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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/>
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<div style="font-size:175%; border:none; margin:0; padding:.1em; color:#996666;">Welcome! ✫ Bienvenue! ✫ Willkommen! ✫ Добро Пожаловать!</div><div style="font-size:175%; border:none; margin:0; padding:.1em; color:#996666;">Bienvenida! ✫ Benvenuto! ✫ 歡迎 ! ✫ Vítejte! ✫ Καλώς ήρθατε!</div><div style="font-size:175%; 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:98%;"> ''Circopedia was originally created with the support of the Big Apple Circus Ltd. and inspired and funded by the [http://www.sdrubin.org/ Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation]''.</div><br/>
 
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==In The Spotlight==
 
==In The Spotlight==
[[Image:Philip_Astley.jpg|right|250px|Philip Astley]]
 
===A SHORT HISTORY OF THE CIRCUS===
 
  
If the history of theater, ballet, opera, vaudeville, movies, and television is generally well documented, serious studies of circus history are sparse, and known only to a few circus enthusiasts and scholars. What little the public at large knows, on the other hand, is circus history as told over the years by imaginative circus press agents, and repeated&mdash;and often misunderstood and distorted&mdash;by writers of popular fiction, Hollywood screenwriters, and journalists too busy to investigate further. One of the most popular misapprehensions about circus history is the oft-repeated idea that circus dates back to the Roman antiquity. But the Roman circus was in actuality the precursor of the modern racetrack; the only common denominator between Roman and modern circuses is the word itself, ''circus'', which means in Latin as in English, "circle".
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===THE BIG APPLE CIRCUS===
 +
[[File:Big_Apple_Circus_Picturesque_set_(2004).jpg|right|400px]]
 +
A cherished New York Institution, the original, not-for-profit Big Apple Circus was created in 1977 by Paul Binder and his juggling partner, Michael Christensen, as the performing arm of the New York School for Circus Arts. Its enormous success soon put the school in the shadows, and the circus took over as the principal activity of the organization. It became one of the world’s most respected and successful circuses—until the economic crisis of 2008, which dramatically impacted its fund-raising capacity, sadly led it to file for bankruptcy eight years later.
  
The modern circus was actually created in England by [https://www.amazon.com/dp/1984041312/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1517698824&sr=8-2&keywords=Philip+Astley+and+the+Horsemen Philip Astley] (1742-1814), a former cavalry Sergeant-Major turned showman. The son of a cabinet-maker and veneer-cutter, Astley had served in the Seven Years' War (1756-63) as part of Colonel Elliott's 15th Light Dragons regiment, where he displayed a remarkable talent as a horse-breaker and trainer. Upon his discharge, Astley chose to imitate the trick-riders who performed, with increasing success, all over Europe. Jacob Bates, an English equestrian based in the German States, who performed as far away as Russia (1764-65) and America (1772-73), was the first of these showmen to make a mark. Bates's emulators&mdash;Price, Johnson, Balp, Coningham, Faulkes, and "Old" Sampson&mdash;had become fixtures of London's pleasure gardens and provided Philip Astley with his inspiration. ([[SHORT HISTORY OF THE CIRCUS|more...]])
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Its name and equipment were sold to private investors who brought the Big Apple Circus back to life in September 2017 in its traditional winter venue, Damrosch Park, in New York’s prestigious Lincoln Center for The Performing Arts. The new Big Apple Circus quickly abandoned its spring-summer tours of the northeast United States and beyond, and limited its activity to its Lincoln Center four-month winter season. However, the Covid pandemic prevented it from performing in the winter of 2020-21. (As of August 2021, it is not yet known when or if it will resume its performances.)
  
==New Biographies==
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As a child, Paul Binder was occasionally taken to the circus by his parents at Madison Square Garden. "I do have one very powerful memory," Paul said, "a spotlighted Unus, alone in the center ring, doing his one-finger stand on a lighted globe. It was very dramatic!" However, the idea that within the circus ring would lie his career never entered his mind.
  
* [[Irina Naumenko]], Hand Balancer
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Later, Paul attended Dartmouth College, where he joined the Dartmouth Players and the Hopkins Center Repertory Theatre, and then earned an MBA at Columbia University. After a brief stint at Boston University’s School of Fine and Applied Arts, he went to work on television as stage manager for Julia Child’s cooking shows, and later as talent coordinator for The Merv Griffin Show. It was the end of the 1960s, and Paul was restless with the times.
* [[The Owl and The Pussycat]], Trapeze Act
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* [[Walter Nones]], Circus Director, Animal Trainer
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Meanwhile, in Walla-Walla, Washington, where he was born, Michael Christensen was struggling with a difficult childhood. Somehow, he needed to act out the feelings stirred by his uneasy life, so, quite naturally, he enrolled in the Professional Actor Training program at the University of Washington. As for the circus: "When the circus came to town in the summer, I helped setting up the tents with my brother in exchange for free passes. I also remember laughing uncontrollably at a clown gag—but I don’t remember who the clown was nor what was the gag.".... ([[Big Apple Circus|more...]])
* [[Norman Crider]], Juggler
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* [[Zhejiang Acrobatic Troupe]], Chinese Acrobatics
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==New Essays and Biographies==
 +
 
