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==In The Spotlight==
 
==In The Spotlight==
  
===ELENA PANOVA===
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===ALFRED COURT===
[[File:Elena_Paniva_Heel_Catch_(1994).jpg|right|400px]]Elena Panova is credited with having originated a new swinging trapeze style and technique, which she developed quite by accident at the State College for Circus and Variety Arts in Moscow, along with her teachers, Tereza Durova and Victor Fomine. When it was presented for the first time in the West in 1987 (it was at a time when communist Eastern Europe was still secluded from Western Europe), her act triggered the creation of a string of new swinging trapeze acts in a similar style, notably in Canada.
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[[File:Alfred_Court_(c.1930).jpg|300px|right]]
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Alfred Court (1883-1977) is perhaps the most remarkable French circus personality of the first half of the twentieth century. Beginning his career as an outstanding acrobat, he became a successful, yet adventurous, circus entrepreneur, first in Mexico and later in Europe, before ending as one of the greatest wild animal trainers of all times—and as such, a major circus star in Europe and America.
  
Elena Panova was born Elena Nikolaevna Borisova on July 18, 1964 in Murom, four hundred kilometers from Moscow, the third daughter of Nikolai Borisov and his wife, Klavdia, née Kazanskaya. Her parents had nothing to do with the circus: they came from peasant stock and both worked in a local factory.  
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He was born into a wealthy family in Marseille, France, on January 1, 1883. His father, Joseph Court-Payen, worked for the family’s soap business (Marseille is France’s soap industry capital), and his mother was the daughter of the Marquis de Clapier, a rich aristocrat well introduced in political circles. Alfred was the youngest of a family of ten children.
  
Murom is one of Russia's oldest cities, dating back to the 9th century, and "home" to the Kievan Rus folk hero of yore, Ilya Muromets. It is also a Holy City that managed to keep some of its monasteries and convents open during the communist era. Yet, it is a small town, and although the Soviet government gave it a theater building, it didn't have a circus, neither was it important enough to receive the summer visit of a ''shapito'' (or ''chapiteau'' in French—a circus tent). In fact, Elena never saw a live circus performance while growing up.  
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Considering his pedigree, chances that Alfred Court would become a circus acrobat were slim at best. A strong-willed kid, young Alfred was by no means rebellious, and by his own account, he had a happy childhood. But he was the last-born of a large brood, and was not necessarily expected to join in the family business. This gave him some freedom of mind. Furthermore, his parents never discouraged his early passion for circus and acrobatics—a passion he shared with his older brother, Jules (1880-1955).
  
She did see circus shows on television, however, and at age fourteen, she joined the local Amateur Circus Club—the Soviet equivalent of European or American youth circuses, though generally at a much higher level in terms of the training they provided. Amateur circuses flourished in the Soviet Union, where circus arts were held in high esteem.... ([[Elena Panova|more...]])
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Circa 1890, Alfred and Jules Court were sent to a Jesuit school in the Prado, a seaside borough of Marseille. Alfred and Jules also started training in gymnastics, which was all the rage among young men at the time: Society amateur circuses were flourishing then—like the famous Cirque Molier in Paris—and these were the times when another sports enthusiast, the Baron Pierre de Coubertin, revived the Olympic Games (in 1896).
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Over the years, Court developed an amazing strength, concealed by his slender build, and an outstanding talent on horizontal bars. An arduous gymnastics specialty, horizontal bars are also one of the most difficult acrobatic acts in the circus repertoire, and is rarely seen today. Yet it was relatively popular and quite alluring in the 1890s, and this was the specialty young Alfred chose to embrace for his upcoming circus debut. ([[Alfred Court|more...]])
  
 
==New Biographies==
 
==New Biographies==
+
 
* [[Norman Crider]], Juggler
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* [[The Kornilov Dynasty]], Elephant Trainers
* [[Zhejiang Acrobatic Troupe]], Chinese Acrobatics
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* [[Sergei Korolev]], Acrobat
* [[Gene Mendez]], High Wire Artist
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* [[Victor Fomine]], Acrobat, Circus Coach
* [[Franz Czeisler (Tihany)]], Magician, Circus Owner
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* [[Annie Fratellini]], Clown, Circus Director
* [[Cirque_Medrano_(Paris)|Circuses Fernando and Medrano]], History
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* [[Joel Baker]], Clown
  
 
==New Videos==
 
==New Videos==
  
* [[Taquin_Video_(2004)|Les Frères Taquin]], Comedy Act (2004)
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* [[Stauberti_Video_(2018)|Duo Stauberti]], Perch-Pole Balancing (2018)
* [[Zalievski_Video_(2004)|Anatoly Zalievsky]], Hand Balancer (2004)
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* [[Vavilov_Video_(2018)|The Vavilov Troupe]], Porté-Lancé (2018)
* [[Aurelia_Cats_Video_(2004)|Aurelia Cats]], Trapeze (2004)
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* [[Pyongyang_Rola-Bola_Video_(2000)|Pyongyang Troupe]], Rola-Bola Act (2000)
* [[Ivakhnenko_Video_(2004)|Andrey Ivakhnenko]], Juggler on Slack Wire (2004)
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* [[Shanghai_Troupe_Video_(2018)|Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe]], Hand-to-Hand Balancing (2018)
* [[Guangdong_Banquine_Video_(2004)|Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe]], Porté-Lancé Act (2004)
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* [[Ustyantsev_Video_(2000)|Ustyantsev & Kaibzhanov]], Clowns (2000)
  
