Saturday, December 17, 2011
LAKE GEORGE -- Drivers on Canada Street will see a new sight next July, looming where Gaslight Village used to be: a circus big top.
Members of Warren County's Gaslight Village committee voted Tuesday to contract with the Big Apple Circus for two weeks of shows next summer, using the former Gaslight Village site for part of it.
The agreement came after members of the committee met Tuesday morning with directors of the New York City-based circus to discuss a possible engagement over the last two weeks of July. They saw a presentation on the event that included a 16-page packet.
Part of the circus would be based at Gaslight Village, but it would also use surrounding properties, including Battlefield Park, until construction of a new park at Gaslight Village is complete.
"We're quite sure we could put the Big Apple Circus on it successfully," said Thomas Larson, the circus's general manager, of the municipally owned "festival space" off West Brook Road.
The circus, which operates as a nonprofit organization, would add a solid attraction for a period of the summer that could use a boost - the weeks after July Fourth but before Saratoga Race Course opens, officials said.
Lake George Mayor Robert Blais said the tent "big top" will be visible from Route 9 and will be a "tremendous attraction."
Michael Consuelo, interim director of the Lake George Chamber of Commerce and the county's convention director, said he believes the event will attract new visitors and "allow us to go into new markets."
Lake George would be one of six two-week shows around the Northeast the circus will do next summer, said Martha Lord, the circus' executive director. It also has longstanding shows at its home base at Lincoln Center in New York City and a long-term venue in Boston.
"Each year, we develop a unique show," she said.
Lord said each two-week showing typically brings in 20,000 to 40,000 visitors, and 50 percent of the attendees are repeat visitors.
Dates will be set as the contract for the event is completed.Read more: http://poststar.com/news/local/gaslight-village-will-be-a-circus-committee-votes-to-contract/article_f521ab54-279d-11e1-82d8-001871e3ce6c.html#ixzz1goCi1cE3
Organisers of the circus that features a ‘Christmas Circus’ and a ‘Santa’s Funland, as well as most of the performers, today met with Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony in the ministry’s boardroom at Main Street. The show featuring 19 performers from across many countries inclusive of Dominica, Canada, Chile and the United States of America commences at 16:00hrs daily with Santa’s Funland. This segment features fun filled activities for the kids such as a fun land, a candy land, a gift land and also a Christmas village featuring with Mr. and Mr. Claus.
The Christmas Circus itself begins at 19:00hrs featuring juggling, trapeze and acrobats’ acts as well as the comedic performance of Bozo the clown. Minister Anthony welcomed the troupe to Guyana and promised that the show will be well received by Guyanese. “It is not often that we get a circus to come to Guyana,” he told the troupe, “but when they do come we get a large turn out and people look forward to a wonderful performance.”
Referring to the name of the show, which is also the name of the act, ‘Circus of Dreams,’ Minister Anthony said that he hopes that the show, through the different performances, does indeed fulfill the dreams and aspirations of the attendees.He urged the Guyanese public to come out to the show and said that this is “one way we can all get together and celebrate Christmas.”
He also encouraged the performers to take the opportunity whilst in Guyana to visit some of the local tourist sites and recommended Kaieteur Falls, which he described as the highlight of the country to the circus troupe. Director, GuyEnterprise Lisa Insanally said that the company was excited about the promotion and promises that if the Guyanese public is not already in the Christmas spirit then the show will get them there. Insanally also said that the Culture Ministry has been very helpful in the organisation of the show especially as it relates to the challenges of getting the performers to Guyana.
Chief Executive Officer, LinkUp Media, Kwame Mentore also thanked the Government of Guyana and the ministry for their assistance with regards to the show and promised patrons that it will be a tremendous success. Mentore said that LinkUp Media and GuyEnterprise collaboration was especially to bring a number of family events to the Guyanese public and promised that the enterprise will realize at least four to five major family events annually. The LinkUp Media and GuyEnterprise collaboration had brought Guyana the recently successfully ‘Dora’s Friendship Day’ promotion.
