Wei and Lauren Raske dance with fire fans to music from the Philadelphia-based band, Worldtown.


Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The Ghostly Circus: Heaven's Theatre continued well past sunset, culminating with a 2-hour long dance party with music provided by Josh VanderVeen, aka “The Architech.”