Saturday, July 24, 2010
Mount Kisco resident Peter Pucci has a reputation for being a rigorous, creative and caring choreographer. His expertise ranges from ballet and modern dance to theater and instruction as the Artist in Residence at Manhattanville College--- and everything in between. When it seems as though Pucci has done it all, he goes out and joins the circus.
In three weeks' time, Pucci - who runs Peter Pucci Plus Dancers - will tackle unchartered territory in his career as he steps in to choreograph for the Big Apple Circus.
"I've been working individually with my assistant. We talk a lot about it and put ideas on paper," Pucci said. "There are a lot of unknowns in the circus."
Pucci describes the Big Apple Circus as a worldly affair featuring people of different cultural backgrounds. He goes down a list of the international performers, including a contortionist from Mongolia, an act from China and another from Ethiopia. The differences in culture are what Pucci feels brings the show together.
"The show itself is about the universality of the language of movement," he said. "It's not a dance show, but it is inspired by dance."
Pucci's work for the circus will include opening and closing numbers, as well as working with individual characters throughout the duration of the show.
"It's going to be interesting when you walk into the room and you see people from all over the world," he said. "The circus is very different, that they all have acts that they do and we are going to ask them to do things that they normally don't do."
read more at: http://chappaqua.patch.com/articles/mt-kisco-choreographer-ready-for-big-apple-circus
by - WMDT Staff
HARRINGTON, Del. - Saturday's projected record breaking heat and humidity have caused Delaware State Fair officials to delay some openings.
The fair will still open at the usual time, however, the carnival will not open until 4PM.
Friday, July 23, 2010
OCEAN CITY, MD— Ocean City police say three children were hurt in a roller coaster accident.Police and fire personnel were called to Trimper's Rides on South Atlantic Avenue around 9:30 p.m. Thursday. The Tidal Wave roller coaster had an apparent mechananical problem that police say injured several passengers.Paramedics took three children between the ages of 10 and 15 years old to area hospitals with injuries that do not appear to be life theatening.
The park stayed open, but the roller coaster is closed until it can be checked by an amusement park ride safety inspector with Maryland Department of Labor and Licensing.
The park's website calls the double-loop boomerang roller coaster the most popular ride in the outdoor park.
Welcome the circus
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus comes to the Metroplex next week for nearly three weeks of shows in Dallas and Fort Worth. The circus won't be in Cowtown until Aug. 11, but you can greet the Greatest Show on Earth when it arrives in Dallas on Tuesday. There'll be a block party complete with clowns and a lumbering line of elephants that will celebrate their arrival by devouring an enormous pile of fruits and veggies. (Not the clowns -- just the elephants.)
7 p.m. Tuesday at AT&T Plaza, south of American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., Dal las. Free. www.ringling.com.
NORMAL — The Circus Historical Society choosing Bloomington for its annual convention this week doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows circus.
The city was a training ground for trapeze acts in the heyday of circus, and Normal is home to ISU’s Gamma Phi Circus, the nation’s oldest collegiate circus.
“It’s a unique segment of Bloomington’s local history, and it’s a part of popular culture often ignored,” said Steve Gossard, curator of circus collections at Illinois State University’s Milner Library, and a member of the society’s board of directors.
He said nearly 100 people are expected for the convention that opened Wednesday and continues through Saturday.
Places like Baraboo, Wis., Peru, Ind., and Sarasota, Fla., are standouts to circus fans. As is Central Illinois. “This is a pretty big city on the circus map. Bloomington is kind of unique. It’s not that a lot of circuses came out of here, but a lot of performers sure did,” said Fred Pfening, editor of the society’s journal, Bandwagon Magazine.
“The two biggest names that come to mind are Eddie Ward and Arthur Concello. They were the grandfather and the father of most flying trapeze acts in the United States up to the mid ’50s. Everyone was a protégé, and they trained here in the winters,” he said.Beginning in the 1870s and for more than a hundred years, this area produced hundreds of circus performers. By the turn of the century, two of the most famous trapeze troupes — The Flying LeVans and the Flying Fishers — hailed from Bloomington.
