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==In The Spotlight==
 
==In The Spotlight==
  
===ELENA PANOVA===
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===CIRCUS KNIE ''(Established 1919)''===
[[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:Knie_at_night.jpg|right|500px]]
  
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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When Friedrich Knie (1784-1850), the son of an Austrian doctor, fell in love with Wilma, a beautiful equestrienne, in 1803 at Innsbruck, little did he know that this adventure would be at the origin of one of the world's most prestigious and long-lasting circus dynasties. Born in Erfurt and nineteen years old, the young Friedrich left his studies without a second thought and went on to roam the country with a small company of traveling performers.
  
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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Friedrich’s infatuation was short lived, but he enjoyed his new life as an itinerant entertainer, and he decided to create his own company of rope dancers, a craft he had learned during his tours. In 1807, he met and fell in love with Antonia (Toni) Stauffer. Toni’s father, a reputable barber, refused to marry his daughter to a traveling entertainer, and as a precaution, he sent her to a convent. As family lore has it, Friedrich abducted the object of his flame on a night of lightnings and thunder, and the two lovers got married that same year.
  
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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Soon came the family’s second generation of performers: Rudolf Knie (1808-1858) was born on July 14, 1808. Four more children followed: Georg (1809-1849), Karl (1813-1860), Fanny-Adelheid (1814-1857), and Franz (1816-1896). All of them would become rope dancers and acrobats.
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The Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) had rendered the political and social environment in Austria quite unstable, and the economic situation was uneasy. Yet, the family’s determination helped them overcome the many problems that a traveling company of performers had to face, especially in such difficult times. The Arena Knie was still a small affair that performed outdoors; the high rope was rigged above a stage, on which were presented tight and bouncing rope acts, along with an assortment of floor acrobatics and comedy turns. The addition of a few benches around the stage made up the arena.
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Friedrich was smart, and one thing became quickly apparent to him: considering the situation, he couldn’t confine his travels to Austria. Germany was added to the route and, as early as 1814, Switzerland. In 1828, the Knies performed in Zurich for the first time, and that same year, in Rapperswil—which was to become much later, in 1907, their hometown. The Knie Arena developed into a successful and reputable enterprise in these three countries. ([[The Knie Dynasty|more...]])
  
 
==New Biographies==
 
==New Biographies==
+
 
* [[Norman Crider]], Juggler
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* [[Gia Eradze]], Circus Director, Animal Trainer
* [[Zhejiang Acrobatic Troupe]], Chinese Acrobatics
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* [[Rob Torres]], Clown
* [[Gene Mendez]], High Wire Artist
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* [[Tianjin Acrobatic Troupe]], History
* [[Franz Czeisler (Tihany)]], Magician, Circus Owner
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* [[Nino Frediani]], Juggler
* [[Cirque_Medrano_(Paris)|Circuses Fernando and Medrano]], History
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* [[Henrik Henricksen]], Animal Trainer
  
 
==New Videos==
 
==New Videos==
  
* [[Taquin_Video_(2004)|Les Frères Taquin]], Comedy Act (2004)
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* [[Chugunov_Video_(2018)|The Chugunov Family]], Juggling Act (2018)
* [[Zalievski_Video_(2004)|Anatoly Zalievsky]], Hand Balancer (2004)
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* [[Hunan_Poles_Video_(2000)|Hunan Acrobatic Troupe]], Chinese Poles (2000)
* [[Aurelia_Cats_Video_(2004)|Aurelia Cats]], Trapeze (2004)
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* [[Bento_Babusio_Video_(1964)|Bento, Babusio & Co.]], Clowns (1964)
* [[Ivakhnenko_Video_(2004)|Andrey Ivakhnenko]], Juggler on Slack Wire (2004)
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* [[Jigalova_Video_(2003)|Natalia Jigalova]], Swinging Trapeze (2003)
* [[Guangdong_Banquine_Video_(2004)|Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe]], Porté-Lancé Act (2004)
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* [[Soralino_Video_(2019)|Soralino]], Clowns (2019)
  
==Featured Oral Histories==
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==New Oral Histories==
  
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* [[Pinito_del_Oro_RTE_Video_(1970)|Pinito del Oro's Interview]] on Spanish Television (1970)
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* [[Eradze_Video_(2015)|Gia Eradze]]'s Interview on SSU TV (2015)
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* [[Rosa_Bouglione_Video_(2012)|Rosa Bouglione]]'s interview on Franch Television (2012)
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* [[Circo_Price_Video_(2017)|A Short History of Madrid's Old Circo Price]], Documentary (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)
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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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==Circopedia Books==
* [[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)
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* [[Circopedia Books|Philip Astley & The Horsemen who invented the Circus]], by Dominique Jando (2018)
  
 
==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—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 [[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—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 [[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 20:52, 16 April 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 has been inspired and funded by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.

In The Spotlight

CIRCUS KNIE (Established 1919)

Knie at night.jpg

When Friedrich Knie (1784-1850), the son of an Austrian doctor, fell in love with Wilma, a beautiful equestrienneA female equestrian, or horse trainer, horse presenter, or acrobat on horseback., in 1803 at Innsbruck, little did he know that this adventure would be at the origin of one of the world's most prestigious and long-lasting circus dynasties. Born in Erfurt and nineteen years old, the young Friedrich left his studies without a second thought and went on to roam the country with a small company of traveling performers.

Friedrich’s infatuation was short lived, but he enjoyed his new life as an itinerant entertainer, and he decided to create his own company of rope dancers, a craft he had learned during his tours. In 1807, he met and fell in love with Antonia (Toni) Stauffer. Toni’s father, a reputable barber, refused to marry his daughter to a traveling entertainer, and as a precaution, he sent her to a convent. As family lore has it, Friedrich abducted the object of his flame on a night of lightnings and thunder, and the two lovers got married that same year.

Soon came the family’s second generation of performers: Rudolf Knie (1808-1858) was born on July 14, 1808. Four more children followed: Georg (1809-1849), Karl (1813-1860), Fanny-Adelheid (1814-1857), and Franz (1816-1896). All of them would become rope dancers and acrobats.

The Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) had rendered the political and social environment in Austria quite unstable, and the economic situation was uneasy. Yet, the family’s determination helped them overcome the many problems that a traveling company of performers had to face, especially in such difficult times. The Arena Knie was still a small affair that performed outdoors; the high rope was rigged above a stage, on which were presented tight and bouncing ropeAn rope placed between two supports or pedestals, and fastened at one or both ends to a spring or bungee, so that the ropedancer can use the rope as a propelling device. acts, along with an assortment of floor acrobatics and comedy turns. The addition of a few benches around the stage made up the arena.

Friedrich was smart, and one thing became quickly apparent to him: considering the situation, he couldn’t confine his travels to Austria. Germany was added to the route and, as early as 1814, Switzerland. In 1828, the Knies performed in Zurich for the first time, and that same year, in Rapperswil—which was to become much later, in 1907, their hometown. The Knie Arena developed into a successful and reputable enterprise in these three countries. (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