 
==Featured Oral Histories==
 
==Featured Oral Histories==
  
 +
* [[Circo_Price_Video_(2017)|A Short History of Madrid's Old Circo Price]], Circus History (1970)
 
* [[Anastasia_Dementieva_Video_(2017)|Anastasia Dementieva-Kornilova]] – Vadim Vernik Interview (2017)
 
* [[Anastasia_Dementieva_Video_(2017)|Anastasia Dementieva-Kornilova]] – Vadim Vernik Interview (2017)
 
* [[Freres_Knie_Video_(1962)|''Les Frères Knie'']], Documentary (1962)
 
* [[Freres_Knie_Video_(1962)|''Les Frères Knie'']], Documentary (1962)
 
* [[Jean_Richard_Video_(1979)|Jean Richard and Jean-Pierre Richard]] at the Cirque Jean Richard – Christian Boner Interview (1979)
 
* [[Jean_Richard_Video_(1979)|Jean Richard and Jean-Pierre Richard]] at the Cirque Jean Richard – Christian Boner Interview (1979)
 
* [[Buster_Keaton_Video_(1947)|Jérôme Medrano about Buster Keaton]] at the Cirque Medrano (1947)
 
* [[Buster_Keaton_Video_(1947)|Jérôme Medrano about Buster Keaton]] at the Cirque Medrano (1947)
* [[Moira_Orfei_Video_(2012)|Moira Orfei]], Circus Owner – Davide Maggio Interview (2012)
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==Featured Circopedia Book==
 +
 
 +
* [[Circopedia Books|Philip Astley & The Horsemen who invented the Circus]], by Dominique Jando (2018)
  
 
==A Message from the Editor==
 
==A Message from the Editor==

Latest revision as of 23:06, 14 July 2018

Welcome! ✫ Bienvenue! ✫ Willkommen! ✫ Добро Пожаловать!
Bienvenida! ✫ Benvenuto! ✫ 歡迎 ! ✫ Vítejte! ✫ Καλώς ήρθατε!
Üdvözöljük! ✫ Добре Дошли! ✫ Welkom! ✫ Ласкаво Просимо!
Velkommen! ✫ Tervetuloa! ✫ Дабро Запрашаем! ✫ Välkommen!

Circopedia was originally created with the support of the Big Apple Circus,
and has been inspired and funded by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.

In The Spotlight

ALFRED COURT

Alfred Court (c.1930).jpg

Alfred Court (1883-1977) is perhaps the most remarkable French circus personality of the first half of the twentieth century. Beginning his career as an outstanding acrobat, he became a successful, yet adventurous, circus entrepreneur, first in Mexico and later in Europe, before ending as one of the greatest wild animal trainers of all times—and as such, a major circus star in Europe and America.

He was born into a wealthy family in Marseille, France, on January 1, 1883. His father, Joseph Court-Payen, worked for the family’s soap business (Marseille is France’s soap industry capital), and his mother was the daughter of the Marquis de Clapier, a rich aristocrat well introduced in political circles. Alfred was the youngest of a family of ten children.

Considering his pedigree, chances that Alfred Court would become a circus acrobat were slim at best. A strong-willed kid, young Alfred was by no means rebellious, and by his own account, he had a happy childhood. But he was the last-born of a large brood, and was not necessarily expected to join in the family business. This gave him some freedom of mind. Furthermore, his parents never discouraged his early passion for circus and acrobatics—a passion he shared with his older brother, Jules (1880-1955).

Circa 1890, Alfred and Jules Court were sent to a Jesuit school in the Prado, a seaside borough of Marseille. Alfred and Jules also started training in gymnastics, which was all the rage among young men at the time: Society amateur circuses were flourishing then—like the famous Cirque Molier in Paris—and these were the times when another sports enthusiast, the Baron Pierre de Coubertin, revived the Olympic Games (in 1896).

Over the years, Court developed an amazing strength, concealed by his slender build, and an outstanding talent on horizontal bars. An arduous gymnastics specialty, horizontal bars are also one of the most difficult acrobatic acts in the circus repertoire, and is rarely seen today. Yet it was relatively popular and quite alluring in the 1890s, and this was the specialty young Alfred chose to embrace for his upcoming circus debut. (more...)

New Biographies

New Videos

Featured Oral Histories

Featured Circopedia Book

A Message from the Editor

CIRCOPEDIA is a constantly evolving and expanding archive of the international circus. New videos, biographies, essays, and documents are added to the site on a weekly—and sometimes daily—basis. 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
Founder and Curator