Saturday, September 24, 2011
Circus owner David Balding believed he was doing the right thing when he saved an orphaned elephant from certain death and put her to work under the big top.
It was love at first sight when David met baby elephant Flora. Just two years old, she had seen her family killed by ivory poachers in Zimbabwe. So when David was offered the chance to care for her, he grabbed it.Flora was in a crate and, though scared, she was curious and immediately seemed to bond with me. She was alone in a scary world. What she really needed was love,’ says David, who gave her a home in 1984. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2040638/Circus-owner-David-Balding-loved-lost-orphaned-elephant-rescued.html#ixzz1YroPjz1D
"He's crazy," said Chapman, 13, an eighth-grader at Trewyn Middle school said. "I think they're probably well trained, but they could turn at any time."
Chapman, along with his brother Kenneth Ward and father, Gregor Chapman, took in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Friday night at the Civic Center. Ward, 13, an eighth-grader at Lincoln Middle School, said this was his first time seeing such a spectacle.
"We didn't know we were going to come here until we got out of school today," he said. Their father surprised them with the tickets.
"My son reminded me that he'd never been to the circus even though his sisters had, so I had to take them," Gregor Chapman said. "It's a lot more than I expected."
Motorcycle stunt men defied death by racing just inches from each other in a metal sphere, elephants performed tricks, and some of the 143 performers contorted their bodies into strange and unnatural positions for the crowd.
For Matthew Variell, and associate production manager with the circus, it's all a blur. Literally.
"We call it gig blur," Vareille said. "It's a term that we came up with that puts it very succinctly."
Vareille will mark two years with the circus on Tuesday and says that while people don't necessarily "run away with the circus," some who work with the circus in their hometown end up traveling with the group.
"We always have local people who work for us everywhere we go," Vareille said. "Some of them say 'Hey, this is cool,' and stay with us for a couple of weeks, sometimes a couple of years."
Ava McCreary, 2, of Pekin saw the event as something much simpler than a career path. It was an opportunity to get her hands on some of the flashy merchandise that vendors were hawking throughout the corridors of the arena.
"I want that, Daddy, and that, and that," Ava said to her father, Matt.
For a small group of about 10 protesters holding signs just off Jefferson Avenue near the main entrance to the arena, the event was an opportunity to spread the word about allegations of animal cruelty against the circus.
Friday, September 23, 2011
From March to November, members of the Carson & Barnes Circus bring the big top to communities around the country. The Bourbon County Fairgrounds in Fort Scott was the stop on Tuesday. Office assistant Josie Loyal said 110 people travel with the Hugo, Okla.-based circus, providing two shows a day -- every day -- to each city that brings them in. In addition to the big top with its clowns, performers, trapeze artists and animals, the show includes elephant and pony rides for kids, rides, food and games. The show travels with more than 50 animals and feed and hay are purchased every day, Loyal said. Carson & Barnes' performers come from all over the world.
As in years past, NoJoe’s Clown Circus amuses audiences each night at the fair. But this year, the group performs a new circus adventure for people of all ages to enjoy.
Joey and Tyler Thurmond, a father and son clown team, perform as NoJoe and Toot. They dance, juggle, wire-walk and goof off to giggles and guffaws.
Another Salisbury resident, Beth Stebe, agreed. She was there with her 7-year-old son, Christian, and her 14-year-old daughter, Heather.
“This is our first year seeing NoJoe, and he was just spectacular,” Stebe said. “The other performers were just wonderful, too. We’ll definitely come back next year.”
Stebe’s daughter said she was impressed by “Miss Jamie” Thurmond, who performed acrobatic feats on a swinging ladder.
At one point during her act, “Miss Jamie” hangs upside-down 30 feet off the ground, smiling broadly at the applauding crowd.
Then comes a balancing act as Hernan Colonia performs handstands on top of two, then three, four and five stacked chairs.
Finally, most fairgoers get to see a thrill act on the “Wheel of Adventure” at the colorful clown circus, but it wasn’t ready for Thursday night’s first show due to rainy weather.
The rain did clear in time for visitors to stay dry Thursday night.read more at:http://www.salisburypost.com/News/092311-fair-County-fair-entertainment-qcd
Iverson is the ringmaster for Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus, which makes a stop in Peoria Sept. 23-25.
When the circus rolls into town, it will be by train — all 300 employees, many of the animals and equipment.
