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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: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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<div style="top:+0.2em; font-size:90%;"> ''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==
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[[File:Bertram_Mills_Cigarette_Card.jpg|right|270px]]
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===BERTRAM MILLS===
  
===THE CIRCUSES OF MOSCOW===
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The death of Bertram W. Mills (1873-1938) from pneumonia on April 16, 1938—the date on which his tenting circus was due to open at Luton for its 1938 tour—was a momentous event in the history of the British circus. Within five hours of the announcement, the boardings for the evening newspapers in London were proclaiming "Bertram Mills Dead." His name was truly a household one: One national newspaper announced the "Death of Britain’s Nº1 Showman" and the "King of the Modern Circus," indicating the unrivalled position in which the showman was revered.
  
Although the name Moscow Circus is familiar to the public all over the world, there has never been one specific "Moscow Circus" whose troupe toured internationally. The name was a generic term for the circus shows from the USSR traveling abroad during the Soviet Era. It has, over time, become synonymous with "Russian circus." Yet, there are today (2020) two resident circuses in Moscow, Circus Nikulin on Tsvetnoy Boulevard, and the Bolshoi Circus (''bolshoi'' means big, in Russian) on Vernadsky Avenue—and there have been indeed several others before them.
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The status in which he was regarded led to a French circus critic describing him as "the renovator of the British circus," and throughout the British Isles, the show he had created in 1920 had become known as "The Quality Show"&mdash;a title it bore proudly until its closure in 1967. Without a shadow of doubt, Mills did indeed prove to be the saviour of the British circus for his generation, and perhaps, the United Kingdom will never see another era in which this form of entertainment was held in such reverence.
[[File:Bolshoi_Circus_by_night.jpeg|right|400px]]
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The first circus built in Russia was established by the French equestrian Jacques Tourniaire, who settled in 1827 in what was then the Russian capital, St. Petersburg. The building, designed by the architect Smaragd Shustov and named Cirque Olympique, was located near the Fontanka canal, practically where St. Petersburg’s Circus Ciniselli stands today. Tourniaire’s circus had only a short existence: it was bought back by the government of St. Petersburg in 1828 to be transformed into a theater. Still, the event didn’t fail to catch the attention of the Muscovites, who always took exception to the influence of Peter The Great’s Baltic capital.
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The previous year, Tourniaire had exhibited his equestrian prowess in Moscow, in the manège of the Pashkov mansion (today the Russian State Library), on Mokhovaya Street. Another famous trick rider, Jacob Bates, had long preceded him in the former Russian capital, where he performed in 1864, and since then, Moscow had welcomed several equestrian companies—among which that of Pierre Mayheu, the famous Spanish rider, in 1790&mdash;but contrary to most European major cities, the great Russian metropolis didn’t have a permanent circus of its own.
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Lady Eleanor Smith, a great British circus lover and one of the founders of the Circus Fans’ Association of Great Britain, described Mills, always known as "The Guv’nor" to his staff, as "a short, stocky man with a bald head, a ruddy pugnacious face, a grey moustache, and twinkling, shrewd blue eyes. His eyes were as blue as the cornflower he invariably wore in his button-hole. He would have looked undressed without that cornflower…"
  
In 1830, Mikhail Zagoskin, a popular novelist who was Moscow’s Director of the Theaters, supported the creation of a summer circus in the Neskuchny Garden, on the banks of the Moskva River, southwest of central Moscow. The circus, which was probably a light wooden construction, lasted only three seasons. For the ensuing twenty years, Russian circus history was written exclusively in St. Petersburg: Although Moscow was still the commercial hub of Tsarist Russia, the giant city didn’t have yet the rich cosmopolitan atmosphere of the Russian capital, or its cultural diversity.
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Bertram Wagstaff Mills was born in London on August 11, 1873. He was the son of Halford Lewis Mills of Smarden, Kent, and Mary Fenn Wagstaff. Halford Mills was the proprietor of a coach building firm in Paddington, London, and he owned small farms in the country, one at Harefield, the other at Chalfont St. Giles&mdash;the latter being where he stabled his horses for rest periods.... ([[Bertram Mills|more...]])
  
