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Monday, February 21, 2011

Children and parents enjoy Hannaford circus

Trapeze artist Angela Martin performs in Sunday's Royal Hanneford Circus show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. (Photos by Tania Savayan/The Journal News)
By Ken Valenti • klvalent@lohud.com • February 21, 2011
WHITE PLAINS — Women suspended from swings. One guy shot from a cannon. Another balanced on four skateboards atop a board balanced on a cylinder rocking on a platform.Those were acts in the Royal Hanneford Circus, which continues playing at the Westchester County Center today.
After acrobats and animals entertained the crowd up till intermission, Wesley Miller, 8, of Eastchester said he liked the performers who popped wheelies in large carts like all-terrain vehicles. He also liked the tigers."The tiger was walking on the tightwire," he said. His mother, Rhonda Miller, enjoyed the show, too."It gets better every year," she said. She loves the elaborate glittering costumes of the acrobats strutting across the floor before their feats, she said."It's a theatrical tradition that celebrates daringness, and I think it's just cool," she said.

Tommy Witters of Cortlandt Manor and his son, Danny, 6, watch a trapeze act Sunday at the Royal Hanneford Circus.

This is the 36th year the circus has come to White Plains, and the show ended with the shooting of 26-year-old Shawn Marren from a cannon, so that he flipped and landed on his back on a tall inflated cushion.
In a comedy act, David Zoppe's rhesus monkeys performed dressed in zebra stripes, and, of course, one became mischievous and snatched the hurdles that Zoppe set up for them to jump.
During the intermission, children rode ponies, got their faces painted, and collected souvenirs like swords and retro-looking ray guns."I like the balloons!" said Domenic Marchionno, 3, of Yonkers, showing his monkey balloon. His friend Carly Tauter bounced one that looked like a pink dolphin."I like the elephants," she said.
Performers juggled, bounced from seesaws and flipped into the air.A baby elephant performed with a girl introduced as "4-year-old Miss Kelly," who then led the pachyderm off, trunk in hand.
A woman apparently suspended by her hair, juggled three sticks on fire, then spun wildly. Sparked confetti shot everywhere.
The performing pachyderms were a favorite of Domenic's mother, Valerie Marchionno."The baby was cute, and she did a lot of tricks," she said.Kyle Heling , 6, liked the tigers, too, and had gotten his face painted up like one."I just like that he's happy," said his father, Kevin Heling. "That's the most important thing."

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