Friday, January 27, 2012
Along with updated shows involving circus favorites, such as the elephants and Arabian horses, this year's shows will feature several acts new to Fort Wayne, said Larry Solheim, general manager of TZ Productions, which operates the circus.
•Terranova Wild Animals, a big cat act
•Neecha's Amazing Dobermans dog act
•Tandazo Family High Wire act
•Nexus Troupe teeterboard acrobatics
•Freestyle Motor Show high-flying ATVs act
People also will see a new comedy bicycle act, as well as jugglers, Piolita the clown and other performers, Solheim said.
Circus-goers also may notice enhanced music and lighting as the circus makes greater use of new technology to compete with concerts and other major live events, Solheim said
Jimmy Armstrong, a midget clown, stands with an unknown clown in front of the baggage wagons.
By Jeff Swartz Tiffany Hagler-Geard@THGEARD
Jan 25, 2012
As an avid circus goer, Sverre Braathen found an outlet to show off his hobby by photographing the Ringling Bros. circus throughout the Midwest in the 1940's-50's. He was born in Norway in 1895 and moved to the US in 1915 after finishing his studies. An attorney by day, Braathen was able to support his family, however he always made time in his busy schedule to follow his true passion; the circus. The people at the Milner Library at Illinois State University have put together an online archive, “A Passion for Circus,” of all his works. Here are a selection of the impressive Kodachrome slides produced by Mr. Braathen.
#2 The elephants, dressed with their purple blankets, get ready for a production number, August 18, 1945. The Ringling Brothers have seen issues arise over the years from PETA and other activists groups for the mistreatment of their animals. The elephants in particular.
#3 Emmett Kelly against a blue sky in August 18, 1945. He and Otto Griebling were the two best clowns the show ever had.
#4 One of the shows highlight acts was “Clown with a big rope and a small dog.” Seen here is clown Charles Bell with his small dog outside the tents.
#6 Elena Gabriele, left, and Marion Seifert sitting on their horses, August 17, 1945. Gabriele’s former lover and ex-clown, Polidor, killed her with an axe some years later.
#7 A red cage gets pulled by two elephants, September 6, 1943.
#8 Natalia Tock, from Poland, wears her red Jungle Drums wardrobe as she heads to the tent, July 10, 1950. The circus is home to many immigrant families looking to get out of the hardships of their native lands.
#9 Sandy Marlowe holds a lion cub, August 30, 1952. She is the daughter of Ray and Theol Marlowe. Theol was a former Nelson Girl and the Nelson Troupe was one of the greatest risley acrobatic troupes of all time.
#10 Two girls in Changing of the Guard wardrobe and a clown. State Fair Park lot, August 17, 1945.
It's almost as if Larry Pisoni created a son who had been genetically engineered to be his straight man. That's an odd situation for a 6-year-old to find himself in, a kid who began to realize that the joyous sound of children's laughter didn't often include his own. He was too busy learning how to fall down a flight of stairs. "Don't try to protect yourself," his father would admonish after a timid attempt at tumbling the treads. "Let gravity do its job." And it eventually does, as Pisoni later performs a sketch that requires repeated examples of thump-thump-thump downward locomotion.
Pisoni narrates his story of growing up in the circus, as well as relating his father's circuitous route into circusing, with samples of his father's act along with some new routines developed with director Erica Schmidt. Lorenzo was both straight man and stooge for his father's clowning, and he had to share trunk space with a puppet replica of himself that his father would carry onto the stage on his back. The shifting light flowing through the air holes drilled into the trunk was little Lorenzo's GPS system for where he was on stage.
As Pisoni describes the odd and outlandish world of his childhood, he punctuates his comments with assurances that these events really happened. Photos projected on the curtains continually verify his version of the events.
