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==In The Spotlight==
 
==In The Spotlight==
  
===GIUSEPPE CHIARINI===
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===BAPTISTE LOISSET===
[[File:Chiarini_Poster_1881.jpg|right|300px]]
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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.
Giuseppe Chiarini (1823-1897) was perhaps the most influential circus director of the nineteenth century: During a professional career that spanned fifty-eight years, his extensive and incessant international tours led him from Europe to North and South America, to India and Asia, and down to Australia. In many places that had not yet been exposed to the circus, Chiarini’s was the first circus the locals had ever seen—and this exposure sometimes triggered there the creation of an indigenous circus inspired by Chiarini’s shows.
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Over the years, Chiarini performed for Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, Emperors Maximilian I of Mexico, Dom Pedro of Brazil, Mitsuhito of Japan, King Rama V of Siam, an assortment of Indian Rajahs, and for various government officials and politicians. His Royal Italian Circus—which could become Royal Spanish Circus when needed—was in fact an American enterprise based in California. A true circus man, Chiarini was indubitably a citizen of the world.
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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.
  
Giuseppe Chiarini came from a large and ancient Italian family of traveling entertainers, whose first recorded appearance was at the Foire Saint-Laurent, one of France’s oldest fairs, in 1580. Many Chiarinis, more or less directly related to Giuseppe, have since been chronicled in popular entertainment and circus history—a very diverse crowd of acrobats, ropedancers, puppeteers, ballet dancers, and equestrians.
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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).
  
In his novel, Die Vagabunden (1895), the German poet Karl von Holtei immortalized one of them, Francesco Chiarini; in the 1780s, this Chiarini managed a company of acrobats and puppeteers, and ran a very successful ''Théâtre d’Ombres Chinoises'' (shadow puppet theater). His daughter, Angélique, a celebrated equestrienne, had been featured in 1793 at the Amphithéâtre Franconi—the former Amphithéâtre Astley—in Paris, and later in the troupe of Jacques Tourniaire.... ([[Giuseppe Chiarini|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==
  
* [[Irina Naumenko]], Hand Balancer
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* [[Baptiste Loisset]], Circus Owner and Equestrian
* [[The Owl and The Pussycat]], Trapeze Act
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* [[The Kornilov Dynasty]], Elephant Trainers
* [[Walter Nones]], Circus Director, Animal Trainer
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* [[Sergei Korolev]], Acrobat
* [[Norman Crider]], Juggler
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* [[Victor Fomine]], Acrobat, Circus Coach
* [[Zhejiang Acrobatic Troupe]], Chinese Acrobatics
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* [[Annie Fratellini]], Clown, Circus Director
  
 
==New Videos==
 
==New Videos==
  
* [[Charlie_Rivel_Video_(1965)|Charlie Rivel]], Clown (1965)
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* [[Anthony_Gatto_Video_(2000)|Anthony Gatto]], Juggler (2000)
* [[Circo_Price_Video_(2017)|A Short History of Madrid's Old Circo Price]], Oral History (1970)
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* [[Teslenko_Bros_Video_(2000)|The Teslenko Brothers]], Jugglers (2000)
* [[Irina_Naumenko_Video_(2017)|Irina Naumenko]], Hand-Balancer (2017)
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* [[Balkanski_Video_(1997)|The Balkanski Troupe]], Teeterboard (1997)
* [[Boyarinov_and_Ivanov_Video_(1992)|Pavel Boyarinov & Aleksei Ivanov]], Clowns (1992)
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* [[Dieter_Farell_Video_(1975)|Dieter Farell]], Lion & Tiger Act (1975)
* [[Aleksandr_Kiss_Video_(1970)|Aleksandr Kiss]], Juggler (1970)
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* [[White_Crow_Video_(2008)|The White Crow]], Russian Barre (2008)
  
==Featured Oral Histories==
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==2018 Circopedia Award==
  
* [[Circo_Price_Video_(2017)|A Short History of Madrid's Old Circo Price]], Circus History (1970)
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* [[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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==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 01:10, 18 October 2018

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