Circus of Dreams is a family-run troupe organized and managed by the husband and wife team, Silvestre Guerrero and Laura-Jane Mitchell who coach and mentor an ensemble of performers from across the world.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Uploaded by ringlingbros on Dec 14, 2011
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey ® is proud to present DRAGONS!
For the first time in circus history, myth and majesty will share the arena during this must-see family event that can only be witnessed at The Greatest Show On Earth®!
Experience circus spectacles so incredible that once again you will believe in the unbelievable! Dragon tribes from the far reaches of the earth are brought together in a single performance, displaying their breathtaking skills in a circus tournament of champions. Each tribe must prove that they have virtues of Courage, Strength, Wisdom and Heart to arouse dragons which appear right before your very eyes! Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime family event when The Greatest Show On Earth brings the world together... to bring your family together!
Uploaded by skubersky on Dec 14, 2011
Orlando Weekly reporter Seth Kubersky previews the new Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey circus production "Dragons" while in rehearsal at Tampa's Florida State Fairgrounds. Also features an interview with show director Shanda Sawyer.
On 6-22-1994, I visited the fairgrounds in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, to see outdoor Shrine show produced by Donnie Johnson. Bobby Gibbs (RM & elephants), Shane Johnson (cats), Posso Family (slide for life, etc), Tanya & Sebrina Herrmann (foot juggling & hoses), Gary Sladek (Chairs & trampoline), Pink People (magic-Doug Basham), Darnell family (dogs,) and Fay Alexander (funny car).
» Gibsonton, Florida, used to be the worldwide home of the freaks. There were 75 to 85 human oddities who lived here at the peak, everyone from Sealo the Seal Boy to Priscilla the Monkey Girl.We had alligator-skinned people, fat men, fat ladies, dwarfs, giants, people with claws, people with no arms. I can introduce you to all the freaks now in 10 minutes. I'll take you to the cemetery. That's where they're all at.
» I had just turned 15 and I answered an ad I saw in the Billboard newspaper that they wanted a sideshow magician and fire-eater for the Dailey Brothers Circus. It was a small circus, and I thought it would be a good place for me to learn, so I answered the ad. I got a telegram back from the sideshow manager offering me the job, and the old nosy landlady in the walkup we lived in didn't give it to me. She waited until my father came home and gave it to him. So he looked at the telegram and he said, 'Well, what in the hell is all of this about?' I said, 'Dad, I'm not asking you. I'm telling. I'm going to go with the circus.' He said, 'Well, you might as well go ahead and do it. You'll get it out of your system and be home in two weeks.' Well, I'm 81 years old now, and my two weeks still aren't up.
POINCIANA, FL - For a taste of an old fashioned Christmas carnival, look no further than Willits Herrmann's garage.
Appropriately enough, he and his wife, Lottie, live on Reindeer Drive.
Herrmann's father, Willits Sr., was an aircraft welder by trade. He began making the modern marvel in 1945 with scrap wood, plastic baby dolls, Erector Set motors and an old 45-rpm record player.
Every night, he'd disappear into a tiny closet under the stairs when they lived in Navy housing in South Philadelphia.
He made each part of his Christmas carnival by hand. And the scene was completed with Barnum and Bailey circus music playing in the background.
All these years later, all the parts still move. A carousel goes around, its horses rising and falling.
A ferris wheel also goes around and a rocketship ride spins with the help of the record player underneath. Herrmann Sr. added a sideshow in the 1960s.
Lights inside the 27-gauge train engine that runs on a three-rail track show people taking a ride around the carnival and through a tunnel.
A highway of moving toy cars, a school bus and a fire truck is in the distance.
"He loved to do that kind of thing," Lottie, 72, said of her father-in-law. "He made me a cedar chest when I was a 14."
She said she and her husband were childhood sweethearts, now married 52 years.
"I store it in wooden crates," Willits Herrmann said. "It takes me about a month to put it up every Christmas."
