Phil Adamo plans European circus pilgrmage

Sophie Keefe, Speaks Adequate French

A 1,300-mile trek this past summer from France to Scotland wasn’t nearly enough for Augsburg Honors Director Phil Adamo. His training treadmill is being put to vigorous use this spring with a unique touch; Adamo wears a brand-new pair of professional clown shoes. They need the breaking in as next semester he plans to embark on a pilgrimage that will pay homage to the great circuses of Europe. He plans to complete the entirety of the journey in clown shoes.

Prior to his career in academia, Adamo spent six and a half years as a circus clown. As a passionate and distinguished historian, he felt the call to embark on a rediscovery of his own personal history while he was in the French leg of his trip last year. The result? Next year’s Junior Colloquium will focus entirely on circus study.

All students enrolled will be required to participate both fall and spring semester and will spend the first half of the year heavily focused on circus study. At the end of the semester, students will perform in a makeshift big top in Si Melby Gymnasium for the entire Augsburg community. However, the coup de grace will take place in the spring. The entire class will travel to France to walk from Marseille to Paris, visiting three of the major schools of circus arts and ending the trip with a visit to the Cirque d’Hiver in Paris.

Adamo hopes that through heavy exposure to performing in front of vast numbers of people, students will learn there’s more to presentations than just reading from the PowerPoint slides like a mindless drone. According to Adamo, a little juggling does wonders for self-esteem, and students will be able to bring an entertaining edge to the job market post-graduation.

This article first appeared in the Friday, April 6th Edition of The Echo