"It's a huge carpool," said Iverson, who shares an apartment with his wife, Priscilla, and their two boys, ages 6 and 2. Priscilla is a dancer and a line captain who works alongside the production manager in overseeing the show. They have a kitchen and a living room area, two bedrooms and a bathroom. There is a school and a nursery on the train.
"It's a lot of fun during the train runs, when we're going from city to city. We watch movies, play boardgames, my son will do some work. We sometimes go out to the vestibule and watch the country go by."
How do they bring normalcy to their lives in this environment? They don't.
"There is no normal, and I like it that way," he said. "I don't know where we get the stuff about normal from. I love the unpredictability of our life, because it's actually life."
This has been Iverson's life since 1998, when, at age 22, he became the youngest Ringling Bros. ringmaster, and the first African-American one. He was trying out for a dinner theater after graduating from the Hartt School, the University of Hartford's performing arts conservatory when the director of the theater (who was also directing the circus) liked his work.READ MORE:http://www.pjstar.com/entertainment/x66189840/Theres-nothing-normal-about-being-in-a-circus
It has been a long and varied journey for Mr Archer, but he says it started as a child on parkland in his former home town.
"The first time I ever saw a circus was on the Knutsford Heath when I was about six years old.
"It was sheer excitement, I'd discovered the circus.
"I was captured by the complete spectacle of it and the magic; the fact that it appeared overnight, held performances and then was gone again, with just a bit of sawdust on the ground in memory of it."
That spectacle enthralled him to such an extent that he decided that when he grew up, he would join a circus.
"I was fascinated by all aspects of the circus, but something I could take up readily was juggling.
"I picked up some juggling balls and started practising in my bedroom.
"Juggling became four, five hours a day, with my mother looking on in shock and horror that I was going to spend a lot of time doing this."
"I bumped into a juggler at a bus stop, who was also a historian of juggling.
"He had old cut-outs of some very famous jugglers - he showed me them all and then gave them to me.
"It was mind-boggling, the things I saw, and that inspired me to greater things."
read more at:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-14987322
Thursday, September 22, 2011
When I entered the building I saw poster size canvas paintings depicting the drama during the golden era of the circus. Contemporary artists had presented vintage sideshow banners to capture the inspiration of the circus. Before the circus came to town colorful posters were designed and plastered all over town to generate excitement.
As I walked down the hall I saw posters of people with human deformities that made up the sideshow. I felt like the circus was all around me. If I closed my eyes, I could see a ferris wheel and the Tilt- A-Whirl at the beginning of the midway. Under the "Big Top" are the freaks of nature, the midget, the two-headed lady, the ugliest woman alive and of course the fattest lady in the world. The only thing missing was the smell of funnel cakes.
A colorful, painted canvas of a fat lady caught my eye. As I stood in front of it to admire the artist’s work, the gentleman next to me said, “It’s beautifully done don’t you think?”
He was a small, balding man with most of his teeth missing. He was dressed in a bright yellow polyester sport coat weathered with age.
“I can tell you about the artist because I know him. This colorful banner was created by Johnny Meah, a Safety Harbor artist,” he said.
I later found out that the canvas was owned by Susan Benjamin and on loan to the Art Center for the exhibit.
He extended his hand and introduced himself: “I’m Ward Hall. I was a sideshow master for the circus.”
"Each elephant just with food, medical, and cost of living is about $60,000 to $70,000 a year," said Dunlap native Joey Frisco, senior elephant handler, "but for Field Entertainment, for Ringling Brothers, money isn't a thing for the elephants. We always give them the best food, the best everything we can."
Frisco says a portion of the show's ticket sales goes to Ringling's Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida.
But there will be more than just elephants featured at this weekend's shows.
"We mixed a little bit of old school with a little bit of new school," said Andre McClain, who plays the cowboy and is the pre-show host. "That's how we came up with Barnum 200. We've got a young lady that hangs 35 feet in the air by the strands of her hair. We have a strong man that lifts over 1200 pounds. We've got elephants. We've got tigers, llamas, ponies, donkeys, even a watusi. Do you know what a watusi is?
A watusi is a type of long-horned African cattle.
You'll have six chances to see the Barnum 200 show at the Peoria Civic Center this weekend:
Friday, Sept. 23: 7:00pmSaturday, Sept. 24: 11:00am, 3:00pm, 7:00pmSunday, Sept. 25: 1:00pm, 5:00pm
Foster's Daily Democrat understands and supports the protection of circus animals. But attempts to arbitrarily shut down those such as Circus Hollywood do a disservice the thousands — if not millions — of youngsters who each year get a rare opportunity to see nature up close with every performance or exhibition.