He's reduced the platform size from 6 feet-by-12 feet to a bit smaller 5 feet-by-10 feet so it will fit in his garage.READ MORE AT:http://www.newschief.com/article/20111214/NEWS/112145003/1021/news01?Title=Christmas-carnival-display-built-by-hand-by-his-father
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Bex, former owner of the Maine Windjammer Cruises, began constructing circus figures when he was 8 years old. Over several decades, his model has grown into a spectacular scene.
“Sometimes, once you get started on something, it just seems to keep on going,” said Bex, now 74, as he nervously watched Penobscot Marine Museum curator Ben Fuller climb a ladder near his erected model on Tuesday. Fuller was pinning up circus posters in the museum’s Main Street Gallery, readying the space for the new exhibit, “The Circus Comes to Town.”
The Searsport gallery is typically empty during the winter, but this year it will come alive with circus memorabilia, historic photographs and circus art by Maine artists Alan Fishman, Nancy Morgan-Barnes and the late Waldo Peirce. The focal point is Bex’s masterpiece, last displayed in Camden in the 1970s.
As a boy, Bex would eagerly watch the circus come to his small town outside Chicago. Along with other local children, he’d help the companies unpack freight cars and erect tents for a free ticket to the show.
“This was back when there was no TV. It was the occasion of the summer,” said Bex, smiling. “I was a performer once. One performer called me out into the act and asked me to hold a long slip of paper. He took his bullwhip and snapped the paper out of my hands.”
One trapeze artist, in particular, launched him into model making. His act was performed on a rope tied to a rising hot air balloon, and in a spectacular finale he parachuted to the ground.
“I thought that was about the greatest thing ever,” said Bex. “When I got home, I started creating my own balloon ascension model.”
No one in his family practiced model building, but there was a shop in town where Bex would loiter and examine the work of a master model builder. And it was his uncle who handed him a ruler and taught him to build everything to a ?-inch scale (a fairly uncommon scale in model building).
The circus on display at the gallery includes wagons that Bex made when he was just 12 years old.
“I wasn’t shy about talking with the people in the circus,” he said.
Many of the figurines in the Bex Bros. Circus are people that he actually met or watched perform, and every miniature side-show poster was replicated from actual posters from the 1920s to 1960s.
“I always had a feeling for the fly and return act,” Bex said. “When I was a junior in high school they wanted me to go with them to be a flyer, but I turned out to be 200 pounds.”
Instead, he became a mechanical engineer and designed everything from industrial knitting machines to refrigerated ice cream trucks to missiles.
His engineering career ended when he fell in love with sailing while aboard a Maine windjammer Mary Day with Capt. Havilah “Buds” Hawkins one summer. He became the ship’s mate and worked for several years before deciding to buy his own fleet in 1969. Moving to Camden, he become owner of the Green Fleet — the Mattie, Mercantile and Mistress — and captained cruises for more than a decade. Today, he captains powerboat day cruises from Camden to Rockport.
The only thing that connects the circus to sailing for Bex is the rope, pulleys and the simple machinery that makes everything possible in both worlds. Between sailing trips, he’d often sit on the dock in Camden, whittling elephants.
“Try to find the color for an elephant — there is none,” said Fuller, weighing a blue-grey elephant in his hand. “It’s whatever dirt they’ve been around.”
Ironically, his time at sea landed him a full-size 1939 circus tent, purchased by a man in his crew to build a tepee. Bex offered him some old sails in exchange, then he constructed poles, stakes and mud blocks. In the early 1980s, with the help of students, he erected it behind Rockport Elementary School.
The tent is replicated in the Bex Bros. Circus. Every detail is exact, even the rope holding up the tent, which Bex painstakingly spiced.
“It’s me being fussy,” he said, admitting that circus model builders aren’t required to be that exact with details. “The challenge is there, and so I did it.”
Beside the tent, a red trunk the size of an earrings box is made out of 51 pieces.
“I don’t keep track of the time it takes me to build things,” he said.
For more than 50 years, Bex has been a member of the Circus Model Builders Association, and when he was “a little guy” and too young to be a member, his father used to bring him to their meetings anyway.
