Home > Adventures, Art, Entertainment > What the… Bindlestiff?!

What the… Bindlestiff?!

I went to the circus this weekend.

Well sort of.

Actually, it was a Cirkus.

A friend of mine won tickets at an auction to see the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus at a venue called a Spiegltent which is temporarily situated on the lush campus of New York’s Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson. She asked me if I’d like to go with her.

My new mantra:

Just.  Say.  Yes.

…wouldn’t let me turn down the offer, even though I’d never heard of the Bindlestiffs and had no idea what a Spiegltent was.

Besides, I truly enjoy my friend’s company. So, after a delightful dinner in the Tavern Restaurant at the Beekman Arms Inn in Rhinebeck, the country’s oldest operating Inn, we continued to head north in search of this mysterious venue.

A Spiegltent, I discovered, is a traveling tent constructed in wood and beautifully colored canvas and decorated with mirrors and brilliant, stained glass. Primarily used for entertainment purposes, the Spiegltent was originally built in Belgium during the late 19th century and there are only a handful of them that remain in the world today.

It truly is a spectacular venue, worth seeing, regardless of the show playing inside.

I’ve never been a huge fan of the circus. As a kid my Dad took us once a year and it always seemed, noisy and smelly to me. I’d spend most of my time craning my neck, trying to see the main event in the Big Ring and wondering if the clowns were really sad or the animals really happy.

The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus it turns out, is no ordinary circus. First of all, “Family” refers to those persons who are at least 18-years or older. The Ring Master is a Ring Mistress who not only gets dangerously, drunk during the show, she can do disturbing things with her nose and a latex article used for well, clothing; kind of. This Cirkus has one kinky, krazy, sword-swallowing clown named Kinko, two nearly-naked but quite amazing acrobats; one of whom wears a fury G-string and monkey-ears and the other whose tantalizing tassels are sure to tease please. Their acts are accompanied by a three-piece band including an accordion player and a violinist.

Are you getting the picture here?

If it seems a little fuzzy or bizarre, you’re on the right track. Even though the “show” is billed as a Cabaret, it has a bit of a Burlesque-ish feel to it. Add a disco ball and dance music at the end of the evening and it becomes an all out party!

My mantra is:

Just.  Say.  Yes.

And I’m so glad I did.

Many thanks to The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus for re-posting this on their Facebook Page.

You can check it out here:  The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and for re-tweeting @Bindlestiff

It really was a fabulous show!!

Have you ever seen The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus or been inside a Spiegltent?

Photo Credits #1-4 Google Images

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  1. jen
    August 12, 2012 at 12:36 am

    what a PERFECT description of the evening!! cheers!

  2. August 12, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Thanks so much Jen! It was a great evening! xoxo

  3. August 12, 2012 at 8:05 am

    That sounds so wonderfully quirky!

    • August 12, 2012 at 8:14 am

      It was, Lady! Not knowing what to expect, all of it was a neat surprise!

  4. August 12, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I ate fire on top of a piano there one night with a full marching band in the room and I thought to myself “wow, Marlene Dietrich trod these boards, this is the most glamorous thing I have done ever.”

    So that’s x’ed off the bucket list.

    • August 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      FANTASTIC! Love, Love, Love!! Thanks so much for stopping by & sharing that golden nugget!! 🙂

  5. August 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    We never get anything fun like that in Buffalo.

    • August 12, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      That’s why Canada is so close Karl!! Thanks for reading. 🙂

  6. August 12, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    hmm wow, i have to admit, ive never been to the circus:p

    • August 12, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      Thanks so much for reading & commenting, Sarah. I liked the Cirkus much better than the circus. 🙂

  7. August 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Totally and completely wild! Kudos to you for just saying “yes”, Karen. It’s hard to step out and try something out of our comfort zone, but it sounds like you truly enjoyed it. I haven’t been to a circus in years, but Maycee has gotten to go a couple of times with school….of course…the regular circus, not the Cirkus!, Ha! Love the Spiegltent, too. Very cool. XOXO

  8. August 13, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Hey, Kasey! Yes, it’s so healthy to just say “yes” every once in a while & it really was an interesting/cool show. The tent was awesome & if it ever comes your way…..thanks as always or reading & commenting. Hope all is well….xoxoxo from NY. 🙂

  9. Nanna
    August 16, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Wow, Karen it seems that you really enjoyed seeing this unusual cirkus, l loved the tent, very
    colorful. Say yes more often, you never know what you will see.

  10. August 28, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Great post, I’ll keep Rhinebeck in mind when visiting in the north, loved the pic.

    • August 28, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      Thanks so much Claudia! I appreciate your reading & commenting. P.S. Rhinebeck is beautiful!!

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