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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:90%;"> 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==
[[Image:Philip_Astley.jpg|right|250px|Philip Astley]]
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[[File:Woodcock_RBBB.jpg|right|400px]]
===A SHORT HISTORY OF THE CIRCUS===
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===BILL & BARBARA WOODCOCK===
  
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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William "Buckles" Woodcock was born on February 26, 1935 in Lancaster, Missouri, to an old American circus family. Although his father, William H. Woodcock (1904-1963), was a first-generation circus man (and became a legendary elephant trainer with a passion for circus history), his mother was Sarah "Babe" Orton (1902-1988), whose grandfather, Hiram , a former sailor and tavern-keeper of British origin, had started a circus in Wisconsin in 1854. As the feisty Babe would often say, "My family was in the circus when the Ringling brothers were still wearing wooden shoes."
  
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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Bill (to differentiate him from his father, William) Woodcock grew up around animals, elephants in particular. When he was a toddler, he was often buckled to his mother on a harness to keep him in check and safe around his father's elephants, thus his nickname. At age 11, he began working in the circus as a candy butcher. But Buckles had other plans: in 1951, over his father's objections, he found a job as an animal handler with another elephant trainer, Eugene "Arky" Scott, who worked with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.
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Obviously, there was not much William Senior could do. He and Buckles reunited two years later and began working together. Since his father's vision was failing, Buckles's role in the partnership became increasingly more prominent. In 1951, William Woodcock had acquired a four-year old Burmese woodland elephant, Anna May, from the Al G. Kelly-Miller Bros. Circus, and Buckles began working with her. Anna May, who was a remarkably smart and talented performer, would become America's most famous elephant and stay in the Woodcock family until May 2004, when she went into retirement at Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary in Greenbrier, Arkansas. She died there that same year, on December 21.... ([[William Woodcock, Jr.|more...]])
  
 
==New Biographies==
 
==New Biographies==
  
* [[Irina Naumenko]], Hand Balancer
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* [[Franz Althoff]], Circus Owner
* [[The Owl and The Pussycat]], Trapeze Act
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* [[Tamerlan Nugzarov]], Cossack Rider
* [[Walter Nones]], Circus Director, Animal Trainer
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* [[Circus Krone]], History
* [[Norman Crider]], Juggler
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* [[Nell Gifford]], Circus Owner
* [[Zhejiang Acrobatic Troupe]], Chinese Acrobatics
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* [[William Vos]], Animal Trainer
  
 
==New Videos==
 
==New Videos==
  
* [[Kelli_Ramazini_Video_(2018)|Kelli Ramazini]], Trapeze (2018)
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* [[Martyn_Chabry_Video_(2014)|Martyn Chabry]], Quick Change Act (2014)
* [[Fuma_Boys_Monte_Carlo_Video_(2001)|The Fuma Boys]], Comedy Acrobatic (2001)
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* [[Bilauer_Video_(c.1975)|Evgeniy Bilauer]], Juggler (c.1975)
* [[Emile_Carey_Video_(2005)|Emile Carey]], Juggler (2005)
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* [[Lacey_Video_2019|Martin Lacey, Jr.]], Mixed Cat Act (2019)
* [[Selifanov_Video_(2001)|The Selifanov Troupe]], Flying Trapeze (2001)
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* [[Shemshur_Video_(1986)|The Shemshur Troupe]], Porté-Lancé Act (1986)
* [[Rene_and_Alexia_Casselly_Video_(2001)|René & Alexia Casselly]], Pas-de-Deux on Elephants (2001)
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* [[Shmarlovskiy_Video_(1989)|Evgenniy Shmarlovskiy]], Comedy Animal Act (1989)
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==New Oral Histories==
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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)
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* [[Rosa_Bouglione_Video_(2012)|Rosa Bouglione]]'s interview on Franch Television (2012)
  
==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)
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==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 00:20, 17 September 2020

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

Woodcock RBBB.jpg

BILL & BARBARA WOODCOCK

William "Buckles" Woodcock was born on February 26, 1935 in Lancaster, Missouri, to an old American circus family. Although his father, William H. Woodcock (1904-1963), was a first-generation circus man (and became a legendary elephant trainer with a passion for circus history), his mother was Sarah "Babe" Orton (1902-1988), whose grandfather, Hiram , a former sailor and tavern-keeper of British origin, had started a circus in Wisconsin in 1854. As the feisty Babe would often say, "My family was in the circus when the Ringling brothers were still wearing wooden shoes."

Bill (to differentiate him from his father, William) Woodcock grew up around animals, elephants in particular. When he was a toddler, he was often buckled to his mother on a harness to keep him in check and safe around his father's elephants, thus his nickname. At age 11, he began working in the circus as a candy butcher(American) Concession vendor; so named because one of the first successful concessionaires of the American circus was a former butcher.. But Buckles had other plans: in 1951, over his father's objections, he found a job as an animal handler with another elephant trainer, Eugene "Arky" Scott, who worked with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.

Obviously, there was not much William Senior could do. He and Buckles reunited two years later and began working together. Since his father's vision was failing, Buckles's role in the partnership became increasingly more prominent. In 1951, William Woodcock had acquired a four-year old Burmese woodland elephant, Anna May, from the Al G. Kelly-Miller Bros. Circus, and Buckles began working with her. Anna May, who was a remarkably smart and talented performer, would become America's most famous elephant and stay in the Woodcock family until May 2004, when she went into retirement at Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary in Greenbrier, Arkansas. She died there that same year, on December 21.... (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