Young people raised in rural New England are often privileged to enjoy a fox or a deer running across their front yard. Since being reintroduced more than two decades ago, wild turkeys abound through out the Seacoast. And off the Seacoast, there are whale watching tours that enable young and old to enjoy these giant mammals.
But such is not the case with lions, tigers and the many other "exotic" creatures that travel with the circus, reside in zoos and swim in aquariums like Boston's New England Aquarium.
Properly cared for animals (yes, in captivity) offer an invaluable education and inspiration.
Spend a day at any major aquarium or circus. Gaze on the wonderment exuded through the eyes of youngster as they stand in rapt attention for hours. It may be a gracefully towering giraffe, a regal lion, or even a performing elephant. The result is an education far beyond the pages of a textbook, DVD or Disney feature film.
How many marine science majors at the University of New Hampshire or elsewhere have chose their life's calling due to such an encounter.
Those who would arbitrarily close the circuses, empty the zoos and drain the aquariums would deny youngsters these experiences and education.
As noted above, we believe that offering audiences a look at exotic wildlife can be done safely and humanly. To that end, organizations like PETA and the SPCA have their place in providing accountability for the care of captive wildlife. Not so the naysayers, the absolutists.
Again, they flung lassos toward Grandma, but by accident Mr. Nelson knocked off his high brown cowboy hat. At that, with manic inspiration, the ageless matriarch pounced on the hat and plopped it on her cheesy gray wig. The performers laughed.
“Yeeeee-hah!” Mr. Lubin exulted, in full Grandma cowboy speak. “O.K., it’s a small joke. But let’s see if it plays.”
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Blessed with warm and sunny weather for most of the afternoon, families were out in force. It was the first time for many to the Centreville-based fair. For others, Sunday marked the continuation of a long-established tradition.
“Let’s see, we have my two daughters, two nieces, and my husband is here, so that makes six of us, and we can agree that this is the best fair around. ... We never miss it,” said Maureen Krichke, a Vicksburg resident. “We love to see the animals, the petting zoo is one of our stops and before we leave, it’s ice cream for the ride home.”Though it’s only his third St. Joseph County Grange Fair, Craig Nedderman, of South Bend, Ind., said he foresees a long-term relationship with the second-to-last county fair in Michigan. He was busy from the start Sunday, manning the Nedderman’s Rib Tips stand.
Nedderman said he has a loyal following at the Elkhart and St. Joseph county fairs in Indiana. Blessed to be in a high-traffic location and savvy enough to grill his steak outside his trailer, Nedderman said people catch a whiff of the grilled meat and quickly find the source.
”We’ve been doing this 20 years in Indiana and now here in Michigan for just a few years; we love coming to Centreville, we have made some great friendships here and we’re looking forward to another great week in St. Joseph County,” Nedderman said.READ MORE:http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2011/09/st_joseph_county_grange_fair_p.html
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Since August 2008, Zaia, the first Cirque du Soleil show based in Asia, has dazzled and inspired countless visitors to the gambling mecca of Macao.
Zaia is the show's main character, a young girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut and discovering the mysteries of space. Her celestial journey follows in the footsteps of her parents. Her odyssey leads her to take a fresh look at the beauty of Earth and humanity.
The show presents the young girl's perception of space and the panoply of fantastic creatures that live there. Zaia is a Greek word meaning "life" and is also reminiscent of Gaia, the self-aware spirit of Earth.
The fairy-tale plot of exploration becomes a series of acrobatic acts, while introducing traditional Chinese culture such as the lion dance, ice skating and clown performances.
It opened at the Venetian Macau-Resort-Hotel and the resort's owners, Sands Corporation, forked out some $150 million to build the 1,800-seat theater custom-made for the show.
The enormous orb-shaped theater - crimson and plush - arguably gives the upper midrange audience members the best view of the swooping dancers, dangling equilibrists, and quick-change clown routines.
The show features dances from various regions - ranging from break-dancing, to tango, tap and hip-hop - all unified by the rhythm of a bombastic soundtrack and perilous acts, including fire dancing, a four-pronged see-saw and human-catapult.
For those who aren't into dancers and acrobats, Zaia still offers fun and excitement, with its eye-catching costumes, visual and sound effects, and live music.
Costume designer Dominique Lemieux was inspired by young fashion, with Zaia's red outfit an eclectic mix of genres. The various costumes represent the different styles of the performers. Romeo, a lead character who falls for Zaia, wears warm earth tones with copper and gold highlights.