In the years that followed, Ward’s training barn became legendary, producing many spin-off acts from his Ward Flyers.
Pfening, a historian from Columbus, Ohio, grew up in the world of the big top — his father owned a circus. He said attending the annual convention is a time to see old, but not ordinary, friends.
“There’s one guy whose specialty is elephants. And another who is researching the ‘specs,’” said Pfening. Specs, or spectaculars, were huge production numbers popular in the circuses of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
This convention’s focus on flying trapeze will come to life with the appearance of some of the most famous flyers, many recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for their feats, said Gossard.
They include Miguel and Juan Vazquez, owners of the quadruple somersault; Tony Steele, the first to complete 3 ½ back somersaults to a leg’s catch, who has also performed at the Gamma Phi Circus; Terry Cavaretta, one of the world’s most famous female flyers; and Richie Ganoa, a movie stuntman whose family is among modern innovators of the sport.
Also on hand this week will be filmmaker Philip Weyland. He and his crew are collecting interview footage for the documentary “The Last Great Flyer,” a film about the Vazquez brothers.
Big Top studies
The Circus Historical Society celebrates the art of the flying trapeze this week in Bloomington during its annual convention. Here are some details:Big Top studies
The Circus Historical Society celebrates the art of the flying trapeze this week in Bloomington during its annual convention. Here are some details:
-- “A Passion for Circus,” Illinois State University’s Milner Library opens its Circus and Allied Arts Collection with a public event 2-5 p.m. today. For information, call 309-438-3527.*
-- Flying trapeze workshop: Some of the world’s most famous living trapeze legends lead a Saturday workshop for convention attendees, at ISU’s Gregory Street fields.
-- Panels will focus on everything from the history of animal welfare in circuses to the extreme athleticism of circus performers. A few offer a local twist:
-- Walter and Dorita Estes share tales of circus life. Dorita Estes and her sister, Ronna Sutton, grew up in Bloomington, training here. Their parents were China and Dorthy Durbin, one of Arthur Concello’s flying acts of the Ringling Bros. Circus in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
-- Cherie Valentine talks about the Valentine Trapeze Acts of Bloomington. George Washington Valentine and Lillian Richards raised four sons here who became flying trapeze performers: Cherie Valentine’s father, George Dewey Valentine, led the famous Flying Valentinos.
-- To learn more about the society visit www.circushistory.org
* Most events are only for those who have registered for the convention. However, the Milner event is free and open to the public.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Since the beginning, agriculture has been a staple of the Delaware State Fair. That focus has never been more important than today, when many adults and children with more urban and suburban backgrounds don't fully understand the significant role farming has in the region's financial stability.One of the priceless components of the State Fair is that agriculture is on display to see, hear and taste. New tractors stand just yards away from shiny antiques. Livestock exhibits are right around the corner from award-winning vegetable entries. Chicken dinners at the Delaware State Grange food booth are down the street from the freshly prepared scrapple sandwiches.The Delaware State Fair displays its unique traditions during the end of every July. Countless volunteers and participants who love the fair make it the success it is. Attendees from all walks of life enjoy the experience. Its diverse schedules and exhibits offer something for everyone.Over the years, the fairgrounds complex has added improvements and amenities, but the spirit of the fair remains rural and agrarian.Its traditions are comforting in a changing world; its emphasis on agricultural heritage is just as important now as it was almost a century ago.
Copyright 2010 Morning Sun. Some rights reserved
Circus coming to town in August
By THE DAILY CHRONICLE, Dekalb, IL
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The 74th edition of the Carson & Barnes Circus will bring almost 100 performers and animals to Sycamore behind Blain's Farm & Fleet on Aug. 9 and 10 with shows at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. each day.
This is a fundraising event for the DeKalb Knights of Columbus to support many of its local community projects, according to a news release from the organization.
Carson & Barnes Circus features more than two dozen types of exotic and domestic animals. Acts consist of aerial trapeze, high wire, motorcycle acrobatic teams, jugglers and clowns, along with performing elephants, camels, dogs and horses, according to the news release.
