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<div style="font-size:165%; border:none; margin:0; padding:.1em; color:#996666;">Welcome! ✫ Bienvenue! ✫ Willkommen! ✫ Добро Пожаловать!</div><div style="font-size:165%; border:none; margin:0; padding:.1em; color:#996666;">Bienvenida! ✫ Benvenuto! ✫ 歡迎 ! ✫ Vítejte! ✫ Καλώς ήρθατε!</div><div style="font-size:165%; border:none; margin:0; padding:.1em; color:#996666;">Üdvözöljük! ✫ Добре Дошли! ✫ Welkom! ✫ Ласкаво Просимо!</div><div style="font-size:165%; border:none; margin:0; padding:.1em; color:#996666;">Velkommen! ✫ Tervetuloa! ✫ Дабро Запрашаем! ✫ Välkommen!</div><br/>
 
<div style="font-size:165%; border:none; margin:0; padding:.1em; color:#996666;">Welcome! ✫ Bienvenue! ✫ Willkommen! ✫ Добро Пожаловать!</div><div style="font-size:165%; border:none; margin:0; padding:.1em; color:#996666;">Bienvenida! ✫ Benvenuto! ✫ 歡迎 ! ✫ Vítejte! ✫ Καλώς ήρθατε!</div><div style="font-size:165%; border:none; margin:0; padding:.1em; color:#996666;">Üdvözöljük! ✫ Добре Дошли! ✫ Welkom! ✫ Ласкаво Просимо!</div><div style="font-size:165%; border:none; margin:0; padding:.1em; color:#996666;">Velkommen! ✫ Tervetuloa! ✫ Дабро Запрашаем! ✫ Välkommen!</div><br/>
<div style="top:+0.2em; font-size:110%;"> Circopedia was originally created with the support of the [http://www.bigapplecircus.com/ Big Apple Circus],<br />and has been inspired and funded by the [http://www.sdrubin.org/ Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation].</div>
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<div style="top:+0.2em; font-size:110%;"> Circopedia was originally created with the support of the [http://www.bigapplecircus.com/ Big Apple Circus]<br />and inspired and funded by the [http://www.sdrubin.org/ Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation].</div>
 
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==In The Spotlight==
 
==In The Spotlight==
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[[File:Gilbert_Houcke_and_Tiger.png|right|400px]]
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===GILBERT HOUCKE===
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Considered by many as the greatest and most innovative tiger trainer of all times, Gilbert Houcke (1918-1984) was, from the mid-1940s up to 1971, an indisputable European circus star whose name alone could sell tickets to any circus. His abundant charisma, his elegance, his gentle methods of training, the genuine love he showed to his animals, and the unforgettable beauty and originality of his presentations, which were much ahead of their time, have made his one of the great names of the twentieth century’s European circus.
  
===ELENA PANOVA===
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Gilbert Houcke was born May 28, 1918 in Grenoble, France, to old circus aristocracy. His father was the brilliant and dapper equestrian and circus director Jean Houcke (1878-1973), whose old-world elegance (his white silk scarf, monocle and bowler hat&mdash;or, in the summer, a boater) was fondly remembered by the old circus folks and aficionados who were lucky to have known him. Jean Houcke was the grandson of Jean Léonard Houcke, a French equestrian who had settled in Sweden, where he originated his circus dynasty in the 19th century.
[[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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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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Gilbert’s mother, born Marcelle Rancy (1894-1963), was the daughter of Alphonse Rancy (1861-1933) and granddaughter of Théodore Rancy (1818-1892). Théodore was the founder of one of France’s oldest and most respected circus dynasties, allied to practically all of Europe’s major circus families. Interestingly, Marcelle’s own mother was born Jeanne Bidel and was the daughter of the famous cat trainer and menagerie owner François Bidel (1839-1909). Thus, although the Houckes and Rancys were mostly known as equestrians, there were traces of a cat trainer in Gilbert’s DNA.  
  
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&mdash;a circus tent). In fact, Elena never saw a live circus performance while growing up.
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Gilbert Houcke was the third of Jean and Marcelle Houcke’s five children: Huguette (1915-1982), Maurice (1917-2002), Gilbert, Sacha (1923-1994) and Nadia (1925-2011). He was born during an engagement of his parents in his grandfather’s circus, the Cirque Alphonse Rancy, which was then showing in Grenoble, an important city southeast of Lyon at the foot of the French Alps. Like his talented brothers and sisters, Gilbert was trained at an early age in all circus basics, from tumbling and acrobatics to the family tradition, equestrianism in all its multiple facets.... ([[Gilbert Houcke|more...]])
 
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She did see circus shows on television, however, and at age fourteen, she joined the local Amateur Circus Club&mdash;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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==New Biographies==
 
==New Biographies==
+
 
* [[Norman Crider]], Juggler
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* [[The Steben Sisters]], Aerialists
* [[Zhejiang Acrobatic Troupe]], Chinese Acrobatics
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* [[Gilbert Houcke]], Equestrian, Animal Trainer
* [[Gene Mendez]], High Wire Artist
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* [[Alisher Aliyev]], Acrobat, Equestrian, Aerialist
* [[Franz Czeisler (Tihany)]], Magician, Circus Owner
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* [[Gia Eradze]], Circus Director, Animal Trainer
* [[Cirque_Medrano_(Paris)|Circuses Fernando and Medrano]], History
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* [[Rob Torres]], Clown
  
