Circus films continued to be popular during the Second World War; films from this era included The Great Profile starring John Barrymore (1940), the animated Disney film Dumbo (1941), Road Show (1941), The Wagons Roll at Night (1941) and Captive Wild Woman (1943). This page contains circus acts from A-Z. In Latin, the word circus means "ring," and the Romans used it to describe the arenas in which performances took place. Once they have developed their act, they may join a circus for one or several seasons, or they may travel from circus to circus as independent acts. Following World War I, circus films became popular. In 2009, Bolivia passed legislation banning the use of any animals, wild or domestic, in circuses. Many circus performances are still held in a ring usually 13 m (42 ft) in diameter. Following Barnum's death, his circus merged with that of James Anthony Bailey, and travelled to Europe as The Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show On Earth, where it toured from 1897 to 1902, impressing other circus owners with its large scale, its touring techniques (including the tent and circus train), and its combination of circus acts, a zoological exhibition and a freak show. Many circuses went out of business or were forced to merge with other circus companies. Despite the contemporary circus' shift toward more theatrical techniques and its emphasis on human rather than animal performance, traditional circus companies still exist alongside the new movement. Cambridge University Press, 1995. circus fat When the circus comes to town, you'll see a big, striped tent being set up for the show. In 1919, Lenin, head of the USSR, expressed a wish for the circus to become 'the people's art-form', with facilities and status on a par with theatre, opera and ballet. According to PETA, although the US Animal Welfare Act does not permit the use of electric shock prods, whips, hooks, or similar instruments by trainers, According to PETA, during an undercover investigation of Carson & Barnes Circus, video footage was captured showing animal care director Tim Frisco training endangered Asian elephants with electrical shock prods and instructing other trainers to "beat the elephants with a bullhook as hard as they could and to sink the sharp metal bullhook into the animals' flesh and twist it until they screamed in pain.". Aerialists perform vaulting, leaping, and flying acts, such as trapeze, rings, and cloud swings. ', the Court ruled that evidence against the circus company was "not credible with regard to the allegations". When the Moscow State Circus company began international tours in the 1950s, its levels of originality and artistic skill were widely applauded. Contemporary circus (originally known as nouveau cirque) is a recent performing arts movement that originated in the 1970s in Australia, Canada, France, the West Coast of the United States, and the United Kingdom. Aquatic performers perform water stunts, usually only in very large circuses. Nonetheless, a good number of travelling circuses are still active in various parts of the world, ranging from small family enterprises to three-ring extravaganzas. Feld denied that any of these practices harm elephants. The hand balancing act is one of those simple skills involving someone who spends the entire act upside down. Balancing acts include wire walkers and acrobats. If you have ever ridden a horse or sat on a pony you will appreciate how hard that is to do. The following issues, among others, were found: Based on these findings, the researchers called for more stringent regulation regarding the welfare of circus animals. Isaac A. Watch The Circus: Big Tent, Big Dreams, a four-hour mini-series that details the history of circuses and circus performers. Attending a circus camp is also an excellent way to learn skills and find out about this career. strongman 1930s pounds livingston poundstone derek Ballet and mime are also valuable sources of insight into this field. Next in importance were the Circus Flaminius and the Circus Neronis, from the notoriety which it obtained through the Circensian pleasures of Nero. Early circuses were almost exclusively demonstrations of equestrian skills with a few other types of acts to link the horsemanship performances. Retrieved 24 February 2010. Like the bed of nails which looks painful. It must be a great feeling to make a tent full of kids roar with laughter and delicious delight. They usually wait near the entrances, so that they are ready to go on as soon as they are called. The TV series Circus Humberto, based on the novel by Eduard Bass, follows the history of the circus family Humberto between 1826 and 1924. Famous circus clowns have included Austin Miles, the Fratellini Family, Emmett Kelly, Grock and Bill Irwin. For some time after the fall of Rome, large circus buildings fell out of use as centres of mass entertainment. Numerous books, both non-fiction and fiction, have been published about circus life. Contemporary circus has been credited with reviving the circus tradition since 1980s when a number of groups introduced circus based almost solely on human skills and which drew from other performing art skills and styles. In addition to being a camper, you may be able to find summer work as a counselor or instructor at such a camp once you have some experience. Pablo Fanque, who is noteworthy as Britain's only black circus proprietor and who operated one of the most celebrated travelling circuses in Victorian England, erected temporary structures for his limited engagements or retrofitted existing structures. Jugglers handle a variety of objects, such as clubs, balls, or hoops, and they perform on the ground or on a high wire. On behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands, Wageningen University conducted an investigation into the welfare of circus animals in 2008. A circus-based television series called Circus was also telecast in India in 1989 on DD National, starring Shahrukh Khan as the lead actor. Part 2 of this Circus tribute contains lots more acts from Knife Throwing to Unicycling - including Snake Charming, Trapeze and more. On February 1, 1992 at the Great American Circus in Palm Bay, Florida, an elephant named Janet (1965 February 1, 1992) went berserk while giving a ride to a mother, her two children and three other children. Famous sideshow performers include Zip the Pinhead and The Doll Family. In testimony in U.S. District Court in 2009, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus CEO Kenneth Feld acknowledged that circus elephants are struck behind the ears, under the chin and on their legs with metal tipped prods, called bull hooks. The acrobats or tumblers are athletes and gymnasts who run, jump, spin and tumble across the ring. The American circus was revolutionized by P. T. Barnum and William Cameron Coup, who launched P. T. Barnum's Museum, Menagerie & Circus, a travelling combination of animal and human oddities, the exhibition of humans as a freak show or sideshow was thus an American invention. Astley leased his Parisian circus to the Italian Antonio Franconi in 1793. When not performing, the performers and their apprentices and other helpers maintain their equipment, oversee the set-up of the equipment, maintain their costumes and other props used during performances, and train and rehearse their routines. Camps, such as Circus Camp ( in Georgia, and Circus Smirkus ( in Vermont, are available across the country, and you can find out about them by searching the Web with the words "circus camp." Feld stated that these practices are necessary to protect circus workers. Mabel Stark was a famous female tiger-tamer. The circus has also inspired many writers. The first circus building in the US opened on April 3, 1793 in Philadelphia, where Ricketts gave America's first complete circus performance. For aesthetic or economic reasons, contemporary circus productions may sometimes be staged in theatres rather than in large outdoor tents. Clown are common to most circuses and are typically skilled in many circus acts; "clowns getting into the act" is a very familiar theme in any circus. They often hold festivals, events, and seminars where you can train, get to know other circus performers, and perhaps find a mentor who can help you get into the field. The ringmaster presents performers, speaks to the audience, and generally keeps the show moving. All members of this group agreed that a change in the law was needed to protect circus animals. Or Escape Artists. In arenas too large for speech to be easily audible, the traditional comic dialog of the clown assumed a less prominent place than formerly, while the vastly increased wealth of stage properties relegated to the background the old-fashioned equestrian feats, which were replaced by more ambitious acrobatic performances, and by exhibitions of skill, strength and daring, requiring the employment of immense numbers of performers and often of complicated and expensive machinery. In 1952 Cecil B. de Mille's Oscar winning film The Greatest Show on Earth was first shown. This act involves a man climbing into a cannon and being shot across the circus ring into a safety net. Now who on earth would be scared of a madman with a big red nose, ridiculous feet and odd-looking clothes? The circus is fun to visit and draw. A variety of animals have historically been used in acts. A ban prohibiting the use of wild animals in circuses in Britain will come into effect in 2015. During the winter months, they train, improve their acts, or work in sponsored indoor circuses. The most famous circus theme song is called "Entrance of the Gladiators", and was composed in 1904 by Julius Fuk. Films about the circus made since 1959 include the B-movie Circus of Horrors (1960); the musical film Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962); A Tiger Walks, a Disney film about a tiger that escapes from the circus; and Circus World (1964), starring John Wayne. Solo acrobats are similar to the gymnastic floor performances you might see at the Olympics. Contemporary circuses perform in a variety of venues including tents, theatres and casinos. Soullier was the first circus owner to introduce Chinese acrobatics to the European circus when he returned from his travels in 1866 and Tourniaire was the first to introduce the performing art to Ranga where it became extremely popular. All circus acts are physically demanding, requiring strength, endurance, and flexibility. From the late 19th century through the first half of the 20th century, travelling circuses were a major form of spectator entertainment in the US and attracted huge attention whenever they arrived in a city. Three important circus innovators were Italian Giuseppe Chiarini, and Frenchmen Louis Soullier and Jacques Tourniaire, whose early travelling circuses introduced the circus to Latin America, Australia, South East Asia, China, South Africa and Russia. Sweden, Austria, Costa Rica, India, Finland, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway and Denmark have already restricted the use of animals in entertainment. Circus performers sometimes take jobs on stage while not in season. Circus pioneer Dan Rice was probably the most famous circus and clown pre-Civil War, popularizing such expressions as "The One-Horse Show" and "Hey, Rube!". The USSR nationalized Russian circuses. British Entertainers in France, p.29. William Batty's circus, for example, between 1838 and 1840, travelled from Newcastle to Edinburgh and then to Portsmouth and Southhampton. THE single best visual joke in the whole world ever is the custard pie gag. In its January 2010 verdict on the case, brought against Feld Entertainment International by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 'et al. Go to every circus that comes to your area. Main ring performances are covered along with a few sideshow acts which the larger circuses might hold in a separate tent. Circus performers can spend up to 10 years in training. Some small children and large adults are scared of clowns. A great deal of a performance is the suspense created until the performer is once again safe on the ground. The early