General admission coupons will be available at some local businesses and the circus grounds behind Farm & Fleet. These coupons are redeemable at the box office. Two adult tickets are $18 and two childrens' tickets (ages 2-11) are $10. Coupons also are available at http://www.carsonbarnescircus.com/.
The Knights of Columbus soon will offer Supersaver Tickets for $25. These tickets will admit up to three children and two adults for general admission seating and will be available for purchase at Castle Bank locations in DeKalb and Sycamore.
Hatching a new show Cirque du Soleil presents `OVO'
By Richard Duckett TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFFrduckett@telegram.com
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The first question for Marjon Van Grunsven, artistic director of the Cirque du Soleil production of "OVO," was going to be what the artistic director of a Cirque show actually does.
The phone call for the interview was placed at the pre-arranged time, and Van Grunsven picked up immediately. But not to answer any questions right then. "It's a little bit hectic," she explained. Could she call back the number that had shown up on her cell phone in about five or 10 minutes?
Thirty-minutes later we started talking again, but that opening question had pretty much already been answered. Some last-minute lineup changes in the cast for the next performance had been necessitated, and Van Grunsven had to make sure everything was well covered. "Sometimes that's our reality," she said. So the responsibilities of the artistic director ... "One of which you just experienced live - to make sure the show that goes on stage is perfect."
The show was in Hartford, at the time. Tomorrow, "OVO" officially opens under the famed Cirque du Soleil ("Circus of the Sun") blue and yellow "Grand Chapiteau" for an engagement through Aug. 29 at Fan Pier and Pier 4 on Boston's "new waterfront" that will draw thousands of people from across New England.read more at: http://www.telegram.com/article/20100721/NEWS/100729947/1011Cirque du Soleil: `OVO'WHEN: Thursday-Aug. 29WHERE: Fan Pier and Pier 4 waterfront, BostonHOW MUCH: $40-$225; children 2-12, $28-$178.50; students and seniors, $36-$207FOR INFORMATION: call (800) 450-1480 or visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/ovo
Jessica Fulbright and Sherrie Juarez ride the Pharoh's Fury at the Montana State Fair. (TRIBUNE FILE PHOTOS)
Thomas Carnival brings new rides to fair
By Tribune Staff • July 21, 2010
When The Mighty Thomas Carnival pulls into town this week, it will bring several new rides Great Falls has not seen before.
The Starship 4000, a new Scrambler, the Hi Roller and the Himalaya, a high-speed re-creation of an alpine snowmobile trip, will be new rides for kids and adults alike to try out.
This is the 17th year the Mighty Thomas Carnival has set up shop at the Montana State Fair. Centerpiece of the midway is the towering 70-foot ferris wheel with gondola-style seating designed to be enjoyed by the entire family.
Other hot rides include the spinning Thunderbolt, the exhilarating Zipper, and the swinging Pharaoh's Fury. Adventurous riders will enjoy the whirling Spider and the exciting wave action of the Moby Dick. The Super Shot always draws a crowd to watch the reactions of riders as they free fall to the bottom of the 90-foot tall drop tower.
For young families, make sure to check out the kids' carnival in South Park, in the shade of the old cottonwood trees. There also will be many popular carnival games, including water races, the duck pond, balloon pop, basketball, paintball blaster, big ring-bottle, grab-bag fish and the rope ladder.
Carson & Barnes set up the big top Tuesday at Huron County Fairgrounds, offering a circus teeming with acrobats, unicycles and animal performances.
But not everyone was excited.
Some visitors stood on the sidelines protesting the treatment of the show’s biggest performers — the elephants.
Norwalk resident Sherri Rodriguez and her daughters, Erin and Adrianna Rodriguez, passed out flyers and held signs reading “Boycott the circus” and “Their blood is on your hands.”
“Every ticket you buy makes an elephant cry,” protesters chanted as cars parked.
Some drivers shouted things at Rodriguez, while others drove by silently without looking.
