Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

Sarah Schwarz


Sarah SchwarzSarah Schwarz

Wire walker

When Sarah Schwarz was growing up in Hanover, Germany, her father, a pastor in the community, designed and built a small circus that the family operated during vacations. Dubbed the Giovanni Children's Circus, Schwarz performed acrobatics and toured with the show along with her siblings, falling in love with the adrenalin and creativity of performance. After she finished high school, Schwarz moved to Paris, where she studied the circus arts professionally as a student at the Annie Fratellini National Circus School. She joined the Big Apple Circus in 2006 and, this season, performs a blues-inspired wire dance that she choreographed herself.


"To me, life in the circus ... you have to be awake, be adaptable to new situations, keep your eyes open. Everything here is a bit riskier. Water doesn't always come out of the tap, and electricity doesn't always come out of the wall. What is really hard is to be good every day."

Three Questions:

What's your best memory of the 2008/2009 Play On! season?

"There was this beautiful day and we'd performed a show, and afterwards Sergio and I jumped on his motorbike and we went to an Aerosmith concert on Jones Beach in Long Island. It was the highlight of my season."

If you hadn't become a circus performer, what other profession might have you pursued?

"I've never had another job but the circus. Maybe I would have become a dancer or an actor..."

Do you have any reservations about raising a child under the big top?

"I think (the circus) a great place to grow up. Everybody takes their kids to the circus. (Growing up in the circus), kids learn how to adapt. It's a nice place to grow up, and being around all the animals is good, too."

Related Links:

Meet Sarah Schwarz

Sara talks about the feeling of wire walking and the moment she fell in love with the circus.