Main Page

From Circopedia

Welcome to Circopedia,
the free encyclopedia of the international circus.
A project of the Big Apple Circus,
inspired and funded by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.

In The Spotlight

Lola Dobritch GSOE.jpg


A fourth-generation circus performer (through her mother), Lola Dobritch (1922-2008) was one of the great tight-wire artists of the mid-twentieth century, famous for crossing her wire on her toes like a ballerina—still a rare feat in her times—which, along with her natural grace and her use of a feather fan instead of an umbrella for balancing, won her to be advertised as “The Pavlova of the Silver Strand.”

She was born Vera Dobrich—the correct English spelling of her name—on October 14, 1922 in Sofia, Bulgaria, to Alexandre and Anna Dobrich. Alexandre and his brother, Lazar (1881-1970), owned the Royal Dobrich Circus in Bulgaria. “Lola”, as Vera would become known (she was often featured as "Miss Lola"), learned all traditional circus disciplines from her parents and took ballet classes in Sofia, before specializing as a wire dancer. She made her debut on the wire at age ten, in 1932, in the family circus.... (more...)

New Biographies

New Videos

Featured Oral Histories

A Message from the Editor

CIRCOPEDIA is a constantly evolving and expanding encyclopedia of the international circus. New videos, biographies, essays, and documents are added to the site on a weekly—and sometimes daily—basis. So keep visiting us: even if today you don't find what you're looking for, it may well be here tomorrow! And if you are a serious circus scholar and spot a factual or historical inaccuracy, do not hesitate to contact us: we will definitely consider your remarks and suggestions.

Dominique Jando