Carson & Barnes is the oldest family-owned circus in the U.S. The company is billing its 2010 tour — its 74th year — as a continuation of a “great American family tradition.”
The show brings guests face-to-face with world-renowned performers and exotic animals, and is currently making its way through Ohio.
But there are those who would like to see the show cut short.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA — a national animal rights group — said more than 40 violations and abuse allegations have been filed against Carson & Barnes over the years.
The alleged wrongdoings range from escaped animals to those receiving inadequate care, leading to sickness or death.
PETA has also said the circus’ former animal care director was videotaped prodding elephants with metal bullhooks. Those same bullhooks are still used during shows.
U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections in recent years showed no allegations of animal abuse or violations that resulted in fines for Carson & Barnes.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, said she’s hoping the protests will have an impact on the circus and its visitors.
“We had one car that already turned around,” she said prior to Tuesday’s 4:30 show. “A lot of people have stopped to think about it. Even if they still go in today, at least they might stop and think about it the next time.”
Monroeville resident Joshua Ward stopped to talk to Rodriguez, his son Landon, 4, and daughter Ellie, 3, in tow.
Ward immediately asked her for more information.
“I told my son prior to coming here that this may happen,” Ward said. “It’s good for (Rodriguez) to stick to what she believes in if she thinks this is what she needs to do.”
Ward said he had not researched Carson & Barnes prior to coming. He’s visited circuses in the past and saw nothing wrong with using animals as part of the show if they’re treated humanely.
“They’re part of the show; it wouldn’t be a circus without an elephant,” he said. “I’m still going, but if I see anything abusive, obviously I won’t stay. I don’t want to show my kids that.”
Other guests didn’t seem interested in elephants, and instead talked about enjoying other attractions.
“The best part was the guy that could fit himself in a box,” Hannah Presthee, 8, said with a laugh. “It was weird. He was so flexible and I didn’t think anybody would ever be able to do that.”
Val Raymond, of Norwalk, said her granddaughter enjoyed the elephants.
“My granddaughter got to ride an elephant at intermission and she was so excited,” Raymond said. “I didn’t see any instance of animal cruelty.”
On its website, Carson & Barnes said its animals are well-treated and it prides itself on the “level of care and the healthy environment (they) provide for all animal performers.”
Jaseen Pintado, a Carson & Barnes spokesman, said protesters like Rodriguez are common to circuses, regardless of animal treatment.
And Carson & Barnes’ performance was not affected by the protesters, Pintado said.
“If anything, they help us and they make it better,” Pintado said. “We have a much larger attendance today than expected because more people read about us. Even if they say ‘don’t go,’ they still give the dates and people will end up going.”
About 800 people attended the first show in Norwalk, while Pintado projected even more spectators at the 7:30 p.m. show.
He expects everyone will enjoy the show despite the negative attention.
“It’s been really successful so far and is going really well in Ohio,” Pintado said.
(Story by Alissa Widman, Special to the Register)
Want to go?
What: Carson & Barnes circus
Show Times: 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. today at Sandusky County Fairgrounds, 901 Rawson Ave., Fremont
Cost: Tickets are buy one, get one free. Cost is $18 for adults; $10 for children
We need to thank Jess and Lee Tenhoff and all the Yurt Village Family for hosting our show, putting a tent over our heads, Indira and Sharon for rearranging their goods to make room for us, and Homer Council on the Arts for sponsoring our performances. To quote (kind of) a famous vaudevillian family, "My daughter thanks you, my son thanks you, my daughter's partner thanks you, my son's partner thanks you, our incredible friends Kammi and Santi thank you.
Mary, Morgan and Tyler Langham
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Photo shows a donkey attached to a parachute flying over a beach in Golubitskaya, Russia. Russian sunbathers got a shock when they spotted the donkey soaring in the skies over the Sea of Azov in southern Russia.
Dover, Del. — The Delaware State Fair has at least 11,507 fans, and that’s only counting the ones on Facebook. Danny Aguilar, assistant general manager and director of marketing, said they hope that 11,000 is just a taste of who will turn out once the gates open at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 22, when the fair officially starts its 10-day run.
