It was a few years ago that I first saw a street performer (on Youtube) spinning around on a giant silver hoop, much to the amazement of a transfixed crowd. I remember thinking to myself at the time, where the heck did that guy ever get one of those, and how did he learn this far out routine? I hadn’t thought much about it since, until I learned that The Bird’s Nest – Buffalo’s circus arts school – was featuring a guest instructor by the name of Avi Pryntz-Nadworny. I immediately recognized the giant hoop that Avi was holding – it was a cyr wheel!
Before long, I was digging around, to see what I could come up with pertaining to Avi and his cyr wheel. I soon learned that Avi was one of four brothers from Rochester, each of whom had taken up a different interest in the real of movement arts.
When I got Avi on a phone call, he told me that his parents are computer programmers by trade, but the boys were all encouraged to try out their own hobbies when they were young. The parents would take the foursome traveling around to international folk dancing events, which thad always been a passion. But it was a bout of juggling that opened up many of the doors that the boys are still walking through today. Apparently juggling brought out the competitive nature in the siblings. This led to one of them becoming a successful Lindy Hop dancer, while another became a professional ballet dancer. The third began to teach acro yoga, and Avi picked up the cyr wheel.
“I started off circus training at a circus school in Quebec City,” Avi told me. “I then went to Italy where I was majoring in gymnastics. That’s when I had a shoulder injury. The cyr wheel was not my first choice, but now it takes me everywhere. I have performed in circuses throughout the world, and have been teaching internationally for 8 years. I’ve also performed with Cirque du Soleil.”
We’ve all heard of instruments taking musicians all over the world. But a cyr? Yes, the cyr has magically transitioned Avi into a world renowned attraction. This past Friday, he was heading to New Jersey to juggle on a train for a railway performance. Days before that, he performed for a billionaire on private squash courts in The Hamptons. This week, he’s heading to Philadelphia where he will take place in furthers teachings that will exponentially enhance his own career via elevated certifications. The guy is constantly on the move… akin to the dizzying and mesmerizing movements of his cyr shows.
On Sunday, January 5, Avi will be coming to The Bird’s Nest with his cyr wheel. This will be a chance for anyone who has ever dreamed of handling a cyr, or spinning upon a cyr, to get down to the basics. These workshops teach the fundamentals, such as object manipulation. From there, the participants can decide whether they want to delve further into the circus medium, by learning choreography. At that time, to take it even further, it might be time to purchase a cyr wheel! And if you’re wondering where the heck someone can get his or her own cyr? In Rochester, believe it or not, at CyrCraft Customs. According to Avi, these are the most reputable cyrs to be found – the prices vary between $600 and $1000 for brand new high quality hoops.
Hopefully, the more people that take cyr lessons, and purchase their own apparatuses, the more cyr performances will appear throughout Buffalo. This is a sensational motions art that should be included in myriad festival atmospheres around town.
As for the upcoming Cyr 101 classes, there is no experience necessary. The classes will cover:
- Cyr wheel safety
- Wheel manipulations
- Foundational spinning
- Growing understandings of the possibilities of this unique apparatus
Cyr Wheel 101 | Intro to the Cyr Wheel
Sunday, January 5, 2020 | 1:00-3:00PM | Workshop 1 Pass
Sunday, January 5, 2020 | 3:00-5:00PM | Workshop 2 Pass
The Bird’s Nest | 66 Fillmore Avenue | Buffalo, NY 14210 | (716) 249-4421
Must be 5’2” – 6’6” in height. Anyone taller than 6’6″ will need instructor approval
Early bird pricing is $35 (until 12/29), and tardy bird pricing is $40
Cyr Wheel 101 is just one of the many incredible circus arts classes that are being taught in Buffalo. To learn about the rest, follow The Bird’s Nest on Facebook, or check out the class schedule online.
Lead image: Jeb McConnell Photography