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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

Lola Dobritch GSOE.jpg


A fourth-generation circus performer (through her mother), Lola Dobritch (1922-2008) was one of the great tight-wire artists of the mid-twentieth century, famous for crossing her wire on her toes like a ballerina—still a rare feat in her times—which, along with her natural grace and her use of a feather fan instead of an umbrella for balancing, won her to be advertised as "The Pavlova of the Silver Strand."

She was born Vera Dobrich—the correct English spelling of her name—on October 14, 1922 in Sofia, Bulgaria, to Alexandre and Anna Dobrich. Alexandre and his brother, Lazar (1881-1970), owned the Royal Dobrich Circus in Bulgaria. "Lola," as Vera would become known (she was often featured as "Miss Lola"), learned all traditional circus disciplines from her parents and took ballet classes in Sofia, before specializing as a tight-wire dancer. She made her debut on the wire at age ten, in 1932, in the family circus.

In 1946, Lola Dobritch married the German acrobat on unicycle Emil Goetschi (1921-2002), whose remarkable novelty act with brothers Carl and Hans was well known all over Europe, and she became part of the Goetschis’ act while continuing to perform her own tight-wire act. The following year, 1947, the Goetschis signed a contract for their two acts with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and went to the United States.... (more...)

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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—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