In contrast to the wardrobe of the acrobats and dancers, the clowns wear patches of fabric that have a patina, drawing inspiration from 18th-century explorers.
The visual and stage effects expand the show from the stage to the entire hall, transporting audiences into another world.
Cirque du Soleil is a Canadian entertainment company that describes itself as a "dramatic mix of circus acts and street entertainment". Based in Montreal Quebec, Canada, it was founded in 1984 by two former street performers, Guy Laliberte and Daniel Gauthier.
Initially named Les Echassiers (Stilt Walkers), it premiered in 1980. Its theatrical, character-driven approach and the absence of performing animals helped define Cirque du Soleil as a contemporary circus.
Each Cirque du Soleil performance is a synthesis of circus styles from around the world, with its own themes and storyline.
After a number of expansions, Cirque du Soleil now has 5,000 employees from over 50 countries, including 1,300 performers.
So far it has introduced its 22 touring or resident shows to over 100 million people in 300 cities, on six continents.
Daniel Lamarre, president of Cirque du Soleil, is confident about expanding its shows to China in particular and Asia in general.
"Macao, unlike Las Vegas, has few entertaining shows. Zaia made a good start over the past three years and has attracted more visitors to Macao," he says.
Lamarre says he hopes Disneyland in Shanghai will become another home to the troupe.
Circus of the Orient - featuring entertainers from China, Mongolia, Bugaria and France - will be staged in New Ferry Park from September 30 to October 2.
Among the acts will be the world famous Shaolin Wu Shu Warriors appearing by kind permission of the Abbott of the Shaolin Temple and the Chinese Ministry Of Culture.
Also waiting to entertain are springboard acrobatics from the amazing Julio Troupe and aerialists Trio Serik who will be on hanging straps high in the roof of the Big Top.
The beautiful 'Monalisa' will provide an element of grace with her aerial showcase.
The show's artistic director, Phillip Gandey, said: "This production is a brilliant mix of oriental and western elements to create a thrilling, entertaining and laughter-packed show which will appeal to all the family. READ MORE:http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/9260362.International_circus_stars_on_way_to_Wirral/
North Georgia State Fair to debut new roller coaster
The North Georgia State Fair begins Thursday and will run through Oct. 2 at Jim R. Miller Park, 2245 Callaway Road, Marietta.
by Marcus E. Howardmailto:Howardmhoward@mdjonline.com
The Marietta Daily Journal
September 19, 2011
MARIETTA — The 79th annual North Georgia State Fair, presented by Superior Plumbing, begins Thursday and will run through Oct. 2 at Jim R. Miller Park, 2245 Callaway Road, Marietta.
The fair, among the largest in metro Atlanta, attracts nearly 300,000 people every year and features live music, free attractions and shows, farm animals, flower shows, blue-ribbon competitions, local entertainment, and of course, delicious food.
This year, the fair is debuting the Wildcat Rollercoaster measuring 215 feet long, 75 feet deep and 60 feet high, in addition to more than 40 other amusement rides at the fair.
“We’ll be only one of only two fairs in the country that have a rollercoaster of this size,” said fair spokesman Tod Miller. “We really think it’s going to make us stand out, and we really believe it’s going to take our fair to the next level.”
Amanda Brereton of Mableton, and son Daniel, 3, feed a camel in one of the animal display tents at the North Georgia State Fair last year. On Mondays through Thursdays, fair hours are 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. On Fridays, hours are 4 p.m. to midnight. On Saturdays, hours are 10 a.m. to midnight. On Sundays, hours are 12:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Fair admission is $5 for adults, $2 for students ages 7 to 18, and free for children 6 and younger. Ride tickets are $1 each. Parking is $3. Bulk packs of 22 tickets for $20, or 55 tickets for $50, are available.
Discount admission and ride tickets, including $2.50 for adults, $1.25 for students and 22 ride tickets for $11, will be available at all metro Atlanta Walgreens drug stores through Friday.
“In these times with the economy, we actually have the cheapest prices ever for the fair,” Miller said.
Among popular attractions returning this year are the K-9’s in Flight, Oscar the Robot, Brian Ruth the Master of the Chainsaw, and Wit Carson’s Petting Zoo and Pony Rides.
New attractions include Kachunga and the Alligator Show in which Kachunga steps into a pool with a 9-foot alligator. Tammy Harris Barton, a hypnotist, will take willing volunteers on a journey of the mind. And the Keith King Bike and Stunt Show will showcase high-flying BMX stunts.
