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==In The Spotlight==
 
==In The Spotlight==
  
===WALTER NONES===
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===BAPTISTE LOISSET===
[[File:Walter_Nones_and_tiger.jpeg|right|400px]]Even though he was not born in the circus, Walter Nones (1934-2016) was, in Italy, a reformer of the classic circus form, one of the few circus visionaries who have marked the second half of the 20th century (from Arturo Castilla to Jean Richard and Gerry Cottle) and built true circus empires in their own countries equating in strength the circus empires of yore.
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[[File:Baptiste_Loisset.jpg|right|400px]]Baptiste Loisset (1797-1863) was, in the first half of the nineteenth century, one of Europe’s greatest equestrians and circus directors, a major figure in the circus world. He was one of the first horsemen to perform a somersault on horseback (on a ''panneau'', or flat saddle), and both his reputation and his knowledge of horsemanship led him to finish his brilliant career in the position of director of the royal riding academy at The Hague in the Netherlands—a country this Frenchman called home for most of his professional life.
  
Walter Nones was also a remarkable acrobat and a superb animal trainer; he had an engaging personality—as much when ha addressed his audience as when, away from the spotlight, he acted as the "general" of his enterprises, or in his dealing with the media and the Italian administration. Endowed with a solid intuition and a rare ability for taking calculated risks, he was able to change directions and diversify his company many times; his constant imperative was novelty, for which he was faithful to the style and methods of the great Italian variety entrepreneurs.
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He was born Jean-Baptiste Antoine Loisset on November 28, 1797 (according to his Dutch marriage certificate) in Charleville (today Charleville-Mézières), in the department of Ardennes in France’s northeast region. However, popular biographies have placed his birth in Strasbourg, in the French province of Alsace, either on November 11 of that same year, or on August 9, 1793 (according to Signor Saltarino in his biographical dictionary, ''Pauvres Saltimbanques''). Where those dates come from is everybody’s guess.
  
Walter Nones was able to build with his wife, Moira Orfei, a legend that went well beyond their circus—a circus that was certainly unique in the fact that it traveled constantly for fifty-five years without ever taking a true break! Nones was among the Italian pioneers of the internationalization of show business and, as such, he even became instrumental in the establishment of new relations between the former URSS and the Vatican.
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Charleville was, then as now, an industrial city, and its economy was based upon slate and coal and the hardware needed for these industries—notably iron nails. Baptiste’s parents were François Loisset, whose occupation was recorded as "nailsmith" in official documents, and Magdaleine, née Hugot. Circus lore, however, usually makes François Loisset an officer in Napoléon’s army, and has him wounded either at the battle of Wagram (1809) or at the battle of Marengo (1800).
  
Walter Nones was born in Trent, capital of the Trentino province in northern Italy, on June 18, 1934, the oldest of the four children of Giuseppe Nones and his wife, Adele, née Medini, a circus artist. Giuseppe was a cabinet maker; he spent his life between his workshop and the gym, following in that an old Trent tradition: A great number of its citizens had developed over the years a passion for gymnastics.... ([[Walter Nones|more...]])
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The former assertion is not credible since the story also says that Baptiste lost his mother to yellow fever when he was four years old, and his father the following year—which would place François Loisset’s death in 1802 at the latest, seven years before the battle of Wagram. One may surmise that there has been some confusion between the elder Loissets: Baptiste’s uncle (François’s brother) served in Napoléon’s army, was wounded near Alessandria, in Piedmont, at the battle of Marengo, and is said to have settled thereafter in that Italian city.
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If none of Baptiste’s given birthdates can validate the story of François Loisset in Wagram, it works certainly better with Marengo. But then, why would have his occupation been recorded posthumously as "nailsmith" if he had been an officer in the French army? It is quite likely that the legend of François’s military career has been borrowed from his brother’s. ([[Baptiste Loisset|more...]])
  