Last year’s fair drew more than 300,000, a total Aguilar and company would like to hit again. They’re already luring people in with updates on Facebook, Twitter and through email, and will continue with that during the fair. They’re also using Flickr to make the fair more interactive, and will be asking visitors to post their own pictures to the site once the fair starts, Aguilar said.
Although organizers are always excited about the Grandstand entertainment, they’re geared up for the addition of Circus Hollywood to this year’s free entertainment. The circus performers will put on regular 45- to 50-minute shows complete with clowns, the globe of death motorcyclists, high-wire acts, animals and more.
“Most folks think, ‘A circus at the fair?’” Aguilar said. “It’s like what you would pay to see a traveling circus ... and it’s all part of the gate admission.”
Joining the circus are returning favorites Vocal Trash in the free entertainment tent, as well as traditions such as the nightly parade and demolition derbies Thursday, July 22, and Friday, July 30. Fireworks are planned for after the Paramore concert July 24 and the Jason Aldean concert Saturday, July 31.
Aguilar said one of the perks of this year’s fair is the inexpensive gate admission, which is again $6. Tickets are $5 if bought in advance, a bargain for the free entertainment offered once inside, Aguilar said.
“We’ve recognized through other fairs, earlier ones down south, that fairs very much benefit from recessions or economic challenges,” he said.
HILLA, Iraq — The hapless lion and snake both died in an Iraqi heatwave, but for the jugglers, clowns, fire-eater and other circus performers, the show in ancient Babylon had to go on.
Tonight, under the glare of spotlights and despite the sweltering heat, entertainment-starved spectators in the war-ravaged country are glued to their seats as a daredevil roars inside the Globe of Death on a motorbike.
The Jahan (World) company from neighbouring Iran is giving many Iraqis their first-ever circus experience.
Children gasp when the circus fakir, whose firm belly has already repelled tossed knives and other sharp objects, stoically withstands a menacing nail pushed into his nose.
Each evening since early July, the open-air amphitheatre has come alive with circus performers strutting their stuff before the Ishtar Gate, one of the eight entrances to ancient Babylon, founded by Amorites in 19th century BC.
Except in the oil-rich, autonomous region of Kurdistan in the north, Iraqis have not seen a circus in their country since the 1970s, when Bulgarian, Romanian and Russian troupes would regale crowds in Baghdad each autumn.
That was Iraq's last decade of peace, before Saddam Hussein formally came to power in 1979 and pushed the country from one disaster to another.
WAYNESBORO, Pa. — The circus is coming to town, minus the trapeze artists, animal tricks and overpriced popcorn.
Instead, Waynesboro residents William Link and Marjorie VonDrach are concerned with only the circus music. Not the canned music used today, but the waltzes, opera, ragtime and marches of yesteryear.
Through their membership in the North American organization Windjammers Unlimited, Link and VonDrach are hosting a convention for performers of circus music in July 2012. Almost a week of daylong rehearsals will culminate in public concerts July 20 at Waynesboro Area Senior High School and July 21 at Boyds Bear Country in Gettysburg, Pa.
Before then, Link and VonDrach are busying themselves with preparations.
“Where do you house all of these people?” Link said of one of his first concerns.
With no options for large groups in Waynesboro, Link and VonDrach toured hotels in surrounding communities. They needed rehearsal space in addition to a block of rooms.
“When we’d visit a hotel, the first thing Bill would do was go into the ballroom and whistle to see what the acoustics were like,” VonDrach said.
They settled on Liberty Mountain Resort in Carroll Valley, Pa., and registered for all the rooms.
Link started participating in Windjammers Unlimited events eight years ago with the encouragement of his friend, the late Carl Thompson. The group meets every January in Sarasota, Fla., (home to the Circus Museum) and plays music from the 1850s to 1950s.
“During the summer, we go to different places in the country and Canada,” said Link, who plays the tuba.