The group is in town Monday and Tuesday for four shows.
The 127-year-old circus features an aerial ballet with a pirate theme, a human cannonball, clowns, lots of animals including elephants, lamas, horses, poodles, and more! This year Ringmaster Chris Connors says there is a new act that will “wow” people of all ages. “For the first time this year we’re featuring one of the largest group of tigers performing anywhere in America! We have twelve beautiful royal tigers, Siberian tigers, and a beautiful white tiger” says Connors.
Monday, September 19, 2011
A cowboy evangelist strummed his guitar and sang about a loving Lord in a livestock sale arena Sunday at the Oklahoma State Fair.
There amid the hustle and bustle of the livestock barns and just a stroll away from the midway, Steve Womack held a Cowboy Church service with plenty of country flair and Midwestern charm.
Womack, 58, said the Cowboys for Christ service was open to all who found themselves at the fair on a sunny Sunday morning.
“We go to livestock fairs, livestock shows and rodeos,” Womack told the crowd of about 50 people gathered.
“It doesn't matter whether you're into cattle, sheep or chickens — we're bringing the gospel to you.”
Womack, who lives in Noble, said he gave his life to the Lord in 1974. He said he soon felt called to be an evangelist, but he didn't think that he would have many opportunities to preach to the rodeo crowd he hung out with. He said a year later, he found a cowboy ministry and he's been traveling and preaching at different livestock events ever since.
“I feel lucky that He let me stay with the people I loved ‘cause back in those days, they would have laughed you out of there if you mentioned church,” he said of his former rodeo crowd.Read more: http://newsok.com/cowboy-evangelist-brings-gospel-to-oklahoma-state-fair/article/3605618#ixzz1YOaPc3Fs
By Clara Kilbourn - The Hutchinson News
Taking advantage of the balmy September weather Sunday's near full-house crowd wrapped up the 2011 Kansas State Fair.
Adding to the excitement of the day, a crowd of more than 7,000 ticket holders made their way into the grandstand for an up close and personal show that starred Big Time Rush with Hot Chelle Rae.
"Nice weather, over 7,000 enthusiastic fans in the grandstand and a strong crowd on the grounds," State Fair manger Denny Steocklein said. "It's a great way to end the fair."
Big Time Rush brought out the biggest grandstand crowd of this year's fair, ticket supervisor Joan Brown said.
With the clock ticking down to only minutes before curtain time, concert goers lined up for the remaining $25 seats.
Taking advantage of a mid-afternoon break in their fair day, Eric McKay and Abe Neff, of Newton, friends for 20 years, headed to the parking lot pushing a baby stroller that held their first round of stuffed animals plus their purchases. Their second round would be on the rides.
For Jason and Paula Sjorlund, of Garnett, with grandson, Brayden, 3, and his mother Kayla Burke, of Gardner, Sunday was a second day at the fair. They drove in from eastern Kansas to watch 4-H events and eat pulled pork and corn on the cob.
"Corn on the cob is our favorite," Paula Sjorlund said. "It's just been enjoyable. The whole thing enjoyable with the weather so nice."
With a final stop for ice cream, they headed toward the parking lot.
"We're ready to go home," Jason Sjorlund said. "Two days is enough."
With several hours still to go before the day eneded, Carla Smalley posted a "Sold Out" sign on the Bierock booth sponsored by Apostolic Faith Church. They made 500 bierocks on Saturday thinking that would be enough for Sunday's final fair day crowd.
"This has been a really big year for us," Smalley said, noting that it was the first time in her 13 years that they ran out of their signature dish.
"We could have sold another 300 easy," she said.
She credited the hot summer weather and the economy for keeping people closer to home and making the fair a part of their vacation.
At the State Fair Railroad, engineer Bobby Schmidt called the 2011 fair "good, not great, but good."
Schmidt has been a part of the fair since his dad, the late Tom Schmidt, launched the train ride in 1970.
With the buildings set to close at 7 p.m. and exhibitors ready to pack up and head home, Alan Crowther, of Great Bend, at the Superior Spas exhibit owned by Stueder Contractors said they would load up the greenery that decorated their exhibit on Sunday night and be back on Monday for the spas.
"It's been wonderful," Crowther said. "We've done really well, sold quite a few."
Highway Patrol Lieutenant Mike Hutchinson called the 2011 fair "one of the slowest" in the 12 years he's worked at the fair with only one DUI and one drug arrest.
