The Flying Cruzados rotate the 46-foot Double Wheel of Steel to speeds of more than 15 mph by walking inside and outside of the wheel.
(Feld Entertainment / January 7, 2013)
By Tod Caviness, Orlando Sentinel
January 10, 2013
Modern audiences are used to seeing a little bit of the circus everywhere. Rock stars such as Pink have incorporated aerial acrobatics into their concerts, and Britney Spears' 2009 "Circus" tour was styled entirely around the three-ring spectacle.
But as Marvin Gaye says, there ain't nothing like the real thing.
"Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth" has been touring the country for 132 years and it remains a tough spectacle to beat. Though the smell of canvas tents has been replaced by arena air-conditioning, the circus life is still a career like no other. And while audiences may be used to the annual arrival of this menagerie, the newest incarnation of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus aims to remind its fans how much work goes into all this fun.
Dubbed "Built to Amaze," this year's show is crafted around a simple story line: The creation of the circus from the ground up.
On the arena floor, audiences in Orlando this weekend will watch as ringmaster Andre McLain turns the 13 clowns, 17 dancers and 95 animals of the circus into a makeshift (and occasionally competitive) construction crew, working to bring the "big top" to life. It's all a vehicle for nearly 100 performers from 17 countries to strut their stuff, of course. But behind the scenes, the real architects take the creation of P.T. Barnum's "The Greatest Show on Earth" as seriously as it sounds.