Difference between revisions of "Main Page"

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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 ήρθατ
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<br><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 ήρθατ
 
ε!</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/>
 
ε!</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:98%;"> ''Circopedia was originally inspired and funded by the [http://www.sdrubin.org/ Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation]''.</div><br/>
 
<div style="top:+0.2em; font-size:98%;"> ''Circopedia was originally 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==
  
===JACKO FOSSETT===
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===MOIRA ORFEI===
[[File:Jacko_Fossett.jpg|right|350px]]
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[[File:Moira_Orfei_and_elephants.jpg|right|400px]]
A very popular British clown, Jacko Fossett (1922-2004) belonged to the English branch of the extremely prolific Fossett circus family, whose origins date back to the mid-nineteenth century in Ireland. So numerous the Fossett clan is that it was once said that every circus in the British Isles harbored at least one Fossett! (Jacko Fossett said: "It's not a family, it's a disease!") The family produced several good clowns, among whom Harry Fossett ("Funny Harry"), Tommy Fossett, better known as "Professor Grimble," and Jacko's own father, also known as "Jacko." The junior Jacko Fossett, however, enjoyed a very successful career that spanned nearly sixty years not only in the British Isles, but also abroad.
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Moira Orfei (born Miranda Orfei, 1931-2015) was an Italian pop-culture icon. A member of Italy's most famous circus family, she could compete in fame with any Italian music or movie legend. She was undoubtedly the only circus owner in the world who could get away (for forty years, no less!) with advertising her circus using posters that prominently displayed only her head shot and her first name. Much of her reputation was due to her long movie career, which coincided with the golden age of Italian cinema. But it was also due to the quality of her circus.
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The daughter of Riccardo Orfei and Violetta Arata, she was born in the family's living trailer on December 21, 1931 in Codriopo, Italy. As a child, Moira was trained in all the basic circus disciplines. In 1960&mdash;without ever leaving the circus&mdash;she began a movie career. Ultimately, she appeared in nearly forty films, including popular Italian comedies and a host of internationally successful Italian productions based on mythological themes, such as the ''Hercules'', ''Ursus'', and ''Samson'' series.
  
He was born Robert George John Francis Fossett on November 11, 1922, in Kingston upon Hull, a port city in East Yorkshire where his father, John Fossett, was performing as a clown with the Sir Robert Fossett Circus. His mother was Marie Fossett, née Proctor, a tightwire artist who came from a large family of fairground entertainers. Jack (as Jacko Fossett was known to his friends and family) had three elder sisters, Margaret, Emmie, and Louise, who, as a trio, performed a trapeze act.
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In 1961, she married the acrobat Walter Nones (1934-2016), the son of Giuseppe Nones and Adele Medini. A year later, they formed a company with the Austrian Swoboda sisters (of the Medrano-Swoboda circus) and began a long career as circus owners and directors. A year after that, the Orfeis and the Swobodas parted ways. Moira and Walter went on to create their own Circo Moira Orfei, which quickly drew attention, both for the elegance of its productions and its infrastructures and, above all, for the high quality of its acts.
 
   
 
   
John Fossett was one of the eleven children of Robert Fossett III (whose own father, "Sir" Robert Fossett, was the founder of the eponymous circus) and Isabelle Bailey. After the death of his father in December 1922, John, with some of his siblings, founded the ''Fossett Family Circus'', while his brother Robert IV revived the ''Sir Robert Fossett'' title. Like all circus children, Jack Fossett learned an array of circus disciplines from his extended family. Unfortunately, despite changing its name to a glorious ''Fossett's Imperial Circus'', the Fossett Family Circus failed and eventually closed in 1928.... ([[Jacko Fossett|more...]])
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Moira and Walter launched the monumental ''Circo sul Ghiaccio'' ("Circus on Ice") in 1969. It was easily the most sophisticated circus-on-ice show ever undertaken; it had both a circus ring and a skating rink, and the show included elaborate set changes, a huge variety of costumes, and an international cast of circus and variety megastars. During this period, Moira's elephant presentations made her a legend, while Walter became an excellent lion and tiger trainer.... ([[Moira Orfei|more...]])
  