While Windjammers Unlimited officials were talking about the plans for 2012, Link remembered how Thompson, of Shippensburg, Pa., always talked about holding a meet in southcentral Pennsylvania.
“When Carl died, it was sort of like that idea died with him, but Bill resurrected it. ... There are a lot of positive aspects of having it here,” VonDrach said.
She said the meet, which is expected to draw 150 players and their families, will have a positive impact on local businesses. A non-playing member, VonDrach will be recommending various activities and restaurants to the group.
Link and VonDrach said they hope attendance is good for the concerts; VonDrach said there are a number of music lovers in the Waynesboro.
“I think Waynesboro is really going to show up for this,” she said of the concert at the high school.
Circus music encompasses a number of genres, with the music chosen to change audience members’ moods depending on the act. For example, the song “Big Cage” was featured when animals were supposed to command attention, Link said.
Players will be practicing 65 pieces of music under 10 directors, he said.
“We’re looking forward to seeing everyone coming to this area and being amazed,” VonDrach said of their Windjammers Unlimited friends
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
FREMONT -- The Carson and Barnes Circus is coming to town Wednesday at the Sandusky County Fairgrounds.The last time this circus came to town was in 1999, said Mal Knopf, marketing director of the circus."We cover all of Ohio and go to more than 200 towns in nine months," he said.
The two shows are at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Adult tickets are $18 and children's tickets are $10 for those 12 and younger. Tickets are buy one, get one free.
People can save more if they buy them online at http://www.carson/ barnescircus.com.
The circus dates back to 1937 through four generations of family ownership and operation. The new circus tent is about 50 feet high and can hold about 2,200 people.
Knopf said they have the second largest herd of elephants in the United States and support the Endangered Ark Foundation for the preservation of the endangered Asian elephant and other animals.
On the morning of the circus, people can see more than two dozen types of animals as they arrive and are watered and fed.
Despite allegations by PETA of animal cruelty by circuses, Knopf says "We've never been cited for animal abuse. We get inspected on a regular basis by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and sometimes by surprise.
Cole Bros. Circus opens week of shows in Midland Beach this evening
Published: Monday, July 19, 2010
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The Cole Bros. Circus kicks off its week-long stay on Staten Island this evening with its opening show at Midland Beach.
The circus pitches it tent through Sunday in Midland Beach Park, 1110 Capodanno Blvd.
Show times are 5 and 8 p.m., today through Friday,
and 2, 5 and 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The show will deliver five elephants, two camels, two zebras, two miniature horses, 11 ponies, 10 dogs, seven tigers and one liger (a lion/tiger half-breed), along with traditional clowns, trapeze artists and a human cannonball.
from the Staten Island Advance
Rides bring fairgoers around and around
While livestock and 4-H projects are the central themes of the Tippecanoe County 4-H fair, the rides are what draw thrill seekers young and old.
According to carnival supervisor Andrew Schoendienst, there will be approximately 20 carnival rides at the fair this year with the Avalanche being one of the most popular.For those looking to save, today and Saturday present opportunities to save with special pricing.The Journal & Courier went to the fair to see what rides fairgoers liked best, with the Storm being a crowd favorite.Jacob Rothenberger, 13 -- Lafayette: "I like the Avalanche because it spins you around a lot and it's fun to go on."from jconline.comKendall Jero, 17-- Lafayette: "My favorite ride is Storm. It's kind of like a scrambler, it's really fast which is what I like about it.Blake Nydegger, 9 and Karissa Nydegger, 10, -- Dayton: "The Himalaya is my favorite ride. I like it because it goes around and around and gets faster. It's really fun," said Blake.Karissa preferred slower rides and liked the Avalanche."The Avalanche is slow at times, and when it drops you its really fun," she said.James Horn,18 -- Romney: "Storm is my favorite because it's awesome and it's rough. I try to go on it whenever I can."Jennifer Mills, 10 -- Lafayette: "I like Storm and how it spins you around. The first time I went on it I threw up. I was relaxed when I was riding on it, but then when I got off I didn't feel good."