By Dominique Jando
Luciano Anastasini hails from an old Italian circus family, whose early records in show business date as far back as 1877. It is indeed a large family, and back in the days, when Circo Anastasini still toured the Italian provinces, the show was made almost exclusively by family members. It has not changed much, actually: Today, the American version of Circo Anastasini can still provide a first-class, wide-ranging circus show relying exclusively on the family!
Luciano belongs to the eighth generation of the Anastasini family. The family, which has produced every kind of acts from hand balancing and teeterboard to clowns and icarists, settled in the United States in the 1960s. Before that, in Europe, they had acquired a solid reputation as musical clowns, comedy acrobats, and diabolo jugglers.
Luciano eventually specialized in dog training, using mutts that he rescued from dog shelters all over the country. He has worked with his act in practically every major circus in the U.S., including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey and the Big Apple Circus—for which, in 2009, he trained some of his dogs to work in an acrobatic act with Regina Dobrovitskaya and Andrey Mantchev, without their trainer present in the ring.
Luciano Anastasini performs his energetic comedy dog act with his wife Gladys, and their son Adriano—born in 1996, and a proud member of the Anastasinis’ ninth generation of talented and versatile circus performers!
- Video: Luciano Anastasini, Dog Act, in the Big Apple Circus production of Play On! (2008)
- Video: Anastasini's dogs with Regina Dobrovitskaya & Andrey Mantchev in the Big Apple Circus production of Bello Is Back! (2009)