“There were gentlemen there who really knew the circus,” he said. “You’d bring something and they’d critique what you brought — and they were not soft about it.”
Though the Bex Bros. Circus has been packed away in trunks for 25 years, Bex’s work has been on display throughout the United States.
About 20 years ago, master model builder and philanthropist Howard Tibbals requested his help in completing the Howard Bros. Circus, a replica of the famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
“It was on a ¾-inch scale, two times a big,” said Bex. “His model circus takes up an area the size of a basketball court.”
That complete model, along with several buildings and freight train cars constructed by Bex, is on permanent display at the Circus Museum at the Howard Tibbals Learning Center in Sarasota, Fla. But before settling into its permanent home, it visited the World Fair in Tennessee, Rochester Museum & Science Center, Henry Ford Museum, Smithsonian and Circus World Museum in Wisconsin.
Bex’s dispatcher station for the famous model is complete with a screen door, double-hung windows, raised-panel doors and an oak desk with papers hanging out its top drawer. And it took him months to find a photo of the valve on a water wagon so he could build working valves on his miniature copper water tank.
He uses just about any material that suits his purpose, from maple wood for the planks of a building to alphabet soup for the lettering on the side of a wagon. Look closely and the kettles in the cookhouse are actually cigar tubes.
“I haven’t built anything for a long time,” Bex said. “This is the first time my work has seen the light of day in many years.”
In Maine, he belongs to a group of circus model builders who get together once a month. And while circuses aren’t quite the same today as when Bex was a boy, he still makes a point to go every year.
“The Circus Comes to Town” will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 10, 11, 17, 18, 29 and 30, and Jan. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29. For information, visit PenobscotMarineMuseum.org or call 548-2529.
"We are very fortunate to have enjoyed so much recent success," remarks Dr. Lev Paukman, the theater's owner. "We're also very fortunate to be able to give something back to the community that supports us and the families of those who lived and died keeping us safe."
A departure for the venue — best known for bringing Russian-language acts to New York for the enjoyment of Russian-speaking audiences — the debut of the Holiday Circus Extravaganza represents high-quality family entertainment, just in time for the holiday season.
A new holiday tradition
Among the acts scheduled to perform is Jay Mattioli, a unique and energetic magician who first reached a national audience when he became a finalist on America's Got Talent; his performance combines magic with audience interaction, comedy, and dance. Also scheduled to appear is the internationally renowned Ukrainian clown troupe and "World Clown Champions," known as Mimirichi.
With a running time of 90 minutes that is perfect for family outings, the Holiday Circus will feature these acts and more at ticket prices from $25 to $55. The first of the 22 performances will take place on December 22nd as an open rehearsal, when as many as one thousand seats in the theater will be filled by family members of heroes who died serving their country and communities.
Tickets and invitations are being made available to these recipients through charitable organizations.
"The Russian and Russian-speaking communities have supported us so much, and we owe our success to them," says Paukman. "With the Holiday Circus, we will expand our audience while retaining the heritage we cherish. But most importantly, we hope we can bring some joy to those in grief, who are missing their departed heroes at this important time of year for families."http://holidaycircus.com Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/14/4122112/brighton-beach-venue-offers-holiday.html#ixzz1gcDHnc8q
Circus Searching For Magical Missing Mutt
December 14, 2011ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)— Magic the Wonder Dog has disappeared. The Hampel Family Circus is now missing one of their stars.
The Hampels adopted their Houdini of hounds from a rescue shelter 14 years ago. Magic had been living on the streets
By September, as Gateway Playhouse winds down its summer season, producer Paul Allan usually has a slate of holiday shows lined up for Gateway's two-week stint at the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts. But this year, September came and went, and -- the burgeoning Christmas season being what it is these days -- holiday decorations were already showing up in the stores.
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
"We've done 'A Christmas Carol' and 'White Christmas.' We've done our original variety shows. We've done ice shows," Allan says. "And Cirque le Masque has played for us three times at New Year's. So I thought, 'Why not a circus for our run-up to Christmas?' "
Brothers Dennis and Bernie Schussel, co-producers of the New York-based Cirque company often compared to Montreal's Cirque du Soleil, had thought of doing a holiday show, too. But there was a formidable obstacle. With barely more than a month to go, "Noel" was little more than a title.