 
==New Biographies==
 
==New Biographies==
  
* [[Walter Nones]], Circus Director, Animal Trainer
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* [[Baptiste Loisset]], Circus Owner and Equestrian
* [[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
  
 
==New Videos==
 
==New Videos==
  
* [[Stynka_Trio_Video_(2017)|Stynka Trio]], Russian Barre (2017)
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* [[Orlando_%26_Celina_Video_(1975)|Orlando & Celina]], Teeterboard (1975)
* [[China_Troupe_Diabolo_Video_(2005)|The China Acrobatic Troupe]], Diabolo Act (2005)
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* [[Knie_Elephants_Video_(2000)|Franco Knie]], Elephant Act (2000)
* [[Picaso_Jr_Video_(2015)|Picaso, Jr.]], Juggler (2015)
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* [[Anthony_Gatto_Video_(2000)|Anthony Gatto]], Juggler (2000)
* [[Florian_and_Jochen_Video_(2005)|Florian & Jochen]], Jugglers (2005)
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* [[Teslenko_Bros_Video_(2000)|The Teslenko Brothers]], Jugglers (2000)
* [[Nanjing_Troupe_Diabolo_Video_(2001)|The Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe]], Diabolo Act (2001)
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* [[Balkanski_Video_(1997)|The Balkanski Troupe]], Teeterboard (1997)
  
==Featured Oral Histories==
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==2018 Circopedia Award==
  
 +
* [[Dandies_Video_(2018)|''Dandies'' (Yury Kreer, Johnny Gasser, Kirill Ivanov)]], Russian Barre
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 +
==New Oral Histories==
 +
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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)
 
* [[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)
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* [[Moira_Orfei_Video_(2012)|Moira Orfei]], Circus Owner – Davide Maggio Interview (2012)
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==New Circopedia Books==
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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==

Latest revision as of 20:39, 22 October 2018

Welcome! ✫ Bienvenue! ✫ Willkommen! ✫ Добро Пожаловать!
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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

BAPTISTE LOISSET

Baptiste Loisset.jpg
Baptiste Loisset (1797-1863) was, in the first half of the nineteenth century, one of Europe’s greatest equestrians and circus directors, a major figure in the circus world. He was one of the first horsemen to perform a somersault on horseback (on a panneau(French) A flat, padded saddle used by ballerinas on horseback., or flat saddle), and both his reputation and his knowledge of horsemanship led him to finish his brilliant career in the position of director of the royal riding academy at The Hague in the Netherlands—a country this Frenchman called home for most of his professional life.

He was born Jean-Baptiste Antoine Loisset on November 28, 1797 (according to his Dutch marriage certificate) in Charleville (today Charleville-Mézières), in the department of Ardennes in France’s northeast region. However, popular biographies have placed his birth in Strasbourg, in the French province of Alsace, either on November 11 of that same year, or on August 9, 1793 (according to Signor Saltarino in his biographical dictionary, Pauvres Saltimbanques). Where those dates come from is everybody’s guess.

Charleville was, then as now, an industrial city, and its economy was based upon slate and coal and the hardware needed for these industries—notably iron nails. Baptiste’s parents were François Loisset, whose occupation was recorded as "nailsmith" in official documents, and Magdaleine, née Hugot. Circus lore, however, usually makes François Loisset an officer in Napoléon’s army, and has him wounded either at the battle of Wagram (1809) or at the battle of Marengo (1800).

The former assertion is not credible since the story also says that Baptiste lost his mother to yellow fever when he was four years old, and his father the following year—which would place François Loisset’s death in 1802 at the latest, seven years before the battle of Wagram. One may surmise that there has been some confusion between the elder Loissets: Baptiste’s uncle (François’s brother) served in Napoléon’s army, was wounded near Alessandria, in Piedmont, at the battle of Marengo, and is said to have settled thereafter in that Italian city.

If none of Baptiste’s given birthdates can validate the story of François Loisset in Wagram, it works certainly better with Marengo. But then, why would have his occupation been recorded posthumously as "nailsmith" if he had been an officer in the French army? It is quite likely that the legend of François’s military career has been borrowed from his brother’s. (more...)

New Biographies

New Videos

2018 Circopedia Award

New Oral Histories

New 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