 +
* [[Pablo Noel]], Animal Trainer
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* [[Big Apple Circus]], History
 +
* [[Gerry Cottle]], Circus Owner
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* [[Sarah Chapman]], Aerialist
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* [[The 3 Bragazzi]], Comedy Acrobats
  
 
==New Videos==
 
==New Videos==
  
* [[Kelli_Ramazini_Video_(2018)|Kelli Ramazini]], Trapeze (2018)
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* [[Kristian_Kristof_Video_(2016)|Kristian Kristof]], Juggler (2016)
* [[Fuma_Boys_Monte_Carlo_Video_(2001)|The Fuma Boys]], Comedy Acrobatic (2001)
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* [[Jigalov_Video_(2008)|Jigalov]], Clown (2008)
* [[Emile_Carey_Video_(2005)|Emile Carey]], Juggler (2005)
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* [[Alex_Lacey_Video_(2008)|Alex Lacey]], Lion and Tiger Act (2008)
* [[Selifanov_Video_(2001)|The Selifanov Troupe]], Flying Trapeze (2001)
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* [[Susan_Lacey_Video_(2010)|Susan Lacey]], Tiger Act (2010)
* [[Rene_and_Alexia_Casselly_Video_(2001)|René & Alexia Casselly]], Pas-de-Deux on Elephants (2001)
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* [[Wellton_Video_(2010)|John Wellton]], Comedy Juggler (2010)
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 +
==New Oral Histories==
 +
 
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* [[BAC_Blumberg_Video_(1977)|''For A Moment You Fly'']], The First Season of The Big Apple Circus (1977)
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* [[Durov_Documentary_Video_(c.2000)|Vladimir Durov Documentary]] on Russian Television (c.2000)
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* [[Dolly_Jacobs_Interview_Video_(2018)|Dolly Jacobs Interview]] at The Ringling (2018)
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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)
  
==Featured Oral Histories==
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==Circopedia Books==
  
* [[Circo_Price_Video_(2017)|A Short History of Madrid's Old Circo Price]], Circus History (1970)
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* [[Circopedia Books|Philip Astley & The Horsemen who invented the Circus]], by Dominique Jando (2018)
* [[Anastasia_Dementieva_Video_(2017)|Anastasia Dementieva-Kornilova]] – Vadim Vernik Interview (2017)
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* [[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)
+
  
==A Message from the Editor==
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==A Message from Dominique Jando==
  
''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 03:33, 21 September 2021

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 Ltd. and inspired and funded by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.

In The Spotlight

THE BIG APPLE CIRCUS

Big Apple Circus Picturesque set (2004).jpg

A cherished New York Institution, the original, not-for-profit Big Apple Circus was created in 1977 by Paul Binder and his juggling partner, Michael Christensen, as the performing arm of the New York School for Circus Arts. Its enormous success soon put the school in the shadows, and the circus took over as the principal activity of the organization. It became one of the world’s most respected and successful circuses—until the economic crisis of 2008, which dramatically impacted its fund-raising capacity, sadly led it to file for bankruptcy eight years later.

Its name and equipment were sold to private investors who brought the Big Apple Circus back to life in September 2017 in its traditional winter venue, Damrosch Park, in New York’s prestigious Lincoln Center for The Performing Arts. The new Big Apple Circus quickly abandoned its spring-summer tours of the northeast United States and beyond, and limited its activity to its Lincoln Center four-month winter season. However, the Covid pandemic prevented it from performing in the winter of 2020-21. (As of August 2021, it is not yet known when or if it will resume its performances.)

As a child, Paul Binder was occasionally taken to the circus by his parents at Madison Square Garden. "I do have one very powerful memory," Paul said, "a spotlighted Unus, alone in the center ring, doing his one-finger stand on a lighted globe. It was very dramatic!" However, the idea that within the circus ring would lie his career never entered his mind.

Later, Paul attended Dartmouth College, where he joined the Dartmouth Players and the Hopkins Center Repertory Theatre, and then earned an MBA at Columbia University. After a brief stint at Boston University’s School of Fine and Applied Arts, he went to work on television as stage manager for Julia Child’s cooking shows, and later as talent coordinator for The Merv Griffin Show. It was the end of the 1960s, and Paul was restless with the times.

Meanwhile, in Walla-Walla, Washington, where he was born, Michael Christensen was struggling with a difficult childhood. Somehow, he needed to act out the feelings stirred by his uneasy life, so, quite naturally, he enrolled in the Professional Actor Training program at the University of Washington. As for the circus: "When the circus came to town in the summer, I helped setting up the tents with my brother in exchange for free passes. I also remember laughing uncontrollably at a clown gag—but I don’t remember who the clown was nor what was the gag.".... (more...)

New Essays and Biographies

New Videos

New Oral Histories

Circopedia Books

A Message from Dominique Jando

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