For Larry Pisoni, clowning was very serious business, and the father-son relationship was as professional as it was personal. But Papa Pisoni could also be a prankster targeting his own son, though the plastic banana he packed in Lorenzo's lunchbox everyday grew tired for Pisoni the younger. To get dessert, father made son play a game of can you top this double-take expression, and as Pisoni plays both parts, his face turns into an accelerating shuttle of ever-widening eyes. It's hilarious, again belying Pisoni's claim that he isn't funny.
As a trained actor, he plays the truth in the absurdity, and this is how he can generate his own laughs. His showmanship is in top form in a clown sketch in which his character, complete with flippers and diving mask, tries to climb a high-dive ladder for a jump into a small bucket of water. His increasingly dispirited preparations are a comic delight, even if Pisoni says he isn't funny.
Pisoni actually lasted longer with the Pickle Family Circus than did his father, but finally the teen opted for a sedentary life with mother Peggy Snider, and enrollment in a regular SF high school. There were more circus detours as he worked his way through Vassar, but most of his post-Pickle acting has been of the traditional sort.
Pisoni concludes the show by brilliantly recreating one of his father's balloon bits, and the audience happily tags along until an ill-fated denouement. It provides a bittersweet conclusion that had been set up earlier in the show, and the title Humor Abuse takes on even more levels of meaning. Don't worry, this is an engagingly humorous show, and the only abuse is a father who wants to pass the circus baton on much too quickly – like by a decade or so.Humor Abuse will run at ACT through Feb. 5. Tickets are $10-$85. Call 749-2228 or go to www.act-sf.org.
Drawing on Chinese traditions going back 2,000 years, yet with a modern twist, the show looks set to be a sunburst of acrobatic skill, martial arts and physical theatre designed to engage all the senses.
Yin Yang is a new show for 2012 and, as well as showcasing the physical skill of the performers, includes contrasting acts such as parasol juggling and the aerial silks which, performed in stunning costume, celebrate the delicacy and beauty of Chinese culture and tradition as well as its power and strength.
Chinese State Circus, Cambridge Corn Exchange, January 28-29. Tickets start at £17. For more information and to book, contact (01223) 357851 / www.cornex.co.uk.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
BILL PRICKETT VISITS--
CARSON & BARNES CIRCUS WINTERQUARTERS
#10 Llama Area
#12 Used Trailers acquired for future use.
#14 Jennifer Edgerton & Paul Duke (3-96)
#15 Norm Tourigny & Pail Duke (3-96)
#16 Grounds at house
#17 Kitchen in bunk house (3-96)
People in the stands cheer as teams compete Monday in the 17th annual High School Cheerleading Competition at the Manatee County Fair.
The 2012 fair set some other records.“I believe the 134 hogs we had this year is a record,” West said. “Another record was the 107 dairy animals we had in the barn.”Arts and Crafts also established a record for number of admissions, with more than 2,000.“We also had a larger number of rabbits and poultry than anyone can remember,” West added.Nick Baden, a long-time Manatee County resident, fair participant and volunteer, heaped praise on the 2012 Fair, calling it “the best ever” Monday.“The unique thing was the perfect weather, which we usually don’t have,” Baden said. “It was just perfect. It’s the best fair we have ever had.” Baden and West praised the hundreds of volunteers who make the fair click every year.“It’s truly a grass-roots event,” West said. “This is our community.”
Children enjoy the rides at the Manatee County Fair, where warm temperatures and sunshine prevailed.
Baden began entering county fairs in the 1940s, long before he graduated from Manatee High School in 1957. He made cedar chests, boats and other items.This year, besides being a volunteer in the arts and crafts building, he carved powder horns and won ribbons for them.“It’s not about the ribbons,” Baden said. “You enter because this is a showcase for the community and we are all part of the community.”Of course, like everyone else, Baden enjoys 11 days of fair food, for which most family physicians are willing to grant a pass.“My heaven is Susie Q’s Myakka Booth where I get swamp cabbage,” Baden said. “Swamp cabbage features the heart of the sabal palm, which is very good for you. Susie boils it cracker style, with pork and onions. Delicious.”Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2012/01/24/3814109/2012-fair-sets-all-time-attendance.html#storylink=cpy
By Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
"Pennsylvania fairs are a celebration of our state's rich agricultural heritage," said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. "The 57 contestants in this program are the faces of the fairs and are exceptional ambassadors for our industry."