 
==New Videos==
 
==New Videos==
  
* [[Taquin_Video_(2004)|Les Frères Taquin]], Comedy Act (2004)
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* [[Wallendas_Video_(2003)|The Wallendas]], High Wire (2003)
* [[Zalievski_Video_(2004)|Anatoly Zalievsky]], Hand Balancer (2004)
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* [[Shanghai_Barre_Video_(2018)|The Sganghai Acrobatic Troupe]], Russian Barre (2018)
* [[Aurelia_Cats_Video_(2004)|Aurelia Cats]], Trapeze (2004)
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* [[Markov_Video_(2018)|Duo Markov]], Aerial Perch (2018)
* [[Ivakhnenko_Video_(2004)|Andrey Ivakhnenko]], Juggler on Slack Wire (2004)
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* [[Arias_Video_(2018)|Leo & Ursula Arias]], Roller-Skating Act (2018)
* [[Guangdong_Banquine_Video_(2004)|Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe]], Porté-Lancé Act (2004)
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* [[Kekhaial_Video_(2003)|Vladimir Kekhaial]], Strap Act (2003)
 +
 
 +
==New Oral Histories==
 +
 
 +
* [[Durov_Documentary_Video_(c.2000)|Vladimir Durov Documentary]] on Russian Television (c.2000)
 +
* [[Dolly_Jacobs_Interview_Video_(2018)|Dolly Jacobs Interview]] at The Ringling (2018)
 +
* [[Pinito_del_Oro_RTE_Video_(1970)|Pinito del Oro's Interview]] on Spanish Television (1970)
 +
* [[Eradze_Video_(2015)|Gia Eradze]]'s Interview on SSU TV (2015)
 +
* [[Rosa_Bouglione_Video_(2012)|Rosa Bouglione]]'s interview on Franch Television (2012)
  
==Featured Oral Histories==
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==Circopedia Books==
  
* [[Anastasia_Dementieva_Video_(2017)|Anastasia Dementieva-Kornilova]] – Vadim Vernik Interview (2017)
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* [[Circopedia Books|Philip Astley & The Horsemen who invented the Circus]], by Dominique Jando (2018)
* [[Freres_Knie_Video_(1962)|''Les Frères Knie'']], Documentary (1962)
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* [[Jean_Richard_Video_(1979)|Jean Richard and Jean-Pierre Richard]] at the Cirque Jean Richard – Christian Boner Interview (1979)
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* [[Buster_Keaton_Video_(1947)|Jérôme Medrano about Buster Keaton]] at the Cirque Medrano (1947)
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* [[Moira_Orfei_Video_(2012)|Moira Orfei]], Circus Owner – Davide Maggio Interview (2012)
+
  
 
==A Message from the Editor==
 
==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&mdash;and sometimes daily&mdash;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 [[Special:Contact|contact us]]: we will definitely consider your remarks and suggestions.''  
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''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&mdash;and sometimes daily&mdash;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 [[Circopedia:Contact|contact us]]: we will definitely consider your remarks and suggestions.''  
  
 
:'''Dominique Jando'''
 
:'''Dominique Jando'''
 
:Founder and Curator
 
:Founder and Curator

Latest revision as of 03:02, 16 August 2019

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 inspired and funded by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.

In The Spotlight

Gilbert Houcke and Tiger.png

GILBERT HOUCKE

Considered by many as the greatest and most innovative tiger trainer of all times, Gilbert Houcke (1918-1984) was, from the mid-1940s up to 1971, an indisputable European circus star whose name alone could sell tickets to any circus. His abundant charisma, his elegance, his gentle methods of training, the genuine love he showed to his animals, and the unforgettable beauty and originality of his presentations, which were much ahead of their time, have made his one of the great names of the twentieth century’s European circus.

Gilbert Houcke was born May 28, 1918 in Grenoble, France, to old circus aristocracy. His father was the brilliant and dapper equestrian and circus director Jean Houcke (1878-1973), whose old-world elegance (his white silk scarf, monocle and bowler hat—or, in the summer, a boater) was fondly remembered by the old circus folks and aficionados who were lucky to have known him. Jean Houcke was the grandson of Jean Léonard Houcke, a French equestrian who had settled in Sweden, where he originated his circus dynasty in the 19th century.

Gilbert’s mother, born Marcelle Rancy (1894-1963), was the daughter of Alphonse Rancy (1861-1933) and granddaughter of Théodore Rancy (1818-1892). Théodore was the founder of one of France’s oldest and most respected circus dynasties, allied to practically all of Europe’s major circus families. Interestingly, Marcelle’s own mother was born Jeanne Bidel and was the daughter of the famous cat trainer(English/American) An trainer or presenter of wild cats such as tigers, lions, leopards, etc. and menagerie owner François Bidel (1839-1909). Thus, although the Houckes and Rancys were mostly known as equestrians, there were traces of a cat trainer(English/American) An trainer or presenter of wild cats such as tigers, lions, leopards, etc. in Gilbert’s DNA.

Gilbert Houcke was the third of Jean and Marcelle Houcke’s five children: Huguette (1915-1982), Maurice (1917-2002), Gilbert, Sacha (1923-1994) and Nadia (1925-2011). He was born during an engagement of his parents in his grandfather’s circus, the Cirque Alphonse Rancy, which was then showing in Grenoble, an important city southeast of Lyon at the foot of the French Alps. Like his talented brothers and sisters, Gilbert was trained at an early age in all circus basics, from tumbling and acrobatics to the family tradition, equestrianism in all its multiple facets.... (more...)

New Biographies

New Videos

New Oral Histories

Circopedia Books

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