New circus relies on aerial artistry to deliver impressive skills and thrills. As part of new circus after the mid-1980s, some aerial identity became overtly sexualized and intended to shock. As well, there were significant developments in aerial technique and apparatus. If a potential for presenting transgressive identities with aerial skills can be traced to the Hanlon-Lees Brothers’ macabre pantomimes, new circus diverges when it sets out to be deliberately socially provocative. Radical new circus also finds artistic inspiration in twentiethcentury cultural ideas of circus and sideshow, the imaginary circus of books and ﬁlms removed from actual circus performances.