World Premiere at Capital Fringe 2016

    Do you believe in monogamy?

    Challenging societal norms and gender stereotypes.

    When does pain become pleasure?

    Pushing the bounds of contemporary circus into performance art.

    Are you afraid of dying alone?

    Inviting audiences to question their fears and proclivities.

  • SEXY
    How do you like to be touched?

    Creating enticing performances with breath-taking visuals.

Coming This July To Washington DC

How far would you go to feel desired?

About the Show

The Desire To Be Desired

Kick Before You Drown explores the lives of six urbanites whose search for intimacy, acceptance, and identity places them on society’s fringe. Contemporary circus, experimental performance, and video projection are the backdrop for an interwoven account of the lengths people will go to satiate the desire to be desired. Sexy, provocative, genre bending, daring. Circus like you’ve never seen.


Internationally Renowned

meet the artists

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Celeste Bliss
Duo Trapeze | Contortion
Celeste Bliss is an international circus artist with Texas roots. After graduating from the New England Center for Circus Arts in 2013, she attended the Ecole de Cirque de Quebec's professional formation. Celeste is a duo trapeze artist and contortionist. She has performed at venues from the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, CO, to the Circa Festival de Cirque de Actuel in Auch, France.
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Jessica John
Dance Trapeze | Rope
Jessica John is a circus artist, coach, and choreographer who specializes in aerial rope, fabric, and dance trapeze. In 2016, she cofounded Steal A Step with Joshua Handal. A sixth generation New Orleanian, Jessica is also the creative and managing director of Vaudoux Aerial Dance Theatre. Jessica has a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Colorado, a master's degree in legislative affairs from George Washington University, and a law degree from Boston University.
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Katie Embser
Lyra | Strap Loops
Katie Embser is an emerging artist specializing in lyra, strap loops, and rope. A member of Vaudoux Aerial Dance Theatre, Katie graduates from high school this spring. She will be attending the University of Maryland and is studying abroad in Rome this fall.
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Daniel Patrick
Fabric | Handbalancing
Daniel Patrick is a versatile artist with over ten years of acrobatic training. In 2014, Daniel graduated from the New England Center for Circus Arts specializing in tumbling, active flexibility, hand balancing, and vertical aerial apparatus. He is currently a head coach at Pendulum Aerial Arts in Portland, OR. In 2015, he won Best Artistic Performance at the Acrobatic Arts Festival in Denver, CO.
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Eliana Dunlap
German Wheel
Eliana Dunlap is an artist from Massachusetts whose circus journey spans over 12 years. She is a 2012 graduate of the New England Center for Circus Arts and a 2016 graduate of the Ecole de Cirque de Quebec, where she specialized in German wheel. Eliana is also a skilled visual artist and musician, who seeks to combine her artistic passions in creative ways to push the boundaries of modern performance art.
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Joshua Handal
Duo Trapeze | Rope
Joshua Handal is an international artist with a degree in contemporary circus performance from the Ecole de Cirque de Quebec. While in Canada, he worked with his trapeze partner to create contemporary and abstract movement on duo trapeze through their brand Duo Josh and Marie. Turning an eye to producing and directing, in 2016 he cofounded Steal A Step with Jessica John. Josh has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and business from The University of Virginia and is an accomplished pianist and composer.


Five Chances To Watch

Performance Run
July 7-14, 2016

Come Take A Peek


How To Get Here



Atlas Performing Arts Center

The Lang Theatre

Union Station is the closest Metro stop. It is about a 25 minute walk from the station. To walk from Union Station, head east on Massachusetts Avenue, go around Stanton Park, and then continue east on Maryland Avenue NE. Turn left on 13th Street NE. Turn right on H Street NE and Atlas will be on the right. You can also take the DC Streetcar, which runs down H Street Monday-Saturday.

Address: 1333 H St NE DC

Phone: +202-399-7993

We Asked People

What is the strangest thing you've done to find intimacy?

Every Little Bit Helps

Make Art Possible

Contribute to a discipline in flux and help expose new audiences to contemporary circus

This production is presented as part of the 2016 Capital Fringe Festival, a program of the Washington DC non-profit Capital Fringe.

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