"I said, 'Let's talk and see if we can come up with something,' " Allan recalls.
Gateway lent some of its resources -- including a treasure trove of seasonal costumes -- plus lighting and technical support. Cirque production manager Mia Caress brought together several of the touring troupe's usual suspects -- from circus comedian Weego (he's more than a clown) to tightwire artist Runyan Fletcher. Around them, Cirque and Gateway collaborated to create a new show with a loose story line about a teenage girl, stressed by shopping, who grows more and more enchanted with "le cirque."
Does she run away to join the circus?
"That's a secret," Caress says.read more at:http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/arts/a-holiday-circus-comes-to-patchogue-1.3388918
This weekend, the 5-year-old Sweet Can Productions kicks off two weeks of holiday performances of its popular "Yes Sweet Can" show at Dance Mission, turning the everyday into magical moments.
Embedded in this year's run will be special circus arts workshops for kids, Dec. 30-31, and also a pint-size circus cabaret titled "Mittens and Mistletoe," Dec. 23-25.
This is the second year that clowning duo Jamie Coventry and Natasha Kaluza has taken the stage with their daffy, slightly surreal kids' program, and judging from the reception the two got last year, it will be a hit with families.
"A lot of people have told us that they really didn't know what to take the kids to for the holidays," Kaluza says. "But the family reaction was so great and we had such good turnout for our shows."
"Mittens and Mistletoe" is on a much more modest scale than larger commercial circus acts like the Ringling Bros., and Kaluza says their show isn't aiming for spectacle.
"We're much more intimate," Coventry agrees. "We're real people, right there next to you. We're much more naturalistic, not that big white-painted face. We're just big living cartoons."
The shtick, they explain, is much more along vaudeville lines, with Murray the geriatric clown emceeing the evening's series of circus acts - which range from Genie Cartier's finely balanced acrobatics with folding chairs to Sam Luckey and Shira Yaziv's uniquely told story of a shipwrecked sailor, and Jaron Hollander's aerial displays.
"We gather people from all over the Bay Area, and the talents we have are, I think, the cream of the crop," Kaluza says. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 6 p.m. Sun. Through Jan. 1. (Check website for full schedule.) $12-$60. Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St., S.F. (415) 225-7281. www.sweetcanproductions.com.Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/14/NSLI1M9PV9.DTL#ixzz1gcFBHOTC
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
The 142nd installment of "The Greatest Show on Earth" promises a brand new experience under the big top with a fire-breathing theme called "Dragons."
With "Dragons," the circus showcases the Chinese "Year of the Dragon" by incorporating dragon imagery and mystic dragon folklore into the show. In Chinese astrology, 2012 is the year of the dragon.
"We're capturing the strength, courage, heart and wisdom of the dragon," said Alana Feld, executive vice president and producer of the show. "Every aspect of the show will showcase those values."
Some 142 performers will celebrate the year of the dragon, which occurs every 12 years, including old standards such as clowns and spirited ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson, alongside dancers and acrobats, aerialists and daredevil motorcyclists that have delighted audiences for decades.
The new show also will feature Shaolin Kung Fu warriors from China, Cossack riders, Asian elephants and tigers.
And there's talk of a real dragon making an appearance in the show, Alana Feld said.
"There's a really, really big surprise at the end of show," said Nicole Feld, producer of the show. "A dragon will actually make an appearance in the building."
Asian elephants will fill the rings in the elephant act, and a daring tamer, Alexander Lacy, will face down 10 lions and tigers in a cage.
"You always have to have courage when entering the cage with the lions and tigers," said Lacy, who is joining the circus as a trainer for the first time. "I'm going to do some never-before-seen acts that are going to amaze and surprise the audience."
That includes having two Bengal tigers stand on top of a lion's back. Sound dangerous? Lacy says it's not.