German, Italian and, mostly, French influences were quite noticeable in St. Petersburg, a city wide open on Western Europe, as its builder, Peter The Great, had wanted it. By reaction, Moscow took pride in its being the true heart of eternal Russia, conservative, religious and nationalistic. Even though its wealth attracted traveling entertainers as much as entrepreneurs and merchants, the city was particularly slow in attuning itself to the rest of Europe.... ([[The Circuses Of Moscow|more...]])
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==New Essays and Biographies==
  
==New Biographies==
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* [[Jefferson Freire]], Juggler
 
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* [[The Schumann Dynasty]], History
* [[Nell Gifford]], Circus Owner
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* [[Nouveau Cirque (Paris)]], History
* [[William Vos]], Animal Trainer
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* [[Oskar Hoppe]], Circus Director
* [[Jürg Jenny]], Animal Trainer
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* [[Franz Althoff]], Circus Owner
* [[Kio]], Magician
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* [[Dimitri]], Clown
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==New Videos==
 
==New Videos==
  
* [[Dias_Video_(2019)|César Dias]], Clown (2019)
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* [[Aleksandrov_Video_(c.1985)|Yuriy Aleksandrov & Natalya Vasilieva]], Washington Trapeze (c.1985)
* [[Royal_Video_(2011)|The Royal Brothers]], Hand-to-Hand Balancing (2011)
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* [[Without_Socks_Tap_Video_(2019)|Without Socks]], Clowns (2019)
* [[Seaworld_Video_(2004)|Seaworld]], Hand-to-Hand Balancing (2004)
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* [[Fausto_Scorpio_Video_(1989)|Fausto Scorpio]], Risley Act (1989)
* [[Marco_Video_(1962)|Marco]], Sword Balancing (1962)
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* [[Shemshur_Video_(c.1980)|The Shemshur Trio]], Porté-Lancé Act (c.1980)
* [[Begbudi_Elephants_Video_(1981)|Elya & Sarvat Begbudi]], Elephant Act (1981)
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* [[Gadzhikurbanovi_Video_(c.1985)|Gadzhikurbanovi Sisters]], High Wire (c.1985)
  
 
==New Oral Histories==
 
==New Oral Histories==

Latest revision as of 00:21, 25 January 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

Bertram Mills Cigarette Card.jpg

BERTRAM MILLS

The death of Bertram W. Mills (1873-1938) from pneumonia on April 16, 1938—the date on which his tenting circus was due to open at Luton for its 1938 tour—was a momentous event in the history of the British circus. Within five hours of the announcement, the boardings for the evening newspapers in London were proclaiming "Bertram Mills Dead." His name was truly a household one: One national newspaper announced the "Death of Britain’s Nº1 Showman" and the "King of the Modern Circus," indicating the unrivalled position in which the showman was revered.

The status in which he was regarded led to a French circus critic describing him as "the renovator of the British circus," and throughout the British Isles, the show he had created in 1920 had become known as "The Quality Show"—a title it bore proudly until its closure in 1967. Without a shadow of doubt, Mills did indeed prove to be the saviour of the British circus for his generation, and perhaps, the United Kingdom will never see another era in which this form of entertainment was held in such reverence.

Lady Eleanor Smith, a great British circus lover and one of the founders of the Circus Fans’ Association of Great Britain, described Mills, always known as "The Guv’nor" to his staff, as "a short, stocky man with a bald head, a ruddy pugnacious face, a grey moustache, and twinkling, shrewd blue eyes. His eyes were as blue as the cornflower he invariably wore in his button-hole. He would have looked undressed without that cornflower…"

Bertram Wagstaff Mills was born in London on August 11, 1873. He was the son of Halford Lewis Mills of Smarden, Kent, and Mary Fenn Wagstaff. Halford Mills was the proprietor of a coach building firm in Paddington, London, and he owned small farms in the country, one at Harefield, the other at Chalfont St. Giles—the latter being where he stabled his horses for rest periods.... (more...)

New Essays and 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