Christian writer Tertullian claimed that the first circus games were staged by the goddess Circe in honor of her father Helios, the Sun God. Some circus historians such as George Speaight have stated "these performances may have taken place in the great arenas that were called 'circuses' by the Romans, but it is a mistake to equate these places, or the entertainments presented there, with the modern circus". There he is! The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Contemporary circus combines traditional circus skills and theatrical techniques to convey a story or theme. The 'traditional' format, whereby a ringmaster introduces a varied selection of acts that mostly perform choreographed acts to traditional music, developed in the latter part of 19th century and continued almost universally to be the main style of circus up until 1970s. Soon elephants and big cats were displayed as well. It is not made clear what connection the Roma (Gypsy) people and Roman people have. Is this a confusion between the words "Roma" and "Roman"? Put your hands together for the first act of the night - the gravity defying geniuses, airborne adventurers, titanic tumblers -the Amazing Acrobats!". Some circuses perform from February to early December. In the film Jungle Emperor Leo (1997), Leo's son Lune is captured and placed in a circus, which burns down when a tiger knocks down a ring of fire while jumping through it. The International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo has been held in Monte Carlo since 1974 and was the first of many international awards for circus performers. The most conspicuous success story in the contemporary genre has been that of Cirque du Soleil, the Canadian circus company whose estimated annual revenue now exceeds $810 million, and whose nouveau cirque shows have been seen by nearly 90 million spectators in over 200 cities on five continents. However, in 2007 a different working group under the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, having reviewed information from experts representing both the circus industry and animal welfare, found an absence of "scientific evidence sufficient to demonstrate that travelling circuses are not compatible with meeting the welfare needs of any type of non-domesticated animal presently being used in the United Kingdom." The freak show died out. Other circus music includes "El Caballero", "Quality Plus", "Sunnyland Waltzes", "The Storming of El Caney", "Pahjamah", "Bull Trombone", "Big Time Boogie", "Royal Bridesmaid March", "The Baby Elephant Walk", "Liberty Bell March", "Java", Strauss's "Radetsky March", and "Pageant of Progress". Compared with the traditional circus, the contemporary genre of circus tends to focus more attention on the overall aesthetic impact, on character and story development, and on the use of lighting design, original music, and costume design to convey thematic or narrative content. The Circus is a company of performers that may include clown, acrobats, trained animals, trapeze acts, musicians, hoopers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, unicyclists and other object manipulation and stunt-oriented artists. Without further ado and with a huge sense of anticipation here is your ringmaster for the evening. A circus is a group of many different performers, often including clowns, trapeze artists, and animal trainers. "Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Welcome to the Circus! Bright colours, noise and spectacle add up to an entertaining mix of skills, humor and excitement. The law states that circuses "constitute an act of cruelty." He began his theatrical career with Hughes Royal Circus in London in the 1780s, and travelled from England in 1792 to establish his first circus in Philadelphia. In 1998 in the UK, a parliamentary working group chaired by MP Roger Gale studied living conditions and treatment of animals in UK circuses. Court Record, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Civil Action No 03-2006 (EGS), In lieu of a USDA hearing, Feld Entertainment Inc. (parent of Ringling Bros.) agreed to pay an unprecedented $270,000 fine for violations of the Animal Welfare Act that allegedly occurred between June 2007 and August 2011. In 1782, Astley established the Amphithtre Anglais in Paris, the first purpose-built circus in France, followed by 18 other permanent circuses in cities throughout Europe. As styles of performance have changed since the time of Astley, so too have the types of venues where these circuses have performed. According to this series, Dhruva was born and brought up in a fictional Indian circus called Jupiter Circus. Greece became the first European country to ban any animal from performing in any circus in its territory in February 2012, following a campaign by Animal Defenders International and the Greek Animal Welfare Fund (GAWF). After being rebuilt several times, the final version of the Circus Maximus could seat 250,000 people; it was built of stone and measured 400m in length and 90m in width. Tie the performer up, lock him in a suitcase, a straitjacket, suspend upside down in water - a whole range of dangerous looking confinements for the escapologist to escape from. Circus work is seasonal. These tents eventually became the most common venue and remain so to the present day. Van Amburgh entered a cage with several big cats in 1833, and is generally considered to be the first wild animal trainer in American circus history. Circus musicians and conductors play in bands, called windjammers, which provide dramatic and comedic accompaniment for all acts. Circuses from China, drawing on Chinese traditions of acrobatics, like the Chinese State Circus are also popular touring acts. A popular sideshow attraction from the early 19th century was the flea circus, where fleas were attached to props and viewed through a Fresnel lens. The elephant then stampeded through the circus grounds outside before being shot to death by police. Many circus performers develop variety acts that they can perform in places like Las Vegas or on cruise ships.