Chatham County artist Elizabeth Robertson (aka Liz Bliss) is a cirque performer, aerial artist, acrobat, stilt dancer, fire dancer and instructor. “I tend to think of myself more as a professional smile maker. My goal is to inspire others to move, express and be,” she said.
Though she pursued a career in public health and earned a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina, she chose to follow her love of movement.
“I guess I figured if I had to have a job that required me to adhere to a certain dress code and wear nylons on a regular basis, they may as well be brightly colored and I may as well be dangling upside down while wearing them,” she said.
Through Flair (fire and air), Liz offers aerial performances including silks, trapeze, and lyra. “We also offer partner acrobatics, fire spinning, stilt walking, hooping, face painting, and other circus arts,” she said.
“Performances, full length shows, roving entertainment, classes, and workshops can be designed to meet your specific preferences and
needs.” Flair is available for corporate events, fundraisers, private parties, weddings, celebrations, festivals, dance parties and clubs. Learn more.
In 2015 she debuted Light Pours In, a 90-minute cirque show that is a collaboration with several other cirque artists and area musicians. It has been described as a “ceremonial rock opera that weaves together live music, storytelling and shamanic healing into a contemporary circus.” Light Pours In has toured throughout the southeast. Contact Liz to book this show.
Liz also teaches a variety of circus arts. “My primary focus is aerial arts. I specialize in silks and partner work though I also teach trapeze, lyra and rope.” She sometimes offers specialty workshops on partner acrobatics, stilt dance, stilt acrobatics and fire safety for fire dancers.
“I teach regularly at two public studios in the Triangle as well as at my home studio and I offer a lot of private instruction,” said Liz.
Her students range in age from 3 to 75, with a focus on kids aged 10 through adults. “Depending on my clients’ interests, my approach to cirque arts might be purely therapeutic, entirely recreational, primarily fitness based or focused on choreography or professional performance.”
“Circus is for everyone, no experience is necessary to begin your own journey in this exhilarating art form,” said Liz. Learn more.
From the Artist:
My full name: Elizabeth Ann Robertson
I grew up in: New Jersey
I currently live: in Pittsboro with my husband Garth Robertson and our seven chickens. We met through mutual friends. He also makes his living as an artist and healer. His focus is music.
I chose Chatham County because: I had previously lived in Carrboro and then Chapel Hill but we wanted more space for gardening, raising chickens and hopefully one day bees and possibly goats.
I describe my art as: a combination of strength and flexibility blended with glitter and circus magic.
Upcoming performances: I will be performing Sunday, May 8th at Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival at 6 pm with Nag Champayons; I’ll also be offering a workshop earlier that day (3 pm) at the Outpost. I will be donating several performances as a part of SPARKcon in Raleigh in September. And for folks who want to travel, I have public performances at Yankee Candle Company in Williamsburg, Va. on April 9 and the Wilson Public Library in Wilson, N.C. on May 7th and June 13th. The majority of my performances are for private and corporate clients and thus are not open to the public.
My life in a nutshell: I’m a well rooted gypsy. I enjoy exploring the world around me but don’t have a sense of wanderlust. I don’t, however, sit still for too long. Rather than jumping on a plane though, I jump into a new way of looking at or learning about the world.
As a kid when I grew up I wanted to be: I think this changed depending on the day or who was asking but I remember that scientist, pizza maker, lawyer and hair dresser were all on the list at different points.
Some jobs I’ve actually had: a personal chef, soccer referee, kitchen manager, paralegal, substitute teacher, life coach, counselor, researcher, camp counselor, choreographer, circus teacher and probably about a half dozen other things.
Three words that describe me are: loyal, silly, creative.
The craziest thing I have ever done is: I don’t think anything I’ve done is crazy. However you might beg to differ.
My idea of a perfect day is: being outdoors with my husband in nature, under warm sunshine with no set agenda or responsibilities.
Most people don’t know: I teach medical students and I am a cirque artist; they usually get to meet one half of me or the other.
The most fun thing I did this week was: spending time around a large fire with friends.
My favorite place to eat in Chatham County is: Angelina’s Kitchen.
A Chatham County artist I really admire is: I haven’t gotten to know Chatham County yet, but hope to do some exploring this year. Jonathan Davis is likely the Chatham County artist I’ve gotten to interact with the most and I am repeatedly impressed by him and his work.
If there was no chance I’d fail, the thing I’d most want to do is: I don’t think I’ve ever let the fear of failure stop me but I suppose I would want to fly.
Banner photo credits (left to right): Paul Cory Photography, Chris Baird & Bonnie Stanley
Collage photo credits: Jim Nelson, Julia Campbell, (unknown), Paul Cory Photography, Bonnie Stanley, Gus Samarco & Scott Kentros.