As the day wore down, David Spann, of Illinois, at Emma's Sweet Rolls concession ran out of eggs and sweet rolls. He labeled this year's fair, his 14th, "a little light." They attend fairs in Illinois, Iowa and Kansas.
"I think that's normal across the nation," he said.
Last day of the Netherlands National Circus
According to the promoters, it is every Dutch child’s ambition to star in the Netherlands National Circus. We are told that this is because, in Holland, they like to be the best at everything.
The Netherlands National Circus has been the pride of Holland since it was established in 1948. Touring under a purpose-built big top, the circus’s public facilities are more like a portable theatre than a circus, and the performances maintain the high level you’d expect from a respected national institution.
The Netherlands National Circus 2011 features: o The Flying Neves from Brazil – featuring the incredible triple somersault o Lightning costume changes by the Duo Kolishnichenko o Brilliant juggler from Mexico, Juan Pablo Martinez o A giant bubble-blowing performance o Petro the crazy cyclist from Moscow in his new display ‘Wheely Terrific’ o Incredible Russian bar acrobats the Four Vasiliev o The Warrior Kings and their acrobatic routine ‘Head to Head’ o Fantasy duo Nataliya Vasileva and Aleh Zhur-Kursevich performing an aerial straps display o Pom-Pom, the loveable clown from Holland, and lots more besides in a dazzling show for all the family.
Tickets will be available on site daily from 10am to 8pm and can also be purchased by calling 0844-4155228.
Alawan Ghazi, who brought his three children to see the lighthearted show after surviving years of war, couldn't help but laugh at the irony.
"Car bombs and weapons find their way easily to Iraq," Ghazi said. "But bringing circus animals is a more difficult task here."
The cats were expected to arrive in Baghdad within weeks as the circus revs up a six-month stay in the Iraqi capital _ the first since the 2003 fall U.S.-led invasion that unleashed widespread violence that has slowly ebbed over the last few years.
After a tryout in the southern Iraqi port city of Basra _ and with much success _ Mohammed said he was ready to bring the circus to Baghdad. The capital has had more than its fair share of bleakness over the years, he said, and it's time to bring a little cheer to Baghdad's families _ not to mention a little jingle to his own pocket.
"We felt that it is time to come to the capital now after security has improved here," Mohammed said as he checked power generators, touched base with his performers and juggled calls on his cell phone on the circus grounds in the mixed Sunni-Shiite neighborhood of Jadriyah in southeast Baghdad.
He added: "Baghdad is a big city with fair business opportunities."
Violence is on the downswing in the capital, although deadly bombings and shootings still happen nearly every day. And the glitter of the circus still wasn't enough to convince many of the performers to take a chance on Baghdad: only 27 of the 200 whom Mohammed tried to hire agreed to come. All the performers are foreigners except one Iraqi who performs magic tricks.
Acrobat Eyvak Sopatayiv, 22, from Kazakhstan, said he worried about taking the leap.
"I used to hear a lot of news about security problems in Iraq, and I was afraid," Sopatayiv said. "But the reality is different, and it's not what I expected."
"Hopefully, the circus will help Iraqis forget about wars and bombings and give them new glimpse of hope and happiness," said Atiyah, 24.
Without the lions and tigers, the circus showboated acrobats on high-swinging trapezes, magic tricks and fire displays, a belly dancer with a thick snake and a tiny dog in a tutu walking on its hind legs.
"It is a very joyful experience," said Ali Hatam, 22, his face shining with excitement. "Why should other countries have a circus come to them while we cannot?"
With his three children from Baghdad's mostly Sunni neighborhood of Mansour, Ammar Fadhil agreed that the circus was well worth the security risk.
Still, it wounded him in his wallet. Ticket prices cost about $12 for adults, half price for teenagers and free for children _ a pricey night out in a country with 15 percent unemployment and where the average worker brings home only a few hundred dollars each month.
"But it paid off," Fadhil said with a wan smile. "Everybody was happy."read more:http://www.newser.com/article/d9pqt5r81/circus-debuts-in-baghdad-for-first-time-since-start-of-war-in-sign-of-security-and-fun.html
Sunday, September 18, 2011
'Cavalia' is a show with a lot of horsepower
Article by: ROHAN PRESTON , Star Tribune
September 16, 2011
The horse spectacular "Cavalia" will make its Minnesota debut this week.
Normand Latourelle was hard to distinguish from his workers laboring in the hot dust nearby to erect the world's largest touring tent.
In his black golf shirt and jeans, he did not look the part of mega-show impresario.