"It appears to be dangerous, but it's not supposed to be," he said. "This is all an extension of the natural ability" of the animals.
In November, the U.S. Department of Agriculture slapped the parent company of the "Greatest Show on Earth" with a record penalty for alleged animal rights violations.
Feld Entertainment Inc., which produces the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, did not admit to wrongdoing but agreed to implement new training protocols for employees who handle animals.
They agreed to pay $270,000 over allegations of violating the Animal Welfare Act on several occasions from June 2007 to August 2011, according to a USDA news release.
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus runs from Jan. 4 through 8 at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Cirque du Soleil coming to Israel
Canadian circus arts and street entertainment company to perform in Tel Aviv in August 2012 with its fascinating show 'Alegria'
12.11.11 / Israel Culture
FRANKFURT – For the first time since its establishment in 1984, Canadian circus arts and street entertainment company Cirque du Soleil will perform in Israel from August 8 to 18 with its fascinating show "Alegria".
Tickets for the Tel Aviv performance can be purchased on the new Ynetshows website for NIS 220-360 (about $60-95).
Circus Get Together in Columbia, SCHello to all my circus friends!
LETTER SEEKING INFORMATION
The Hampel Family Circus often makes animals appear and disappear during performances but even they are mystified at the disappearance in Lebanon of their performing dog, Magic.
"He went out to do his business last Thursday night and vanished," said Dennis Hampel.
Las Vegas arena to host Circus Spectacular
(OPENPRESS) December 13, 2011 --
Running from Thursday January 5th to Sunday January 8th next year, the event promises to deliver a thrilling family show featuring remarkable animals, acrobats, clowns and fearless BMX riders.
Acts due to appear at the 9,500-seater venue on Tropicana Avenue include world-renowned tiger trainer Daniel Raffo, daredevil motorcyclists Hernando and Marius and human cannonball David Smith Jr.
There will also be a chance to see ringmaster Joseph Dominick Bauer, equestrian performer Caroline Williams and death-defying duo Andrea and Lluvia, who juggle flaming batons while hanging high above the floor of the arena by their hair.
General admission for the Circus Spectacular is priced at $18 (£11.50) for adults and $12 for children. Reserved seating is also available for $23 and VIP tickets are priced at $45.
The opening night's performance is set to begin at 19:00 local time, with show times varying over the next three days.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
PAL Sailor Circus - Sarasota Florida - The Greatest "Little" Show on Earth
Uploaded by SailorCircus on Nov 25, 2008
Sailor Circus now in its sixth decade of operation has grown from a small high school gymnastics class in 1949 to the present spectacular 4 ring youth circus production known world wide as the Greatest "Little" Show on Earth. Students from the 4th through 12th grades in Sarasota and surrounding counties have an opportunity to experience the performing arts in a circus atmosphere. Our dedicated students practice 20 - 30 hours a week and are trained by volunteer coaches who are retired circus performers, sailor circus alumni and enthusiastic parents. More than 200 volunteers donating over 25,000 hours of their time each season to PAL Sailor Circus demonstrates strong community involvement.
Nebraska State Fair receives recognition
“We were delighted to finish first with our partnership with Case IH in Grand Island,” said Shaun Schleif, Nebraska State Fair marketing and sponsorship director. “Case IH provides free combine rides at our fair and, over the past two years alone, has given in excess of 8,000 free rides to folks from all over Nebraska who normally would not have a chance to do so.”
The entries are evaluated by a team of industry leaders selected from the more than 3,000 members of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions.
“We are so very pleased to have Case IH as a sponsor of the Nebraska State Fair,” Schleif said. “As a major Grand Island employer, we consider the partnership a perfect fit.”
The Nebraska State Fair received second place for Overall Commercial Agricultural Exhibitor and full-page full-color newspaper ad. Third-place awards were won for the use of QR codes to promote agriculture, the kid’s meatball-sandwich-eating contest and a general display photo or photo series at the 2011 event.
The awards were presented on Nov. 29 during the Agricultural Awards Breakfast at the 121st annual International Association of Fairs and Expositions convention in Las Vegas.