Delirium Tribal formed in April of 2006 after Natalie Brown landed in Columbia, SC following Hurricane Katrina. They started performing monthly shows at the Art Bar in June of the same year, as well as galas, workshops and charity shows.
In June of 2007, several fire performers gathered together to perform at Dream Night at Riverbanks Zoo, a special evening for children with disabilities and terminal illnesses. The burners had a two hour slot to fill, and unable to do it alone, they asked if Delirium might join them. It was there that Natalie met fire performer Steve Oswanski, in whom she immediately recognized a kindred spirit, talent, vision and drive. In the weeks following, Steve and Natalie held several front porch pow-wows, swapping ideas, experiences in running alternative performance organizations, and dreams of starting an alternative collaborative in Columbia.
In August of 2007, Delirium saw the departure of two dancers due to family and work commitments. Burned out and worried about their ability to handle the rigorous pace of developing new material for Art Bar with a diminished staff, Delirium met and voted to implement the circus collective. Steve was called, and immediately signed on. Six weeks after the reformation, Columbia Alternacirque debuted at Art Bar in the September show.
Meanwhile, Natalie stumbled upon trick hula hooper Susan Osbaldiston on Myspace. A single mom in Irmo who had taught herself the art from youtube videos, Susan was an impressive undiscovered talent. Natalie immediately extended the invitation, and Susan performed for the first time (ever) with Alternacirque in October of 2007.
In 2008, Alternacirque began working on integrating their acts into a cohesive troupe and show. With themes spanning vaudeville comedy, self-parody, water, dreams and nightmares, word spread, and the audience size grew. Susan and Steve left Alternacirque for other pursuits and locations, but more performers flooded through the door.
Alternacirque, with assistance from the CMFA and a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission, is now a professional circus specializing in variety shows and full-scale themed productions. They are currently in their fourth full season at Art Bar and preparing to tour nationally.