And pachyderm star Asia, is one of about 100 animals in the show. Asia is a 45-year-old Asian Elephant, the ringleader of nine female elephants that perform in the show
By Virginia Johnson, Entertainment Reporter
December 12, 2012 .
Welcome to The Greatest Show on The Earth! --
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s Circus is offering up their 143rd edition of the circus, Built to Amaze.
The show debuts on January 2-6, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The Bay area will see this new show first, thanks in part to the location of the circus’s winter quarters at the Florida State Fairgrounds.
The show will be constructed before the audience’s eyes, and will show off acts from around the world.
Director of Talent David Kiser is in charge of finding the next greatest performers, and most of the year on the road!
“I go to circus festivals, other circuses, athletic competitions," explained Kiser. "Sometimes I just go into the middle of town to watch street performers. We actually have performers from 17 different countries.”
But Kiser does not have to travel far for some of his talent.
Performers like Ivan Vargas have spent their life in the circus and in Tampa.
Vargas counts six generations of circus performers on his father’s side, and five on his mother’s.
“We learn everything," explained Vargas, “trapeze, high wire, the wheel, unicycling, we learn everything when you grow up in the circus, you’d be a fool not to learn things.”
Vargas is one of 110 human performers.