Instead, the Canada-bred showman waxed poetic about the intertwined histories of horses and humans.
"For all its art and poetry, for all the spectacular feats, this show is a tribute to the 5,000-year relationship we've had with horses," he said. "Horses have been there for us as muscle and workforce, as weapons of war and as technology.
"Now the horse is mostly replaced by machines, but they're still there," he said. "We pay tribute to them whenever we say 'horsepower.'"
With that, Latourelle was off, galloping through a historical tour that touched on horse images drawn on French cave walls, Roman chariots and horses in imperial China. He spoke of horses in Spain and Portugal, Germany and North America, as symbols of projected power, as instruments of conquest.
"Horses are like dogs, in that they were bred for different purposes by people," he said. "Some could leap over things. Others pulled heavy loads. For the show, we picked the Lusitano for symbol because it is the most elegant, but we have many kinds in the show and we love them all."read more at:http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/stageandarts/129922243.html
The mayor of Munich has tapped the first keg to kick off the 178th German folk festival Oktoberfest. With only two deft blows of his hammer and a cry, the festival opened its doors to the public Saturday. (Sept. 17)
Sunday, September 18, 2011By Karissa Minnkminn@salisburypost.comSALISBURY — The Rowan County Agricultural and Industrial Fair will open for the 60th time Monday, featuring some new activities for children and entertainment for the whole family.
Located between Interstate 85 and Old Concord Road on Julian Road, the six-day fair will be open each weekday from 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 11:30 p.m., when the fair ends.
The exhibit and livestock buildings will open at 4 p.m. and close at 7 p.m. each day. Rides begin operation at 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday.
New this year is Western North Carolina Mountain Trout Fishing — which may actually involve catfish, Love said, because of concerns about trout survival in hot weather.
Children will be able to catch and release fish in front of the fair barn, and they can earn small prizes by catching a tagged fish.
“I don’t know of any other fair in the state that’s done something like that,” Love said. “If we can get some kids interested in fishing, maybe they won’t get in trouble.”
Another new feature called AgriKids Academy will be located in Building 2 on the fairgrounds. Love said children will be able to go to different work stations there to learn about agriculture and play educational games.
“Kids can come there and actually learn where eggs come from and where milk comes from and be interactive,” he said.
The Children’s Barnyard petting zoo will be held at 4 p.m. each afternoon.read more at:http://www.salisburypost.com/News/091811-County-fair-advance-qcd
Last Saturday, Hannah Crist fell from her trapeze during the toe-hang portion of her act, fracturing two vertebrae in her lower back. After surgery, she's expected to take two to three months to heal, and is expected to "make a full recovery," the museum said in a statement.
Harry McCullagh, 79, of Stickney, has been performing as "Max" the clown for 44 years now and has a youthful attitude when it comes to clowning.
"I'm not old," he says. "I feel like I'm 40 years old. I think I'm having fun all of the time. I don't say 'Oh, it's a lot of work being a clown.' I can leave my clown makeup on for 10 hours a day and it wouldn't bother me."
Underneath the makeup and hilarity are seniors who thoroughly enjoy the art of clowning and want to keep it alive for generations.
Brookfield resident Lynda Miller, 74, created the La Grange-based West Suburban Clown Club in 1984. Miller, who goes by her clown persona "Toot-Toot," taught a clown class at Lyons Township High School in La Grange for 12 years. In her class, students wanted to know how to get together and explore clowning, so Miller formed the group.
The group has about 40 members who come from Oak Lawn, Berwyn, Cicero, Willowbrook and Hinsdale. Some of the membership comes from Triton College's Triton Troupers Circus, a River Grove-based nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving circus arts.
While the group attracts all ages, between 10 and 15 members are seniors, Miller explains.
"You're never too old to learn new tricks," Miller says with a laugh. "We have fun.
People can't sit in front of a computer and say that they have nothing to do. Get out there and do it. Find line dancing or clowning or something to do. The do-nothing days are over."
Meeting the second Monday of the month at the La Grange-based Meadowbrook Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation facility, members develop friendships and learn about costuming, face painting, balloon art and juggling.
The group shares its talents including a recent appearance at a busy ice cream social at Mayslake Village in Oak Brook. Mayslake is a nonprofit corporation that provides affordable housing for low-to moderate-income seniors.