 
==New Essays and Biographies==
 
==New Essays and Biographies==
  
* [[Little Billy Merchant]], Clown
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* [[Cedric Walker]], Circus Owner
* [[Jacko Fossett]], Clown
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* [[The Aragón Family]], Clown Dynasty
* [[Circus Ring of Fame]], History
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* [[Totti Alexis]], Clown
* [[Natalya Jigalova]], Aerialist
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* [[Ross Mollison]], Circus Producer
* [[Guangzhou Acrobatic Troupe]], History
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* [[Don Saunders]], Clown
  
 
==New Videos==
 
==New Videos==
  
* [[Nesterova_Video_(2022)|Alice Nesterova]], tiger act (2022)
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* [[Monte_Carlo_Video_(2016)| International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo]], 40th Anniversary Gala (excerpts) (2016)
* [[Demitova_Video_(2022)|Anna Demitova]], hand balancer and foot juggler (2022)
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* [[Parmar_Video_(2024)|Hunish Parmar]], strap act (2024)
* [[Swing_High_Video_(1932)|Swing High]], documentary featuring The Codonas (1932)
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* [[Tabares_Video_(2023)|The Flying Tabares]], flying trapeze (2023)
* [[Alexis_Brothers_Video_(2006)|The Alexis Brothers]], hand-to-hand balancing (2006)
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* [[Two_On_The_Rope_Video_(2024)|Two On The Rope]], corde lisse (2024)
* [[Safargalin Video (2022)|The Safargalin Troupe]], group juggling (2022)
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* [[Caballeros_Video_(2023)|The Flying Caballeros]], flying trapeze (2023)
  
 
==New Oral Histories==
 
==New Oral Histories==

Latest revision as of 22:59, 1 March 2024


Welcome! ✫ Bienvenue! ✫ Willkommen! ✫ Добро Пожаловать!
Bienvenida! ✫ Benvenuto! ✫ 歡迎 ! ✫ Vítejte! ✫ Καλώς ήρθατ ε!
Üdvözöljük! ✫ Добре Дошли! ✫ Welkom! ✫ Ласкаво Просимо!
Velkommen! ✫ Tervetuloa! ✫ Дабро Запрашаем! ✫ Välkommen!

Circopedia was originally inspired and funded by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.

In The Spotlight

MOIRA ORFEI

Moira Orfei and elephants.jpg

Moira Orfei (born Miranda Orfei, 1931-2015) was an Italian pop-culture icon. A member of Italy's most famous circus family, she could compete in fame with any Italian music or movie legend. She was undoubtedly the only circus owner in the world who could get away (for forty years, no less!) with advertising her circus using posters that prominently displayed only her head shot and her first name. Much of her reputation was due to her long movie career, which coincided with the golden age of Italian cinema. But it was also due to the quality of her circus.

The daughter of Riccardo Orfei and Violetta Arata, she was born in the family's living trailer on December 21, 1931 in Codriopo, Italy. As a child, Moira was trained in all the basic circus disciplines. In 1960—without ever leaving the circus—she began a movie career. Ultimately, she appeared in nearly forty films, including popular Italian comedies and a host of internationally successful Italian productions based on mythological themes, such as the Hercules, Ursus, and Samson series.

In 1961, she married the acrobat Walter Nones (1934-2016), the son of Giuseppe Nones and Adele Medini. A year later, they formed a company with the Austrian Swoboda sisters (of the Medrano-Swoboda circus) and began a long career as circus owners and directors. A year after that, the Orfeis and the Swobodas parted ways. Moira and Walter went on to create their own Circo Moira Orfei, which quickly drew attention, both for the elegance of its productions and its infrastructures and, above all, for the high quality of its acts.

Moira and Walter launched the monumental Circo sul Ghiaccio ("Circus on Ice") in 1969. It was easily the most sophisticated circus-on-ice show ever undertaken; it had both a circus ring and a skating rink, and the show included elaborate set changes, a huge variety of costumes, and an international cast of circus and variety megastars. During this period, Moira's elephant presentations made her a legend, while Walter became an excellent lion and tiger trainer.... (more...)

New Essays and Biographies

New Videos

  • International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo, 40th Anniversary Gala (excerpts) (2016)
  • Hunish Parmar, strap actAerial act performed hanging from a pair of fabric or leather straps. (See Aerial Straps.) (2024)
  • The Flying Tabares, flying trapezeAerial act in which an acrobat is propelled from a trapeze to a catcher, or to another trapeze. (See also: Short-distance Flying Trapeze) (2023)
  • Two On The Rope, corde lisse(French) A vertical rope used in aerial acts, either for the act itself, or to climb up to an apparatus. Called Spanish Web when covered with fabric. (2024)
  • The Flying Caballeros, flying trapezeAerial act in which an acrobat is propelled from a trapeze to a catcher, or to another trapeze. (See also: Short-distance Flying Trapeze) (2023)

New Oral Histories

Circopedia Books

A Message from the Founder

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