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LE CIRQUE D'HIVER DE PARIS=== |+|
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|−|Located in the heart of Paris, between the Place de la République and the Place de la Bastille, at the edge of the historical Marais, the Cirque d’Hiver is the world’s oldest extant circus building. It is also the world’s oldest circus still in activity: It opened its doors in 1852. Its address, at 110 rue Amelot, may seem inconspicuous, but at that precise point, the rue Amelot opens onto the Boulevard du Temple through the small Place Pasdeloup: The Cirque d’Hiver is therefore quite noticeable, practically "on the Boulevards. " |+|
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|−|The Cirque d’Hiver (literally, the ''winter circus'') was built for circus entrepreneur Louis Dejean (1797-1879) to serve as his circus company’s winter home. Dejean already managed the Cirque des Champs-Elysées in the fashionable ''Jardins des Champs-Elysées'', which he kept open from May through October. Up to 1846, his main establishment had been the Cirque Olympique, located some five hundred yards from his new circus, on the portion of the Boulevard du Temple that disappeared in 1862 to give room to the present Place de la République, during the renovation of Paris by the Baron Haussmann. | |
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|−|Dejean had sold his old Cirque Olympique in 1847; although it had been built only twenty years earlier ( in 1827) , it had already lost its appeal and was not practical anymore. Like many circus buildings of its generation, it had been designed with both a circus ring and a full theater stage, and consequently, it was easy for its new owners to transform it into a legitimate theater, the ''Théâtre du Cirque Olympique''. With no permanent home in the winter, Dejean had taken to sending his troupe abroad, to London or Berlin. Although these forays into foreign lands had proved successful enough, having a new winter base in Paris still made more sense. |+|
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|−|Thus, Dejean asked Jacques-Ignace Hittorff (1792-1867), the City of Paris’s Chief Architect, to design the plans for a new circus. Hittorf had already built the Cirque des Champs-Elysées for Dejean, as well as its twin counterpart, the Panorama (today Théâtre du Rond-Point), which were part of the master plan for the renovation of the Chanps-Elysées gardens in the 1840s. Hittorff had also supervised the redesign of the Place de la Concorde (notably with the addition of his own monumental fountain, '' La Fontaine des Mers'' ) and he would later build Paris’s Gare du Nord, the twelve '' hôtels particuliers'' (townhouses) that surround the Arc de Triomphe on the Place de l'Étoile, and many other "classic revival" pieces of work—a style of which he was one of the most influential proponents.... ([[ Cirque d'Hiver|more...]]) |+|
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In The Spotlight
With his bushy sideburns, his Stetson hat, and his jovial personality, Arne Arnardo (1912-1995) was a legendary figure in his native Norway—where he was known as The Circus King—and in the European circus community. He had created Cirkus Arnardo in 1949; it became Norway’s largest and best-known circus, and remained so until the late 1970s, when Knut Dahl’s new Cirkus Merano slowly rose to a dominant position in that country. Yet Cirkus Arnardo never lost its reputation and is still recognized today (2015) as Norway’s premier circus.
Arne Arnardo was born Arne Otto Lorang Andersen on October 12, 1912 in Sarpsborg, on the southeastern tip of Norway, the son of Einar (1888-1967) and Elna (1895-1920) Andersen. His father was a lumberjack. At a very early age, Arne showed an interest in show business; he is said to have given his first performance at age six—a puppet show that he presented in his parents’ home.
He was fourteen when, in 1926, he "ran away and joined the circus": He found a job as a stable boy with Hartvig "Leonardi" Berg’s Cirkus Empress, which had just visited Frederikshald (today Halden), not far from Sarpsborg. Although Arne was now in an environment that suited him better than the world of lumberjacks, he was not yet satisfied: His primary ambition was to perform. He trained as a contortionist and wirewalker, and made his debut in the ring in 1929 under the name of Armido. Soon he changed it to Arnardo, which he thought sounded better.... (more...)
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