Reminiscent of an old-fashioned circus atmosphere, clowns "Toot-Toot" and "Max" worked the room creating balloon art, engaging in light conversation, and encouraging the residents and visiting families to do a chicken dance.read more at:http://www.chicagotribune.com/special/primetime/chi-primetime-clown-090711,0,1843247.story
Inside the music tent about 30 dudes stood and tapped toes for CAVE, the night's opener, who sounded great as a newly-formed four piece and played a set as electrifying as any set would be to a paltry audience consisting of middle-aged white guys and me. Colombian purveyors of disco and danchall, Bomba Estereo, perked up the scene with a dancy-worthy set perfect for the darkened tent setting, adding pops of pink spot lights and a rap scatting chanteuse—imagine a tiny, Spanish-speaking hybrid of Björk and Sister Nancy in a brightly-colored pancho—to a hyped up audience that had swelled to about 75 by the end of the set. There were the ubiquitous white guys, but also a strong Latin flavor—superfans who were stoked to see these guys play in the states.Mali-based singer-songwriter Sidi Toure mellowed things out a bit. And though a portion of Estereo's audiecne remained captivated, another portion channeled their old Lounge Ax days by standing and talking at the top of their lungs with a craft beer or Pelligrino (no shit—see punk rock retirement reference above). The three-piece took in stride, however, and even pulled out some sweet '80s hair band-style moves by soloing on their insanely cool Malian instruments (that I am ill-equipped to identify) [Toure made his first guitar byhand—Ed], while dropping low to the floor in a thrusty sway. Talk about worlds colliding. Bill Callahan, as expected given the neighborhood and target demo, was the most well-received act, playing a solid mix of old and new material to an audience of about 100 Smog fans. Considering the sold out status of the last few Smog/Callahan shows that have come throught, it was quite refreshing to catch him in such a cool setting, a circus tent with under-the-sea style lights swirling on the ceiling for Pete's sake, with great sound and room to breath to boot.SEE MORE FOTOS AT:http://timeoutchicago.com/music-nightlife/music/14948445/brilliant-corners-of-popular-amusement-friday-photo-gallery-live-revi
It was front-page news when the circus came to town, as a six-column headline in a 1935 upstate New York newspaper illustrates.
The page is part of a new exhibition at the Big E called “Circus Around the Clock,” which shows the massive effort it took to bring magic to the masses in decades past.
Using archival photos, colorful period posters and multiple video screens, “Circus Around the Clock” traces a day in the life of a traveling circus, from the train puffing into town to the tents being collapsed and packed away.
Wayne McCary, president of the Eastern States Exposition, calls the show “a unique opportunity to showcase the golden age of the big, traveling tent circuses.”
Creator of “Circus Around the Clock” is Greg Parkinson of Parkinson Enterprises, a veteran of 24 years at the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisc.
September 14, 2011 - West Springfield - Staff photo by Michael S. Gordon - Emily Parkinson Smith, left, wipes down one of the clocks that will highlight the many activities of circus life in the Circus Around the Clock exhibit at the Big E. Her sister, Julie Parkinson, right, hangs pictures and posters in the exhibit space in the Young Building.
“The collection is on loan from all over the world,” said Parkinson as he slaved away last week to get the show up in time at the Young Building
The images in the exhibition are mounted on a series of colored walls, with each wall bearing a clock that shows the time of day at which the activity pictured would have happened.
The hard work behind the glamour quickly becomes evident. A sweating cook flips breakfast on a griddle. Horses drag 62-foot poles. Muscular men raise the center pole for a tent that will accommodate 12,000 people.
“Sledge gangs” pound stakes into the ground. An army of uniformed animal handlers lines up. A clown puts on makeup. A river of humanity pours into the Big Top.
Between the matinee and evening performances, the staff sits down together for dinner. At 2 a.m., the circus is packed up and the train is moving again.
Even while the clocks suggest the passage of time in a day, the photos take viewers back to decades past.
While circus costumes may be timeless, audiences and behind-the-scenes workers help locate the pictures in history with their boaters, fedoras, newsboy caps, cuffed jeans and bobbed hair.
“Circus Around the Clock” also offers activities for visitors, including a live juggler and a Hula Hoop contest.
Mini-exhibits include a 1984 poster showing a wasp-waisted bareback rider, the Hartford Circus Fire of 1944, and a magnificent larger-than-life gilded sculpture of Mother Goose that traveled on European tours.
“The chance to bring a museum-quality exhibit that showcases this historic aspect of circus fits our mission to educate, entertain and create memories,” said McCary, noting that circuses still enchant.
The Big E’s own hugely popular “Super Circus” is seen by about 80,000 people every year, said McCary.