THE KREMO FAMILY -- Icarists (Risley Act)
By Dominique Jando
The Kremos, a Swiss family of acrobats. produced two generations of remarkable icarists. The original Kremo troupe was created c.1880 by Josef Kremo (1854-1917 -- real name: Kremka, of Czech origins), with his two eldest sons, Sylvester and Karl. Josef Kremo had been trained by the Scheffers (correct spelling: Schäffer), an Austrian family of acrobats, and the most prominent Risley actAct performed by Icarists, in which one acrobat, lying on his back, juggles another acrobat with his feet. (Named after Richard Risley Carlisle, who developed this type of act.) of the late 19th century. Josef and his wife, Swiss equestrienneA female equestrian, or horse trainer, horse presenter, or acrobat on horseback. Franzisca Allinger (1858-1940), had 13 children, 12 of who eventually participated in the Risley family act; at least three of them, Anton, Franziska and Victor, could perform a triple somersault on the feet of their father. Sylvester, Josef's eldest son (1881-1962) and Karl, his younger brother (1882-1958), continued the family tradition, each with his own troupe. The "Sylvester Kremo Family" troupe consisted of Sylvester and his daughters, Sylvia and Selna. More important, the "Karl Kremo Family" consisted of Karl, his brother Mark (1888-1945), his wife Margrit (1891-1923 -- born Hanus in Hungary), and their children, Bellona, Béla, Bianca, and Bert, and occasional partners. The "Karl Kremo Family" brilliantly continued the Kremo tradition, performing in Europe's leading circuses and variety theaters until the 1930s. One of Karl's sons, Béla Kremo, later became a world-famous juggler.