Brubaker, daughter of Andrew and Pamela Brubaker, is a 17-year-old senior at Lampeter-Strasburg High School. She is involved in the National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Students, student tutoring, choir, swing dance club, school musicals and the school newspaper, among other activities. She works at Meck's Produce, is active in her church and enjoys reading and song-writing.
Brubaker, representing the West Lampeter Fair, received a $2,000 scholarship from the state fair association and was crowned by outgoing Pennsylvania Fair Queen Claire Werkiser of Chester County.
Each contestant prepared a brief speech highlighting the activities at her county or community fair. They also wrote an essay about the fair's personal significance in their life and local community. Each individual also gave a stage introduction during the fair convention annual banquet and interviewed with three judges.
The contestants are evaluated on their public speaking skills and knowledge of the agricultural industry, as well as on their poise and personal presentation in an evening gown competition.
Five finalists were chosen and gave an impromptu answer on the legacy they would like to leave at the end of their reign as fair queen. read more here:http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/23/4208915/lancaster-county-girl-crowned.html
The highly-awaited return of China’s greatest circus features the first UK appearance of the formidable Shaolin Warrior known only as “The One”, sourced specifically by director Phillip Gandey.
This unique extravaganza showcases only the best in entertainment. Witness acrobats defying gravity in an array of elaborate, explosive and highly choreographed presentations of power, poise and agility.
Yin Yang will not only keep the audience on the edge of their seats but show the more delicate and beautiful side of Chinese tradition with the silk aerial act, parasol juggling, eye catching Lion Dance and the amazing legendary Bicycle Act in which ten talented artistes manoeuvre onto a single bicycle.
Witness the unpredictable and exhilarating twists of foot juggling with drums, the famous Chinese poles, the sensational contortionist and the dynamic hoop divers with their amazing somersaults, leaps and jumps which all go towards completing this action packed programme.Every sensational act flows together without narrative and accompanied by a captivating and atmospheric all-girl group of live musicians.
Suitable for an audience of all ages, with evocative sets, soaring musical score and extravagant new costumes that will entertain the entire family long after the final curtain falls.
Don’t miss this stunning production that features the most daring, breathtaking and thrilling artistes to tour the UK.
Here's some history. It was Baburao Kadam who founded the Grand Bombay Circus in 1920 which was later renamed the Great Bombay Circus when K.M. Kunhikannan the artist and founder of the Whiteway and Hind Lion Circuses merged in 1947.
This circus has entertained many a big names like the King Mahendra of Nepal and his queen, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, former Tamil Nadu chief minister and actor M.G. Ramchandaran and more. The Great Bombay Circus has also been the setting for films like “Krish”, “Don” starring Amitabh Bachchan and was also recently seen in the film “7am Arivu” where actor Surya plays the role of a circus artist. In fact, the circus had a performance by a cycle artist who, it was announced, had trained Surya for his role.
No circus is complete without the clowns. They managed to tickle the funny bone every now and then with their goof-ups and tricks. The children in the audience were in awe of the daredevil stunts performed by the artists and laughed the hardest when the clown's pants came off mid air or when he was chased by a “ghost”.
According to their website, the circus now has around 300 employees including 30 male artists, 60 female artists, 40 administrative staff and 180 support staff. When you see them at work on stage and behind the scenes erecting the props and sets with clock-work precision, you realise there's more than just magic — it's more about hard work, team work and a passion for the circus.
Monday, January 23, 2012
#1 Sign on wagon at corner.
I visited Carson & Barnes Circus winterquarters in Hugo, Ok.
#2 Area to the sign wagon.
#3 Storage area at the same corner.
#4 Press Office
#6 Mechanic's Shop
#7 Horse Barn