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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===
  
===FRANZ ALTHOFF===
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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.
  
[[File:Althoff_Horses_67.jpg|right|400px]]Germany's Circus Franz Althoff, "Europe's Largest Hippodrome-Circus," was truly, in the 1950s and 1960s, one of the continent's largest and more original circuses. Although it was active for no more than two decades after WWII, it was a circus industry’s trendsetter in several aspects. Its director, Franz Althoff (1908-1987), brilliantly developed collaborative strategies with foreign colleagues, and his circus was the first to regularly visit countries outside the German borders in the early postwar era. Circus Franz Althoff was also the first European circus of that era to develop an acceptable compromise between the grandiosity of the American-style three-ring circus and the refinement and intimacy of the traditional European circus.
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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.
  
Franz Althoff also improved the circus performing space, introducing innovative concepts in big-top engineering and design. At the same time, he foresaw the potential the development of large indoor sport arenas offered to the European circus industry, and he participated in the emergence of the so-called "circus festivals" of the 1950-60s, which were held in these arenas and proved an efficient way to catch the attention of a public solicited by an increasing number of new forms of entertainment such as music recording, television and wide-screen movie spectacles.
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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…"
  
The broadness and scope of his circus project, as well as his genial personality, helped him close important deals with the American movie industry. A remarkably gifted animal trainer, he created spectacular yet elegant presentations of horses and elephants; his forty-eight-horse liberty act remains the largest in circus history. His shows, with their impressive variety of animal acts, spectacular production numbers and top international talents, are remembered as a modern paradigm of what a large-scale classic traveling circus was meant to be.... ([[Franz Althoff|more...]])
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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...]])
  
==New Biographies==
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==New Essays and Biographies==
  
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* [[Jefferson Freire]], Juggler
 +
* [[The Schumann Dynasty]], History
 +
* [[Nouveau Cirque (Paris)]], History
 
* [[Oskar Hoppe]], Circus Director
 
* [[Oskar Hoppe]], Circus Director
 
* [[Franz Althoff]], Circus Owner
 
* [[Franz Althoff]], Circus Owner
* [[Tamerlan Nugzarov]], Cossack Rider
 
* [[Circus Krone]], History
 
* [[Nell Gifford]], Circus Owner
 
  
 
==New Videos==
 
==New Videos==
  
* [[Cairoli_Pie_Video_(1966)|Charlei Cairoli & Co.]], Clowns, "Pie Entrée" (1966)
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* [[Aleksandrov_Video_(c.1985)|Yuriy Aleksandrov & Natalya Vasilieva]], Washington Trapeze (c.1985)
* [[Cairoli_Video_(1966)|Charlie Cairoli & Co.]], Clowns, Musical Entrée (1966)
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* [[Without_Socks_Tap_Video_(2019)|Without Socks]], Clowns (2019)
* [[Karah-Kawak_Video_(1989)|Karah-Kawak]], Crocodile Act (1989)
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* [[Fausto_Scorpio_Video_(1989)|Fausto Scorpio]], Risley Act (1989)
* [[Tsovkra_Video_(1951)|The Tsovkra Troupe]], High Wire (1951)
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* [[Shemshur_Video_(c.1980)|The Shemshur Trio]], Porté-Lancé Act (c.1980)
* [[Trushin_Video_2019|The Trushin Troupe]], Teeterboard Act (2019)
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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