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In The Spotlight

Foottit et Chocolat.jpg

FOOTTIT & CHOCOLAT

Foottit (often misspelled Footit) and Chocolat were, at the turn of the twentieth century, the toasts of Paris; they were the clownGeneric term for all clowns and augustes. '''Specific:''' In Europe, the elegant, whiteface character who plays the role of the straight man to the Auguste in a clown team.-stars of the very fashionable Nouveau Cirque, rue Saint-Honoré. Foottit & Chocolat are often credited with having originated the classic clownGeneric term for all clowns and augustes. '''Specific:''' In Europe, the elegant, whiteface character who plays the role of the straight man to the Auguste in a clown team./augusteIn a classic European clown team, the comic, red-nosed character, as opposed to the elegant, whiteface Clown. association which became the norm in twentieth century’s European circus, although this can be argued: This entitlement could also be attributed (and perhaps more rightly so) to their rivals at the Nouveau Cirque, Pierantoni & Saltamontès. Yet, Foottit & Chocolat were instrumental in the development of classic European clowning during that period, and they still personify today this important milestone.

George Foottit (1864-1921) was born on April 24, 1864 in Manchester, England, where his father’s circus was showing. His father’s real name has been said to be Theodore Hall (a name that has also been erroneously given as Tudor Hall, a phonetic misspelling), but this identity has been called into question by George Foottit’s direct descendants. For all intents and purposes, George’s father was known, like his son, as Geo (George) Foottit (?-1874), and he had performed at Drury Lane Theatre in London as the clown Funny Foottit—a classic stage clown in the manner of Joseph Grimaldi.... (more...)

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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
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